How Much Does a Puppy Cost?

I recently adopted a puppy, and it’s such a joy! He was abandoned on train tracks in a box, and a friend’s coworker found him and fostered him. We named him Frankie and he’s extremely sweet. My husband and I had been talking about getting a dog, and I was adamant about adopting as opposed to getting a puppy mill or pet store dog. One of the main points of conversation was how much does a puppy cost.

So what are the pet expenses and other associated costs and that come with adopting a new puppy?

  • Adoption fee: Depending on who/where you get your new dog from, you’ll be expected to pay an adoption fee. We paid $200 to cover his recent vet costs, but some dogs we were looking at previously were going for $300-$350. That’s not as expensive as I’ve seen, but it’s definitely not cheap. Frankie is a mix, so mutts are cheaper. If you’re looking for a purebred dog, expect to pay a few additional hundred dollars. If it’s a popular breed, costs could reach $1,000.
  • Bed: Dogs need a place to sleep, and I highly recommend that it’s not on your bed. We went to Walmart and found an eco-friendly, plush bed for $10, but we saw the larger and more fluffed beds for $20-$30.
  • Dog Bowls: We may eat on plates but dogs usually dine from bowls. We got 2 small dog bowls, 1 for food and 1 for water, for about $5 each. We got small, stainless steel ones because they were the smallest one we could find, but they have bigger, more elaborate bowls with designs.
  • Puppy Pads: Housebreaking your dog is a stressful part of getting a new puppy. In the beginning, the world is their bathroom, but owners would like to limit that. We bought puppy pads because we live in a townhouse and our backyard patio doesn’t have grass. His potty training pads ran us for $8.50 for 30 count. A 72 count, which is probably what we’re going to buy next time, is $15.84.
  • Collar/leash: Dogs need their exercise and one of the best ways is to go walking. Getting a collar and leash is definitely a necessity. You can find many collars for under $5 and same with leashes.
  • Toys: Dogs are just as playful as kids and will want a lot of attention. If you can’t give them 100% of your attention (most likely you can’t), you should find some fun toys for them to play with. Dogs aren’t going to be mad if you get them a few dollar toys, so no need to splurge here. Frankie is fine with a ball of yarn, a teething toy and a cat toy mouse!
  • Microchip: In the unfortunate case that your puppy gets lost, you’ll want to microchip them. My activation was free but prices may vary. I did see one company that activates for $25, but check with your local vet.
  • Shots: No, not alcohol, but the dreaded needles your dog (and even your family) hates. Puppies are required to get some routine shots, and the costs also vary with each vet.
  • Training: Unless you’re the Dog Whisperer, you may need to take your dog to a few training classes to learn commands like sit, stay, eat, etc. Petsmart usually offers training classes for dogs of all ages. The flyer I got showed classes for $109 or private sessions from $79 for 1 hour to $209 for 4 hours.

There’s a few more things you can spend money on for your four legged friend including a dog walker in case you can’t do it, flea collars and medications, treats, and for some, even clothes! So now you can answer the question, how much does a puppy cost? Now make sure you’re ready for the financial responsibility of owning a new pup.

Written by Briana

Briana Myricks is a 20 something freelance writer and blogger. Striving for financial independence as a newlywed, she blogs about young married life at 20 and Engaged.

2 Responses to How Much Does a Puppy Cost?

  1. The startup costs you mentioned are spot on. Also keep in mind that the heartworm and flea meds are at least $100 a year and some dogs (like my Pug) have built-in issues that can cost $500-$1000 a year to handle (special food, lab reports, drops for eyes, pills for skin problems, sprays for spot treatments, etc). I still think my pups are worth it, but pet ownership is definitely not for someone who is on a tight budget unless you get super lucky with a completely healthy-for-life animal, which I am not sure actually exists…

    PS Frankie is adorable!!!

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