My Dog – My Investment. Is It Worth?

My Dog – My Investment. Is It Worth?

Would you love to have a dog in your home? Have you considered how much it will cost you from the first time he or she sets foot in your home to the rest of the life? Well, we are going to show you.

Very few people put into consideration the cost of owning a dog. To them, it just seems as simple as having a pet. It is quite understandable if you haven’t given it much thought since not everyone is a behavioral economist.

But if you are keen enough, you may have started wondering how to calculate the return on investment of having the animal in your life. This includes the love and affection, the companionship, and the friendship you build over the years. Put into account the good times you have had or will have together, like dressing them up for winter and posting cute photos on your social media accounts. A dog may become more than a friend. 

This is why many people don’t even think about how much they are spending, as they just go ahead and acquire one. Even those who think and have something figured out are often wrong. Well, it is good enough, anyway. You can’t put a price on how much you want to fall in love with a cute, furry little dog now, can you? Or count out if your pet will end up feeling cold or lifeless, and this guilt will never give you peace. That is why it’s important to make the math, so, here it is… 

The first thing you should put in mind is how much you need to budget for your dog. The simple truth is that it might cost you a fortune. You may have seen your neighbour with one and thought it’s easy, but there are things of concern that may tell you otherwise. There is always one dog collar you will want, or some medicine you must have that will get you refiguring your finances. Your love for the animal will be on the constant test, and there is a whole industry to ensure that. 

There is no doubt that the pet business is booming, and numbers don’t lie. According to research, the average pet expenditure in America was about $72 billion per year in 2018, down from $17 billion in 1994. According to Forbes, you will spend, on average, $1,641, while Spruce Pets says you can spend up to $4300 for the same period. On average, you will pay about $15000 throughout the life of your dog. Does this figure seem too high? We will slice it down for you. 

According to the founder of Dapper Dog Box, Kerrie Fitzgerald, many people consider their dogs as family. They will, therefore, have no problem spending a fortune to ensure the animal gets the best life. Dapper Dog Box is a company that delivers a monthly barrage of toys, treats, and other fancy items for dogs. 

It is not bad to consider a dog, your kid. But sometimes it helps to put taps on the financial implications and come up with a good plan. The simple guide we are going to share on dog ownership and cost should give you a better understanding of this important chore you are about to start.

Planning for a Dog


  1. Step #1: Have a goal

Goals are important for every step you take in your life. And since you probably want your dog to have the best care, you need to have a good saving plan for it.

  1. Step #2: Choosing the right dog

There are many types and breeds of dogs in the world today. They all differ in terms of appearances, behaviour and size. 

Because the dog is going to be part of life, it is vital to know as much as you can about it. You don’t want to end up dumping the poor animal in a shelter because you made a wrong choice. 

Now consider the cost. There is always a new breed of dogs on the market, and even long-time dog owners may not always know exact prices. The dog you get will have an impact on your finances. For instance, small dogs have different needs from bigger ones. Generally, dogs with short fur are cheaper than fluffy ones, even in terms of general care. There are other dogs prone to chronic health issues and require regular exercise. Some other dogs are low maintenance, almost as low as cats.

  1. Step #3: Bring the dog home

After considering what you will spend on your dog, it is time to know how much it costs to own it in the first place. There are several decisions to make here. 

First, decide whether to buy or adopt. Buying from a breeder is more expensive. Garden variety breeds range from $300 to $ 1500. And if you are looking for a real winner, you need a good financial position. A Tibetan Mastiff, for instance, has once sold for $20,000. And if you are looking for a Canadian Eskimo Dog or an American Bully, you may have to put aside about $16,000 or $15,000, respectively.

If buying is not an option, then adopt from a shelter. This is a cheaper option, in which you pay a few dollars, usually to assist the shelter to keep operating. In such a case, the best part is that the dog is probably spayed, neutered, and vaccinated already. Apart from that, you can proudly say you helped save an animal and reduced overpopulation in the shelter.

  1. Step #4: Making a long term budget

When the animal is safe at home and you are happy, you need a plan of keeping it well. While you enjoy good feedback on your social media, the next year is going to be loaded with extra expenses for you. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Veterinary payments

There is lots of neutering, vaccinations, dental care, and check-ups for your dog. It all depends on how healthy your puppy is. Some may be needed on a monthly or even weekly basis. This is why it may not be easy to have a precise budget for it. Generally, you should plan from $300 to $1500 for that one year. Make your plans with at least $1000.

  • Dog stuff

Unfortunately, you will have to buy some toys, collars, beds, leashes and a kennel, all at once. It is real, but you can ask your friends for some help. For instance, get some puppy clothes from someone who recently had them. $500 should set you off pretty well.

  • Train your dog

Do you want your dog to know how to use the bathroom, sit, heel, or play dead? In this case, you will need to decide either to spend money or time. A few books can give you great DIY ideas. Or get into group classes and pay a few dollars.

Things may be a bit different for troublesome dogs, or if you are too busy. This can easily cost you from $1,000 to $3,000. Generally, make a budget of $300.

  • Insurance for your dog

It may not be necessary as human insurance, but pet insurance can give some peace of mind. The regular costs for ordinary care can be affordable if you don’t have one, but in case you have to pay thousands of dollars, the insurance can prove to be a real saviour. They work just like human or auto insurances where you pay monthly premiums and get a certain percentage when incidents occur. 


Apart from this, pet insurance often comes with a “maximum payout” or limit. They can also be planned in different structures. Some have limits based on the illness of your dog where they don’t, for instance, cover diabetes. Others can have limits on annual payouts. It’s not an easy decision to make, especially when you want to find the right insurance company. That is why PetInsuranceFinder could be a good place to start. 


The security you feel having a cover for your dog can make it a worthy investment. For that first year, you may need to put aside about $600.

  • Hence, for the first year, you may need a total of $2,300

Everyone wants to seem responsible enough, and this amount will give you that honour. You can put together this budget before you even buy the dog and have everything set up.


Step #5: Budgeting for your grown-up dog

You will realize a year flies by so fast the little puppy you brought in your home is a big bull. Now you don’t wake up at 4 a.m. or clean your sweet carpet of pee anymore. It is a big success. But you need a new budget that will include emergencies. Here is something to work on:

  • Your dog will need to eat more

The dog food business is a real confusion today, and they can make you feel bad for giving your dog anything less. You will read names like premium kibble, and non-premium kibble and wonder what they all mean. Experienced dog owners and even social media will tell they are no different. But there are companies ready to make you feel ashamed and spend $12000 yearly offering nothing special. Normal dog food should cost between $20 – 60 per month. With this, you can comfortably work with $400 per year.

  • Adult dog stuff

The adult dog will require a new bed, perhaps new collars toys and such paraphernalia. You may not need them urgently, but it may be a necessary step once in a while. This can bring you to a yearly expenditure of $200.

  • Making your dog attractive

Dog grooming depends on the owner and the breed. In any case, you will either want to do it yourself or hire someone for professional grooming. Assuming you are going for those crazy extreme biannual haircuts, then put aside approximately $100 for the next year.

  • You may need babysitting for your dog

Are you a frequent traveler who loves enjoying life? Or perhaps you work full time? In that case, you may need someone to take your dog for morning walks and other details when you are not around. How much to pay depends on how frequent you want your dog to be cared for. Assuming you have a boarding caregiver, it may cost you between $25 and $45 per night. And if you go for 30 minutes’ walk with dog walking masters, you will pay $20. This may come to a yearly expenditure of $200.

  • Now the vets 

The amount you will pay your dog doctor is determined by breed, the issue, and age of your beast. And if you have pet insurance, you may have some leverage. Missing on insurance means you will pay more on fixed costs, and huge bills may overwhelm you. Despite insurance companies wanting more than they give back, you only pay because you need some peace of mind in cases of medical emergencies. And with the information you get from Petinsurancefinder, making a decision should not be so hard. Give yourself a goal of putting aside $750 a year.

It may seem like all this budgeting is a little too much and sucks out all the fun of having a sweet fluffy dog. But having this knowledge helps you plan better. Now you can enjoy worrying free adventures with your puppy or adult dog.