How much does a dog cost per month on average?

Owning a dog is not only a lot of work but can also cost a lot of money.  Indeed, one of the top considerations a person should make before purchasing or adopting a dog is whether he or she can afford to do so.  

Here, the average monthly cost of dog ownership will be discussed.  


After the first year of dog ownership, there are a few supplies that must be purchased.  Most items, such as crate, bed, food and water dishes, collar, leash, and identification tags are purchased once and will last throughout the dog’s lifetime.  However, collars can break, contact information can change, and dogs can destroy their fluffy (and expensive) beds. According to the ASPCA, pet owners spend approximately $800 - $1,000 on pet supplies within the first year.  Even with additional purchases made throughout the dog’s lifetime, this equates to $10 - $20 per month.

Dog Food

The biggest expense of dog ownership is dog food.  There are many variables to consider, such as wet, dry, or raw food, as well as quality.  The dog’s size also an important factor. On average, dog owners can expect to spend $20 - $100 per month feeding their pet.  When treats are also factored into this amount, including dental chews, an extra $20 - $40 should be added to the budget.


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If your dog is a breed that requires regular grooming, this will also add to your monthly expenses.  Most dogs require grooming or bathing every 6 – 8 weeks, and the average visit to the groomer is $45.  Therefore, pet owners should budget $20 - $30 a month for this expense.


If your dog is like most canines, toys do not last long before needing to be replaced.  The expense for toys can be simple – such as new tennis balls every few months – or extensive, like a monthly dog toy subscription.  Regardless, pet parents should budget $5 - $30 per month on dog toys.


If you are lucky, your dog will only require a once yearly wellness exam, which typically costs $200 - $300 per year ($16 - $25 per month).  However, accidents do occur, which can set a pet owner back $300 - $1000. On top of veterinary bills, dog owners must keep their pets up to date on monthly preventatives, such as flea, tick, and heartworm medications.  These cost an additional $20 - $40 per month.

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Miscellaneous expenses include dog walking, boarding, daycare, and annual dog park passes.  For some pet owners, the monthly cost is minimal or nonexistent; however, for other owners (especially when daycare is involved) pet owners can spend more than $300 per month.  

Bottom Line

As you can see, the average monthly cost of pet ownership is not cheap - $100 to $500 per month - but who can put a price on love and companionship?

But on the other hand, it is necessary never to forget that dog ownership is not only about money, but also about responsibility and commitment that takes lots of time and energy. Before you provide any dog with their “furever” home, make sure you can care for your dog's basic needs:

  • providing enough mental and physical exercise
  • proper nutrition
  • preventive care

    Actijoy can help dog parents to identify the needs of their pets, as both exercise and nutrition is something that is tricky to monitor yourself. Use of Actijoy Buddy Pack makes dog preventive care easy and help your fur baby to live a longer and happier life.

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    Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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