Can You Afford A Dog? Pet Ownership Costs in 2022

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In the United States, dogs represent 69% of household pet ownership. This number is expected to rise in the next decade as more and more people become aware of the benefits of owning a dog.

With the recent surge of inflation and prices increasing dramatically, it’s important to look at pet ownership costs in 2022.

Pet Ownership Costs in 2022
Pet Ownership Costs 2022

Initial Costs

Adoption/Purchase Fees

The first cost you’ll incur when getting a dog is the adoption or purchase fee. When adopting, this can be between $50 to $500, depending on the type of dog you want and where you get it.

If you’re looking to adopt a purebred dog, you can expect to pay a higher fee. However, there are many benefits to adoption that make it worth the cost.

Not only are you giving a dog in need a loving home, but you’re also getting a dog that’s already been spayed or neutered and had all its shots.

If you’re looking to get a dog from a breeder, you’re looking at roughly $500 to $5,000. Some more exotic dog breeds, such as a fluffy french bulldog, can even be upwards of $10,000.

Vaccinations & Other Vet Bills

The next cost you’ll need to be prepared for are vaccinations and other vet bills if you got your dog from a breeder. Puppies need a series of vaccinations starting at around six to eight weeks old.

These vaccinations are important in protecting your puppy from deadly diseases and viruses. The initial vaccinations will cost around $100 to $200.

Foundational Supplies

When bringing your new dog home, you’ll need to have some basic supplies on hand. This includes things like food and water bowls, a collar and leash, a crate, and some toys.

Depending on which items you decide to pick up, you can expect to spend around $100 on these items. However, if you prepare your home with a dog bed and crate, you’ll be looking at closer to $300 for your foundational supplies.

Ongoing Costs


One of the highest ongoing costs of dog ownership is food. The amount you’ll spend on food largely depends on the size and breed of your dog.

Also, how much your dog food costs can vary significantly with the introduction and rising popularity of dog foods outside of regular dry kibble in recent years.

For example, the average cost of a 5-pound bag of standard dry dog food is around $28. Whereas the cost of raw, freeze-dried, and human-grade dog food can be roughly $34 per pound.

This means you can expect to spend $30 to $200 per month on food for your dog. But, of course, the size of your dog and the quality of their food will significantly affect this cost.

At-Home Maintenance

You’ll need to purchase some at-home maintenance supplies to keep your dog healthy and looking their best.

This includes things like dog shampoo, a brush, ear cleaner, toothbrush and toothpaste, and nail clippers.

Things like their brush, toothbrush, and nail clippers will likely only need to be purchased once, and depending on how often they’re used will determine when they need to be replaced. These supplies cost roughly $30 to $100, depending on the quality.

Dog shampoo and toothpaste will need to be purchased more frequently and will likely cost $30 to $50 every few months. But, again, this will depend on the quality of the products you’re buying and how often you use them.


Depending on your dog’s breed, they may need to get their haircut every few months. This is especially true for breeds with long hair that can easily become matted.

The cost of a dog haircut will depend on the groomer you choose as well as the size and breed of your dog.

But on average, you can expect to spend $30 to $80 per visit to the groomers. If you plan on doing this yourself, you’ll still need to purchase some grooming supplies, which can cost $30 to $100.

Toys & Treats

Of course, one of the best parts about owning a dog is being able to spoil them with treats and toys.

The cost of dog toys and treats can vary significantly. You can find cheaper options for both toys and treats, or you can opt for the more expensive ones. It really depends on your budget and what you’re looking for.

The average person spends $100 to $500 per year on dog toys and treats. This cost can be higher if you’re frequently having to (or wanting to) buy new toys or if you have multiple dogs.

Pet Sitters

If you frequently travel or work long hours, you may need to hire a pet sitter from time to time.

The cost of a pet sitter will depend on where you live and how often you need someone to watch your dog.

On average, you can expect to pay $20 to $60 per day for a pet sitter. But, this cost can be even higher if you live in a big city and need someone to watch your dog overnight or for multiple days.

Annual Vet Costs

Lastly, you’ll need to budget for your dog’s annual vet visit. This includes things like their vaccinations, routine check-ups, and any other necessary treatments.

On average, you can expect to spend $200 to $500 per year on routine, non-emergency vet costs.

Emergency Vet Visits

Of course, one of the most significant costs associated with dog ownership is emergency vet visits. Depending on the situation, these can be very expensive and range from $200 to $4,000.

It’s important to have money set aside in case of an emergency so that you’re not caught off guard if something happens.

Final Thoughts

The first year of owning a dog will be the most expensive because you’ll have to buy a lot of new supplies. Also, the breed you bring home will be the most prominent factor when considering the cost. The first year of dog ownership can be as little as $1,500 or up to $5,000. It can be even more if you get an exotic breed.

Each proceeding year will cost $1,500 at a minimum, and some years may cost as much as $5,000 depending on care (grooming, pet sitting, vet emergencies).

While smaller dogs generally live longer than big dogs, the average age many dogs live is 12 years. This means the total pet ownership costs in 2022 will be between $18,000 to $60,000.

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