Worth it, though.


Everyone knows that dogs, especially in an urban environment, require work and dedication. Early morning walks, muddy paws, basic training—those are a given. But the actual costs, in terms of money, might surprise you.

Young woman training dog outside.
Image courtesy of Getty.

Rover, a company that offers pet-sitting and -walking, released the results of a survey recently in which they asked dog owners who had owned their dog as a puppy to break down the real costs of puppy ownership. The survey does not include the cost of getting a puppy from a breeder—but even if you adopt a pet from a shelter and skip however many hundreds or thousands of dollars a purebred puppy costs, there’s nothing cheap about a puppy.

The average first-day price, which includes adoption fees, food and water bowls, a crate, treats, and more, reaches a startling $1,487. That does also include some fees which might not be necessary in all cases, like spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, and vaccinations; many adoption agencies make sure all that stuff is taken care of prior to adoption. But still, you’re looking at a hefty up-front price for a puppy.

Average monthly expenses, which include food, treats, basic medication (ticks, heartworm), and toys, comes out to $153 a month. But this time, there’s something notable that hasn’t been included: the cost of a dog-walker. Dog-walkers, especially in more expensive cities, can run you about $25 per half-hour. That can quickly spiral into hundreds of dollars per month, if there’s nobody at home during the day.

Then there are the irregular expenses: checkups, pet insurance, training, teeth cleaning, grooming. All in all, Rover estimates the annual cost of having a puppy at $3,370—more than two months rent, going by the national average.

Dogs, like kids, aren’t cheap.


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