Owning a dog can be expensive. To avoid being surprised by the costs of ownership, many owners set out monthly and annual budgets for pet care. But with costs varying so much across the country, it can be hard to know just how much that budget should be. On average, Canadians can expect to pay about $2,600 for a puppy in their first year of life. However, this cost varies significantly depending on the dog’s breed, size, and age, as well as the owner’s lifestyle.
Let’s take a closer look at what dog ownership costs in Canada and give you a breakdown of expenses.
How Much Does a Dog Cost?
The first cost that you can expect to incur as a dog owner is the cost of actually getting your new pet. Rescue dogs are usually affordable, as shelters and rescue organizations are non-profit and only looking to reimburse their costs of caring for the dog while in their custody.
If you are more particular about the type of dog that you get, specific puppy breeds can cost from $500 to $1,000, depending on the breed. If you are buying a puppy from a breeder, make sure to do your homework to ensure that they are reputable. This way, you will know that you are receiving a puppy in good health that has been well treated.
Once your furry friend is home, you’ll need to set aside an annual budget to pay for their needs. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association and Statista both estimated that the total cost of owning a dog in 2021 averaged $3,724 per year. Keep in mind that if you own a puppy, the first year of their life will cost more than subsequent years due to the extra veterinary care required during this time.
How Much Does a Puppy Cost?
The most expensive time in a dog’s life is during their first year. There are many “one-time” expenses that you’ll incur with a puppy that you won’t with an adult dog. While you’ll never have to pay for these expenses again, you’ll still need to budget for them initially.
The cost of owning a puppy averages between $4,589 and $4,666 during the first year.
Average Cost of Dog Food
One of the greatest expenses of owning a dog is the cost of food. The price of dog food varies significantly between brands, but on average, you can expect to pay about $1,132 per year. Of course, the bigger the dog, the more food they eat. Large dogs will require high food budgets.
Average Annual Vet Bills
Expect to spend about $1,400 on veterinary care for your dog each year. Here is a breakdown of what that includes.
|Examinations and vaccinations
|Heartworm testing (if you’re in an affected area)
|Wellness checkups and bloodwork
Other Costs and Essentials
After food and vet bills, there are other essential expenses of dog ownership. These include things like leashes, collars, toys, ID tags, and bowls. Expect to spend about $150 per year on these things.
Pet insurance is probably the most expensive annual cost of owning a dog. It averages about $1,100 per year in Canada. Insurance policies vary in price, depending on your budget and the coverage that you wish to receive, so you could spend more than this if you choose to pay for extended coverage.
If you feel overwhelmed with the costs of dog ownership, that’s okay. While owning a dog can bring joy and love to your home, it’s also a big responsibility. Knowing how much you will need to pay overall means you won’t be faced with unexpected bills once your furry friend arrives.
Featured Image Credit: Yaroslav Shuraev, Pexels