Wagging Hello To the New Year: The Cost of Owning a Dog in 2022

Bringing a dog into your life and home is one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer, but it comes at a cost. The price of dog ownership includes fixed costs like quality food, licenses, essential equipment, vaccinations, medical, preventative medications, and toys, but it can vary significantly between dogs.  

The cost difference depends on the type of breed you have your tail-wagging heart set on. For example, if you fell hard for the amber eyes of a pup from an English cream golden retriever breeder, it’s not just an investment in a pet. You’re also securing the continuance of America’s top-choice healthy dog breed lines. 

On the other hand, if rescue dogs are how you decided to extend your family, that’s undoubtedly honorable too, and the initial cost is considerably less. 

Price ranges of rescue to top-quality breeder pups

Going to the rescue pound can cost you as little as $50, a signature, and a willingness to spay/neuter, which associated vets often perform at a reduced rate.

While it’s possible to buy a purebred for as little as $200, one with AKC certification costs much more. Reputable breeders can charge over $7000 for a pup from their litter.

Once you’ve made your first big doggy decision, it’s time to think about the costs of raising a dog. 

Cost of essentials

A dog needs supplies such as bowls, bedding, toys, food, collars, leashes, and plenty of love from you. While you may have some of those essentials, you will be investing anywhere from $200 to $300 for the basics based on current average prices. 


While the quality of the essentials may be negotiable, your dog license isn’t. Be prepared to spend at least $20 annually, though most states charge higher fees. 

Spaying and neutering

Spaying and neutering go into the medical category, and it’s essential if you’re not planning to make a little Fido Junior. You should make sure this service falls under your pet insurance policy.

The average cost to spay and neuter is between $350-400, though you may be able to negotiate a better price through your breeder or the rescue mission.


A healthy pet requires certain vaccinations and yearly boosters. Be prepared to spend at least $75 annually on shots.

Partnering with a breeder

Partnering with a reputable breeder is a wise choice in becoming a responsible dog owner. A quality breeder guarantees the health and temperament of their dogs. These professionals generally have longer wait times and offer clients a commitment by finding solutions in those rare instances when a puppy develops unforeseen issues.

It’s not uncommon for a breeder to prepare your puppy, fully trained and certified.  

Longterm medical cost

Medical treatments are expensive. While your dog may have a long and healthy life, always consider a contingency plan for those circumstances when your dog’s life is at stake. 

Set aside a reserve savings fund. It’s not uncommon for vet bills to reach into the thousands. 

Additional costs

It’s possible to have a happy dog on just the basics. However, there are other costs, unexpected or not, like microchipping, grooming, dental work, nail clipping.

The finally tally

Using current prices, owning a dog costs anywhere from $100 to $300 a month. While a dog’s companionship is rewarding, it’s not cheap, and only you can decide if you can afford a pet.

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