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In any economy, never mind this one, the cost of owning a dog and taking good care of it can be shocking and often times difficult.  It absolutely breaks my heart when I hear a pet has been given up to a shelter because the family could not afford it any longer.  I can't even begin to imagine how that feels.  So, I got to thinking about ways I could suggest for people to help cut some costs when it comes to their dog care...even just by a tiny bit.  Hope these help!

Estimated costs range depending on the size of your dog:

Recurring Costs Per Dog (yearly)
Food (high quality)- $50- $300
Recurring Medical (exam, basic shots, heartworm and flea/tick meds)- $200- $275
Toys/Treats- $50-$75
Insurance (varies greatly)- $225
Grooming- $275- $400
Misc.- $50- $75

One Time Costs Per Dog
Spay/Neuter- $175- $225
Beginning Medical (worming, blood work, micro-chipping)- $75
Collars/Leashes/Tie Outs- $25- $50
Crates- $25- $125
Dog School- $100

First Year Estimated Total: $1500- $2000

Cost Cutting Tips:

  • Sign up for a Pet Perks card at PetSmart.  You get savings when you shop and use your card.
  • Compare prices and regularly be on the lookout for coupons
  • Check your vet's price for flea and tick meds against online stores.  We save 50% ordering the same exact meds online.
  • Look for toys, treats, beds, leashes, collars and so much more at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  You will be shocked at the random dog supplies they have and how low the prices are!  The inventory changes all the time too! (my all time favorite tip!)
  • Purchase some good clippers and learn how to groom your dog yourself.  The initial cost for supplies might be high, but will be far cheaper than regular groomer visits in the long run.  If I can clip, anyone can!
  • Dog school is not a NEED.  There are tons of books and videos available to dedicated owners who are willing to take the time to properly train their dogs...for FREE
Some Deal Sites:



  1. It is expensive, but so worth it !! Thanks for the heads up on coupons.

  2. Thanks for the info, would like to copy it, if its OK. We save on the crate thingy, we don't have one, Mom & Dad don't like them. Dad said we are part of the family and we sleep were we want and ride in the back seat. Mom says we are their kids, so if it cost and must be had so be it, cause they love us.

    Your Furends
    Susiu & Bites

    1. Sure! We only crated as pups to keep them safe while us humans were sleeping or out of the house. They came to LOVE their crates and used them by choice. It was hard to take them down when they grew up. Now they sleep anywhere, and Murray typically chooses our bed! LOL

  3. We also noticed that the farm store, in this case, IFA - International Farmer's Assn., has lower priced pet supplies. We check the clearance and have gotten some excellent prices on things like shampoo/conditioner, Kong, toys, etc. In our state of Utah, as well as in the Atlanta area (I think), there is a place called Heartsong and you can get huge discounts on routine stuff like spay/neuter, dental, and routine shots. Their pricing is the same low price for everyone, fully qualified vets do the work. But their services are limited to routine care only because their mission is to improve the care of pets and reduce the number of homeless pets. It only cost us $75 to be neutered (we tried to talk mom and dad out of it but it didn't work). Those who are entitled to military benefits can use the vets at the local military bases and get lower priced vet care. Did you know that you can fill most prescriptions for your pet's medicines at Costco?? Having pets is expensive because pet peeps have a responsibility to the pet to take proper care of it but there are resources available to help out with the cost. Too often people just don't know about these things so thanks for your post!

    Your friends,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Thanks! I love that people are all chiming in with more tips!

  4. From My Vickie
    Somehow I have ended up on the high end of this with my boy Bert. I didn't see anything in there about dogs who eat tennis balls and the cost of all the extra surgery. Dang it all, I guess I just got "Lucky?"

    Thanks for all the sites to help out with costs. We need them.

    My Vickie of Berts Blog

  5. We do some grooming at home too, but we would hate to feel that pinch that some owners are feeling now with the economy. Some good tips!

  6. Mommy does not want to see all of those moneys but like the last pickcher, when she sees me, I'm priceless too and MORE THAN worth it!!!!

  7. Some good advice. SHE clips us--we usually look funny for only a week..BOL! Sometimes you can pick up training books and DVDs at the library.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  8. Nice tips Murray. We order all meds on line as you are quite right it is so much cheaper. Have a lovely Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  9. Thank you for the great information. We have been very lucky with our health the last five years but the older a dog gets the more problems spring up and we are sure we will need these tips.

  10. Great cost savings tips, I hate seeing people giving up their animals because of money. It just breaks my heart.


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