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What’s the Price of a Dog in Canada? 2023 Update

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

Wet water dog and owner

Before you bring home a new dog or puppy, you’re probably already aware that they will take a fair amount of your time, love, and money. You have to factor in the cost of training, vet bills, and food, to name a few expenses.

In addition to all other necessary aspects of dog ownership, giving your new dog plenty of love and ensuring that they are socialized and trained are essential, as is having enough of a budget to afford everything. After the initial cost, you can expect to spend $50–$1,000+ per month.

In this article, we cover how much owning a dog can cost in Canada, which will hopefully better prepare you for caring for this new family member.

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Bringing Home a New Dog: One-Time Costs

You can expect one-time costs to start with the dog or puppy and any items that you need to have available when you bring your new pet home.

Let’s start by covering the possible cost of the dog itself through a few different avenues, as well as how much you might expect to pay for things like food bowls and collars.

Many of the items covered are technically one-time costs, but there’s always the possibility that some things might need replacing through wear and tear or breakage. This is even more relevant if you have a puppy, as you’ll need to get adult dog items in the future.

australian sheperd dog licking female owner
Image Credit: Jennay Hitesman, Shutterstock


It isn’t always easy to find a puppy or dog for free, and if you find one being given away by a stranger, you should be wary. But if someone you know is giving away a dog or puppy for free, this is probably the most common method for getting a free dog.

Remember that anyone trying to find a home for their dog has probably spent money on them already. Paying for a dog also means paying for procedures and other expenses (like vaccines). But it is also a good way to ensure that the person adopting the dog is serious about taking care of the pup.



Adoption is one of the most worthwhile endeavours when looking for a new dog. You’ll give a dog a second chance at a happier life, and you will definitely be this dog’s best friend.

Adoption fees are typically lower than a breeder’s, and the money goes straight back to the group so it can continue rescuing and taking care of animals. The fees also go toward any procedures and medical expenses for the dog, such as spaying or neutering, vaccines, and other necessary medical expenses.



When you go the breeder route, you need to be prepared to pay a deposit for the puppy. It’s part of the entire fee, but if you change your mind, you won’t get it back.

You should make sure you only work with a reputable breeder, so interview them, request to see the puppies and their parents, and try speaking to other clients who previously worked with the breeder.

If you find a dog or puppy that seems “too good to be true,” they probably are. You don’t want to save money by dealing with a backyard breeder.

Initial Setup and Supplies


These supplies depend on your new dog and how much you’re able to spend. It’s even better if you already have a few of these items or a friend or relative who has things that they are willing to donate to you.

Also included here is the price of a spay/neuter procedure, but if you’re adopting an older dog, you can likely disregard this.

List of Dog Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar: $15–$40+
Spay/Neuter: $150–$800+
X-Ray Cost: $100–$400+
Ultrasound Cost: $350–$1,000
Microchip: $45-$100
Teeth Cleaning: $150-$300+
Dog Bed: $30–$150+
Nail Clippers: $10–$40+
Brush: $10–$40+
Dog Shampoo: $15–$20+
Leash and Collar: $10–$50+
Toys: $10–$100+
Crate (optional): $50–300+
Food and Water Bowls: $10–$50+
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How Much Does a Dog Cost Per Month?

$50–$1,000+ per month

The cost of owning a dog depends on several factors, such as their size and if there are any potential medical conditions. If your dog has a skin condition or allergies, they might need to take medication or eat a prescription diet.

Other elements to consider include a groomer, pet insurance, and a dog walker or doggy daycare.

cute little beagle dog kissing beautiful owner
Image Credit: MagicalKrew, Shutterstock

Health Care

$0–$800+ per month

Some breeds are more prone to specific health problems, particularly if they are purebred. Large dogs are prone to things like bloat and hip dysplasia, and small dogs tend to have dental issues. Dogs with short noses, like Pugs and Bulldogs, can have breathing issues.

If you’re able, try to get a complete history of your puppy or dog, as this can help you stay on top of any potential genetic conditions. Some dogs might never develop any health issues, while others might develop more than one.


$40–$350+ per month

Beyond treating health conditions, food is where most of your money will go, particularly if you have a large breed. The larger the dog, the more you’ll spend on food. If your dog is on a prescription diet, that can really add up.

Regardless of the health and size of your dog, it’s best to opt for high-quality food. The healthier the food, the healthier the dog, so spending more on the food could end up saving you on vet bills in the future.


$10–$250+ per month

How much you spend on grooming depends on your dog and on you. It won’t cost much if you opt to do all your own grooming (brushing, baths, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and brushing teeth). Grooming supplies can be purchased just once every few years (except the toothpaste).

But if you decide to use a groomer, the price will be determined by the size of your dog and their coat. If your dog has a short coat, they still need brushing, just not as frequently as longhaired and double-coated dogs.

Medications and Vet Visits

$30–$300+ per month

The annual vet wellness check can cost about $100 to $400, including vaccines and a physical exam. Most dogs don’t need to see the vet every month unless they have a health condition that needs monitoring, so you can expect to break down the wellness check into $10 to $40 a month.

You’ll also need to pay for the usual treatments for heartworm, fleas, and ticks. This can be an average of $250 up to $500 annually, which can be broken down to approximately $20 to $40 a month.

happy dog owner with his pet dog
Image Credit: mreed720, Pixabay

Pet Insurance

$35–$150 per month

Pet insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s a great option that can help you pay for medical emergencies or unexpected health conditions that can end up costing thousands.

It’s important to note that all insurance companies do not accept any pre-existing conditions at the time of enrollment. They’ll cover any health issues once you’ve enrolled and have gone through the waiting period.

The cost of pet insurance depends on the company, as well as your location and the breed and age of your dog.

Environment Maintenance

$5–$15 per month

For the most part, you just need to worry about being stocked in poop bags and finding a good pooper scooper.

That said, how much you pay for environmental maintenance also depends on if your dog ends up causing damage in your yard.

Poop bags: $5–$15/month
Pooper scooper: $15–$30+


$15–$50+ per month

All dogs need toys, and unfortunately, dog toys wear out rather quickly. The toys that you decide on should be based on your dog’s breed, which means they should also be size appropriate. Almost all dogs need chew toys, especially if you want to protect your belongings!

There are also plushies and blankets to keep them cozy and toys to throw, like Frisbees and balls. Many of these will need frequent replacing.

There are also subscription boxes that you could try. Every month, you’ll receive a box full of new toys, enabling you to constantly rotate the old toys with the new ones. Subscription boxes can range from $35 to $60 every month, but you can cancel anytime if you end up with far too many toys!

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Dog

$50–$1,000 per month

How much you end up paying every month depends on many things, such as if you pay for insurance or if your dog is the size of a horse and eats like one. A Chihuahua will be much less expensive every month compared to a Great Dane.

Any emergency considerations aren’t considered because they may or may not happen. But it’s a good idea to make room in your budget for the possibility, unless you have insurance.

pet owner petted the dog.
Image Credit: Markus Trier, Pixabay

Additional Costs to Factor In

Many additional costs will be unexpected, so it’s best to keep in mind that there are no guarantees when you own a pet.

Training is a vital part of dog ownership. If you adopt an adult dog that’s perfectly trained, consider yourself lucky. But puppies or adopted rescue dogs without training will require obedience training and socialization. Training classes could range from $200 to $600 per week for about 6 to 8 weeks.

If you plan to go on vacations, will you bring your dog with you? It’s an added expense, but boarding your dog or hiring a pet sitter might be considerably pricier.

Do you work full time away from home? Unless you can go home at lunch and spend extra quality time with your dog, you might want to hire someone to walk your dog around lunchtime to help break up the day.

Sometimes, dogs cause damage to the home, particularly if they have separation anxiety issues. You might end up replacing your pillows or best pair of shoes if your dog goes to town on your property.

Owning a Dog On a Budget

Once you’ve paid the initial fee for your dog, there are several ways where you can save money. Look for sales on toys and your dog’s regular food — buying the most expensive gadgets is not necessary.

The most important thing is to take care of your dog’s needs — give them plenty of attention, love, food and water, and health.

Saving Money on Dog Care

If you do your dog’s grooming yourself, this will save you quite a bit of money. Read articles and watch videos on grooming your particular breed.

Ensure that you brush your dog’s teeth at least once or twice a week. Dental cleanings at the vet can be expensive, so clean those ears, trim those nails, brush that coat, and brush those teeth!

If you do end up needing a dog walker, try to use a family member, friend, or neighbour. If they can’t do it for free, you still might end up spending less than for a professional dog walker.

Finally, try not to skimp on dog food; look for sales, which tend to happen more often online. If you have the space and proper storage facilities, you can try buying in bulk, which can also save you money.

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Consider adopting a dog from a rescue group. This can be cheaper than buying a dog from a breeder and so much more rewarding!

The monthly cost of owning a dog in Canada starts at $50 but can be as much as $1,000. This entirely depends on how much you’re willing to do yourself and what kind of dog you end up with.

Owning a dog is an honour and a responsibility. If you’ve checked your budget and are comfortable with the expense of adding a dog to your family, they are worth every penny!

Featured Image Credit: Michael Treu, Pixabay

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