How expensive is keeping a dog? Here’s What to Expect

Health: Routine vet visits, once or twice a year, including wellness checkups, vaccines, lab tests, and dental care could cost between $700-$1,500 a year, depending on your dog and where you live. This doesn’t include emergencies or medications your vet may prescribe.

Most sources calculate the cost of dog ownership by the size of the dog. According to an article in “Money,” the lifetime costs are as follows:

Grooming: This depends a great deal on the breed. A Basenji, for example, almost keeps himself clean and requires very little in the way of grooming. A Maltese, on the other hand, may require expensive, professional grooming. Grooming your dog at home can run as low as a one-time $25 brush purchase to as much as $1,400 per year for frequent professional grooming.

We all expect to save and set aside money for big expenses, like a new car or the down payment on a house. But, what many of us don’t consider, when we’re oohing-and-ahhhing over that adorable new puppy, is the actual cost of dog ownership.

Food: Whether you feed supermarket dry food or a raw food diet, costs can run from about $120 per year to as much as $900 per year.

Annual Expenses (Lexi):

Food: $720Vet visits (rabies vaccine) : $132Vet visit for ear infection (three per year): $502Medications: $524 Grooming: $472Toys/Treats: $50Hypoallergenic shampoo: $50 Bully sticks: $75 Balls: $40Toys (stuffed): $25Ball tosser toy: $60Cleaning costs (for mess): $15Boarding at kennel: $882Poop bags: $20Bowl: $10Leash: $35Collar: $35Dog bed (one-time cost): $120Crates (one-time cost): $150Dog accessories (coats, shoes, etc.): $30Pet licence: $39Fence for dog run (one-time cost): $120Microchip ID: $76

Total cost annually: $4,182

Overall, you’re looking at $31,678 over a 15-year lifespan of a cat and $33,112 over a 10-year lifespan of a dog.

You also have to consider your home and work life when welcoming a pet into your family. The cost of care will increase if you have to hire a dog walker during the day because you have long office hours, or pay for boarding to accommodate work travel. Certain dog breeds also require more exercise and may need to be taken out more than once a day, especially if they are cooped up in a small condo or apartment. If in doubt, you can use Pawzy’s Dog Breed Selector to assess whether a particular breed might fit your lifestyle.

Furthermore, some breeds are predisposed to genetic health issues and have shorter lifespans. Bernese Mountain Dogs, for example, have sweet temperaments and are great family dogs, but they also have shorter average lifespans (seven to 10 years) and are plagued with a host of health issues, like hip and elbow dysplasia, and certain types of cancer.

The last thing you want to have to do is re-home or euthanize a pet because you can’t afford them. Proper budgeting for the annual cost of care and emergencies is crucial to bringing a pet into their furever home.

Let’s break things down before you stare into the sweet, hopeful eyes of a prospective fur baby (dog or cat)—after which there is no going back.

HOW TO AFFORD A DOG ON A BUDGET (all the puppy costs exposed!)

The annual cost of owning a dog in Canada ranges from ~$3,530 – ~$4,410 and here is the breakdown. We should mention there are many factors contributing to the cost based on where you live, whether you adopt or get your dog from a breeder, and your lifestyle.Keep reading to learn more.

There is no doubt that dogs improve our quality of life. There are studies showing that simply petting a dog can decrease the level of stress hormones and boost the release of serotonin. Dogs are arguably the greatest companion you can have and with the pandemic in 2020, we’ve seen a 250% increase in pet adoptions all around the world! It’s no surprise that you’d want to quarantine with your loved ones and for some, that might include your four-legged friend. This may not come as a shock to most dog owners but some new pandemic pet parents are surprised by ownership costs. ‍ We should mention there are many factors contributing to the cost based on where you live, whether you adopt or get your dog from a breeder, and your lifestyle. So what exactly does it cost to own a dog in Canada in 2022?  We’ve put our paws together and crunched the numbers, here’s what we’ve found: The annual cost of owning a dog in Canada ranges from ~$3,530 – ~$4,410 and here is the breakdown.

(This depends on whether or not you rescue or adopt from a breederas well as what breed you’re getting)

There are many one-time expenses when you first bring your pup home. It may seem overwhelming at first, but trust us! It’ll be worth it in the end. The total upfront cost of a dog is $3,530 – $4,410 in Canada and we should remind you that factors such as breed, adoption, and how much you splurge on the essentials. ‍ Adopting is a budget-friendly option, but the price can increase and go upwards of a few thousand dollars. Another factor to consider is whether or not your new four-legged friend is spayed or neutered, which could cost about $600 – if you’re adopting from a rescue, the rescue typically covers the price of spaying and neutering. ‍ Vaccinations, regular vet checkups, and preventative care are part of being a responsible owner and keeping your pup happy and healthy. This is especially important for puppies and typically costs around $300 – $400, as well as microchipping ($60) if that is something you’re interested in. ‍ We’re all pet parents here, it’s okay to deck your doggo out in the latest branded collar, leash, or poop bags and accessories (we totally get it). This does add to the upfront initial costs, averaging around $100 depending on your personal spending. Other gear that you might want to consider as an upfront cost might include a crate ($70-$300), a bed ($50 – $250), toys ($50), and treats ($50). All important and essential to keeping your pup happy. ‍ Like all things, it’s important to do the research and we should mention that these costs range depending on factors such as breed and adoption process. We highly recommend doing research on the price ranges of owning a dog in Canada to determine budget and priorities.

The time and efforts in owning a dog in Canada don’t stop there! After setting up and welcoming your new dog home, there are also annual costs that pet parents should maintain that add up to (on the lower end) $510 – $3,360 per year. ‍ Food is typically the largest cost of the annual expenses for pet parents to keep up with, typically spending between $450 – $2,300 depending on the brand and how much your dog needs to eat. Many dog parents opt for fresh dog food or dry food to be delivered to your doorstep, which can cost upwards of $2,000 (and again, this is all dependant on your dog). ‍ Routine vet visits are a must if you want to keep your pup healthy and in good shape, which costs around $200 – $400 a year. Not including preventative care such as flea and tick prevention (averaging about $100-$250) and heartworm prevention (averaging about $50-$200). Between keeping your dog happy and healthy on the inside, keeping your dog’s teeth with regular oral care/dental chews and general grooming could cost between $50 – $200 annually. ‍ As for toys, treats, and poop bags, all pet parents know that these items are a part of your everyday essentials. Treats and toys, which could be one of the biggest expenses (depending on splurge, brand and your dog) could cost a parent anywhere from $85 – $300. Poop bags are on the lower end and cost about $30 a year for most dog owners.

We know that these additional expenses aren’t expenses that all pet parents incur and naturally depend on the lifestyle, but it’s smart to plan for the unexpected which in Canada could average between $712 – $1,437. Pet insurance is often not something pet parents immediately opt into right off the bat, but if they choose to, could cost ~$1,000 a year. ‍ With many pet parents having the flexibility to work from home during unprecedented times, pet parents may be interested in looking into dog walking or doggy daycare, averaging $32 – $100 per session for daycare and $15-$20 per walk. ‍ If you have a special breed that requires a lot of maintenance such as Italian Greyhounds or Cocker Spaniel, that is something you’ll have to consider: accessories (sweaters, boots, jackets). Especially in Canada where we experience different seasons, this could cost pet parents between $100 – $150. ‍ Lastly, depending on the province you live in, you might have to allocate an additional amount as a down deposit before bringing a new puppy into your home. This sum ideally should cover any unforeseen physical damages your pup may have caused.

Kabo has served over a million meals all across Canada to the goodest boys and girls. By opting for Kabos fresh food subscription, thousands of pet parents in Canada are now feeding fresh, healthy meal options that dont break the bank! ‍ The humans at Kabo cook, pack and deliver your pup’s food straight to your doorstep, ensuring the highest quality of human grade food. By becoming a Kabo member, pet parents are able to work alongside our in house vet health experts and other RVT’s with over 14+ years of experience in advocating for your dog’s needs.  ‍ We strongly believe in education, elevating, and advocating what it means to be a stellar pet parent in 2022 in Canada.Â

The pandemic has certainly changed the way people spend money, including how we spend on our pets. There seems to be a gap between millennials and boomers, where more than 56% of millennials consider themselves as “pet parents” and only 12% of boomers consider themselves as pet parents. It shows in the way millenials choose to spend. ‍ With the rise of healthier options for your canine companions, more and more pet parents are seeing the importance of budgeting and preplanning. When welcoming a dog into your home, you’re making the promise of giving them the happiest and healthiest life you can provide and that means doing your due diligence in the research that follows. ‍ It’s similar to a chain reaction. If you start eating healthy and well, your lifestyle will follow. The same ideology can be applied to your dog and their lifestyle. You’re able to reduce the number of vet visits for example if they’re eating right, staying active, and happy.