How Much Does It Cost To Own A Dog In Canada



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Dogs are great companions, one that many Canadians choose to own! It’s essential, however, to consider the time and energy needed to raise and care for your new best friend. You will need to consider needs like training, grooming and walks, to name a few. Budgeting for your dog’s necessities will be necessary as it can get quite pricey. 

Here are some basic costs to consider for a new dog!

Initial Costs

Initial costs include the cost of the dog and one-time expenses for when you first bring your dog home. Puppies will cost more to care for since they require more attention and are more prone to accidents. 

There are a few options for getting a dog, like through adoption, pet stores or breeders. Other costs include bowls, a leash, a grooming brush and nail clippers. Most of these are one-time costs. However, they still wear down with time, so you might have to replace a few supplies in a couple of years.

Buying A Dog


It is rare to get a dog for free, especially if you’re looking for a specific breed. However, you might come across a family member or friend looking to give away their dog to someone responsible. 

Another option to get a dog for free is to adopt a senior or special needs dog. Often these dogs will be in shelters or rescue homes and tend to have their adoption fees waived for going to a safe, suitable home. The waiving of fees could be due to added medical costs that may be accrued by adopting the dog. 


Adoption costs range from $200-$800. Adoption is one of the better routes to looking for a dog; they are less expensive, and often the fees go directly to the shelter or rescue group. Often these adoption organizations vaccinate and spay or neuter the dogs before they can be adopted. Some dogs have even been rehabilitated, so your only job would be to ensure you create a loving and safe space!

Sometimes these adoption agencies will bring in dogs from across the world. Hence this can make adoption fees slightly more expensive to cover the travel expenses. However, giving a wonderful dog another chance at life is worth it!


Breeder costs range from $1000-$4,500. A breeder requires a deposit; this is often because you pick the puppy you want before it is weaned off its mother and ensure it is free of any worms and diseases. Then pay the rest once the puppy is ready to be taken home. Do your research! Using a trusted and reputable breeder is safer for you and the puppy; otherwise, you will end up with a sick puppy with extra medical costs. This is also important if you want a specific breed. Using a reputable breeder ensures you are getting the type of dog you are specifically looking for. 

Breeders usually let you visit them and the puppies so you can ask questions and connect with the dogs a bit. It is a red flag if they do not let you visit prior! It is usually a process, and you are creating a relationship with the breeder since they will not let irresponsible people take their puppies. 

Buying Supplies

The initial setup will cost from $300-$1,000+. These costs depend on the dog you purchased and if you already own some of these or have friends who donated their supplies. Costs depend on the type of dog since bigger dogs will need more food, for example, than smaller dogs, so that you may be spending more the bigger the dog. 

The cost of spaying and neutering is included in these costs; however, if adopted, this would have been covered in the adoption fees. 

ID Tag & Collar$35Spay/Neuter$150
Dog Bed$30Nail Clippers$10
Food & Water Bowls$20Microchip$45
Brush$10Leash & Collar$20

Annual Costs

Monthly Breakdown

In total, monthly expenses range from $50-$1,000+/month. Dog expenses depend on the size and health of your dog. Some will have food allergies and require a specific diet which costs more. 

Other factors are costs depending on you and your lifestyle. Costs like pet insurance, groomers or a dog walker can depend on how much time and money you have to do those things yourself. 

Health Care

Health care costs can range from $0-$800+/month. The health of your dog depends on the breed and underlying health issues. Often, vet visits are done once a year, but as your dog ages, it may develop health issues. For example, bigger dogs have a greater chance of having certain medical conditions like elbow or hip dysplasia or bloat.

Knowing your dog’s health history gives you an idea of genetic health conditions they may have or develop down the line. You may never have any medical costs for your dog, or you may have a few; these are often unpredictable. 


Food expenses vary from $35-$350+/month. This can be where you spend the most per month. Again, the price you pay for food will depend on the size of your dog and if it requires any special diet. 

However, regardless of your dog’s breed size and health, make sure you buy high-quality food to ensure a longer and healthier life. 


Grooming ranges from $0-$60/month. Your dog’s size and coat will depend on how much you pay for grooming supplies. Rather than do it yourself, you can take your dog to a groomer monthly if their hair is a little harder to deal with—the more the hair, the costlier the groom. 

Grooming is not only about brushing and trimming hair but also cleaning ears, brushing teeth, and trimming nails.

Medications & The Vet

Vet visits and necessary medications cost $0-$300+/month. You do not need to visit the vet monthly unless there is a severe health issue. Vet visits are often done yearly, ranging from $100-$400. These visits include a physical examination, vaccinations and parasite treatments.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is optional and ranges from $50-$150/month. Pet insurance is there for any medical emergencies that can cost thousands. 

Unfortunately, pet insurance covers only new health conditions; if your dog already has an underlying health condition that you are aware of, then pet insurance will not cover those costs.

The cost depends on which company you choose the pet insurance from and the dog’s age and breed.

Environmental Maintenance

Environmental maintenance consists of poop bags! These can vary from $5-$15+/month.

Other than poop bags, there is an option to buy a pooper scooper if you can’t bend down or don’t want your nose to get too close to the smell. Poop bags will be needed regularly regardless of when you go on walks. 


Entertainment for your dog is the toys and treats you buy! From around $15-$50+/month, you can get chew toys, bones, blankets, balls, etc. These toys will often need to be replaced over time, especially if your dog likes to play! Those balls won’t last long. 

There exist subscription dog toy boxes if you are unsure which toys you should get. This way, you also have the option to rotate in new toys monthly and figure out which ones your dogs prefer. 

Monthly Breakdown

Health Care$0-$800
Medications & The Vet$0-$300
Pet Insurance$50-$150
Environment Maintenance$5-$15

Annual Breakdown

Health Care$800
Medications & The Vet$300
Pet Insurance$600
Environment Maintenance$60

These costs depend on the breed and size of your dog. It also depends on your lifestyle and choices about your dog, like pet insurance. Some prices are added here to show how much a service could cost, like health care. You will not need to visit the vet often if your dog is healthy, saving a few dollars in your wallet! These are just estimates of what costs to consider, so if you plan for these costs, then you’ll be ready to start raising your new best friend!

Additional Costs

There are a few other costs to consider before buying your dog. If you are getting a puppy and sometimes even an older dog, it will need training, which is an additional cost. Dog training lasts 6-8 weeks, ranging from $200 to $600 weekly. 

Other factors like a dog walker or doggy daycare should also be considered. These can also be more periodical, like if you are travelling or working full-time. A dog walker could be great if you work full-time, and doggy daycare is a great way to ensure your dogs are cared for while you are away.

Additionally, dogs can sometimes ruin your furniture by biting to peeing; you may have to spend more on new furniture or carpets than toys!

These are not guaranteed expenses. However, it is always good to be prepared and know all the dimensions of owning a dog. 

On A Budget

Although the initial costs are more challenging to avoid, there are ways to save money when shopping for your dog. For toys, for example, you do not need to buy the most expensive one, but you can look at their sales and deals. You don’t always need much when your dog’s needs are met, from healthcare to affection. 

Grooming your dog on your own is a great money saver. Brush your dog’s fur often and trim your dog’s nails regularly. One, your dog gets used to the feeling, and two, it’s healthier! This is also a great way to feel closer to your dog. Other than brushing and nail trimming, bathing, ear cleaning and teeth brushing are essential grooming factors. 

For a dog walker, asking friends or family to walk your dog while away is a great way to save money. Although maybe not always free, it would be less expensive than a ‘professional’ walker. 

Buying dog food in bulk or during a sale is a great way to save money on the more costly expenses of owning a dog. Although getting a good deal and buying in bulk is great for your wallet, ensure it’s good for your dog’s health. 

Is It Expensive To Own A Dog?

Dogs can be expensive and affordable! If you are on the pickier side for a breed, then it will most likely be more expensive. Costs will be lower if you want to help your local dog shelter. 

As mentioned many times, the size of your dog is also a factor! Having a big dog means more energy needed to be expended and food consumed! So, you may be buying toys and food more often than smaller breeds. 

The health of your dog also depends. Often health conditions will develop down the line in your dog’s life; there is no guarantee to prevent this from happening. Getting a puppy that already has health conditions may be more expensive, too, since you will need to buy medication regularly and will most likely have to visit the vet more often. 

Owning a dog can be a financial burden, so ensure you are fully prepared financially and mentally when buying a dog. They are one the best investments you will make and fulfill your and your new companion’s lives.