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How much does a dog cost?

If you're looking to add a furry friend to your family, it's important to make sure you can afford to give them a good life. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding the right dog and bringing them home without considering the short and long-term costs, so we've created this article to outline some key expenses.

We’re going to split them into two categories: upfront expenses and recurring costs.

The figures shared in this article are approximate and should act as a rough guide to give you an idea of how much dog ownership costs.

Upfront expenses

Upfront expenses are one-time costs that will occur before or right after buying your dog.


Before bringing your dog home, make sure you have everything they’ll need. This starts with a kennel or carrier bag to get them home. Be sure also to have a collar and leash handy too.

Once you’re home, have a bed and plenty of toys for them to relax and enjoy their new space. Other accessories like food bowls and water dishes are also important to have from the beginning. If you want them to move around your property freely, you can consider installing a doggy door too.

The cost of these accessories combined will vary based on quality, starting at around $200.


Think about if you’ll want to send your pup to doggy school for some training. Your dog doesn’t need to be perfectly trained before you can bring them home, of course, but it’s something you’ll want to consider sooner rather than later. To decide what training you should go with, figure out the level of discipline and tricks you want your dog to be able to perform.

The price of dog training can vary from relatively inexpensive basic training to quite pricey for specialised skills. If you want your dog to be trained in special tasks, such as hunting, tracking, or guard duty, you can expect these types of training courses to cost quite a bit.

Also, consider how much time you can put into the training compared to how much you want the trainer to do. If you're hoping to train your pet on your own time and with limited resources, it may be too time-consuming for you to do effectively. It could cause your dog to pick up bad habits, which will cost more money in the long run as the trainer will need to correct your dog before teaching them the proper commands.

Desex and registration

The cost of desexing dogs vary, but generally, it ranges from $200 - $500. The price will depend on the sex, age and weight of the dog.

TYou will likely be required to pay for registration too, and the price differs depending on if the dog is desexed or not. For example, the price ranges from $66 for desexed dogs to $224 for non-desexed dogs in NSW. It’s worth noting there are registration discounts for pensioners and dogs sold by a pound or shelter.


Research your local vets to find your preferred location, as you’ll be coming back regularly to make sure your dog stays fit and healthy.

You’ll need to get your pet microchipped, which is generally $60-80.

Flea and worm treatments, heartworm prevention and vaccinations are all crucial to protecting your dog too. The cost of this care ranges from $290-550.

Recurring costs

As a pet owner, your recurring costs are the ongoing expenses you should include in your regular budget. We’ll cover ways you can plan for these expenses and even save some money to make it more affordable.

Food and treats

Not surprisingly, pet food and treats will become part of your standard shopping list. There are many different types of dog food choose from based on the size and age of your dog and the quality of ingredients. If you’re unsure what’s best for your dog, ask your vet for recommendations.

The cost of a year’s worth of pet food generally starts at around $800. You can save money by buying food in bulk and storing it properly to make it last longer.

Medical expenses and pet insurance

You can expect that there will be plenty of visits to the vet for your dog, especially if you want them to live a long, healthy life. One of the best ways to save money with veterinary visits is by purchasing pet insurance

Pet insurance policies can range significantly in how costly premiums are and how much cover they provide. It’s a good idea to research the common health issues that can affect your breed and make sure that you buy pet insurance that covers your checkups and any required surgeries or treatments.

It's also essential to make sure they are up to date on their vaccines and preventative care. Annual health checkups cost around $90. Regular worm and flea treatments are around $120.


If you want to keep your dog's coat healthy and smooth, you're going to need to get them groomed regularly. You can hire a professional or do it yourself, but proper grooming is vital to a happy and healthy dog.

You can find great deals on grooming kits online or at your local pet store. Your veterinary clinics may also be able to provide you with some grooming supplies. The products may vary depending on your dog's needs, but make sure to remember shampoo and conditioner in your shopping list.

How can dog owners manage their costs?

Pet ownership is a large responsibility, and it’s important to make sure you can afford to give your dog a great life.

Budgeting and anticipating costs ahead of time can relieve the stress of emergency expenses. But for the times where the bill is more than you expected, Cash Train could help cover the cost by providing you with a personal loan ranging from $2001 to $10,000 along with flexible repayment terms. Learn about how much a loan costs and how loans work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pick the right dog?drop down arrow expanded

Carefully consider the right dog for you and your family before bringing one home. Think about how much space you have and the amount of time you’ll have to walk and play with your dog. Also, consider if there’s an ideal temperament as some breeds are known for specific traits. Think about any preferences on sex, age, and size too. Taking these factors into account will help you to pick the right dog

    What are the benefits of pet ownership?drop down arrow expanded

    Owning a pet can provide a myriad of physical and mental health benefits. Physical benefits include being more active, increasing cardiovascular health, and strengthening a child’s immune system. Mental or psychological benefits include increased levels of happiness, companionship and comfort, and feeling needed and wanted.

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