When looking for a new furry friend to add to your family, you'll likely hear the advice "adopt, don't shop." There are plenty of benefits to doing so, but know that adopting a pet isn't free, and costs can add up quickly if you aren't careful.
Wondering about the cost to adopt a dog? Here are all the items and services you'll need to consider, as well as price ranges for many of them. Remember these prices are just estimates, and your mileage may vary.
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Dog?
Adoption fees for dogs can range from $35 to $50 generally, although the price can go much higher. You can pay hundreds of dollars, depending on where you adopt from, but you can also take advantage of free adoption events. When shelters are near capacity, they often partially or even entirely waive fees in an effort to find animals their forever homes.
Assuming you're able to take advantage a free adoption event, you can expect the total cost of bringing home a new dog and buying pet supplies to start at $225 if all basic services are covered, or at $600 if you have to cover the services often encompassed by adoption fees. Obviously, if you opt for premium pet food and supplies, you can expect to pay much more.
What Dog Supplies Should You Buy?
You'll need to have a number of items on hand before you bring your new dog home, and we've detailed them in the chart below. These aren't all necessary, though many of them will make life as a dog owner easier. Note that many of the price ranges are quite large, but often the products at the cheaper end of the range will be sufficient, so don't let those maximums deter you.
|Carrier/kennel||$15 - $180||Carriers are typically soft cases, while kennels are hard-sided|
$4 - $56
$6 - $84
$5 - $78
|Be sure to choose the size that's appropriate|
|Poop pickup bags||$5 - $66||Consider a subscription, as it might cost you less in the long run|
|Potty pads||$6 - $49||
Consider a subscription
Ensure you choose a durable pad that won't rip
|Food/water bowls||$5 - $210||The more expensive items are usually auto dispensers for food and water|
|Pet bed||$6 - $400||Consider buying a pet bed that can be machine-washed for easier care|
|Crate||$15 - $370||Price depends on size and material|
|Door gate||$17 - $178||Price varies based on size and materials|
|Toys||$3 - $200||Invest in a range of toy types, including balls, squeakers, and chew toys|
|Cleaning supplies||$4 - $36||Buy both stain- and odor-fighters|
|Training classes||From $129 at Petco||Prices vary based on location and training center|
$4 - $193
96 cents - $343
|Note the most expensive items are typically multipacks and/or premium items|
What Veterinary Services Will You Need?
Dog adoption prices can vary widely, depending on what the organization or shelter covers, as well as your state. While they'll likely cover a ton of different services, it's not a guarantee. If the organization or shelter covers nothing — which isn't likely — know that there are veterinary services you'll need to pay for yourself. Not all of these will be required, and again, costs can vary, but it's a good way to put together an estimate.
|Wellness visit/exam||$50 - $100|
|Spay/neuter||$150 - $300|
$20 - $30
(Could need multiple doses)
|Rabies vaccination||$15 - $25|
|Heartworm test||$15 - $35|
|Flea/tick treatment||$50 - $200|
|Deworming||$20 - $50|
|Collar/ID tag||$5 - $10|
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Dog?
Once you've adopted a dog, the costs don't end there. The American Pet Products Association has estimated the following annual costs for dog owners. Keep in mind that these are meant to be guidelines, as not all of these situations will apply to every owner. Still, they're good to consider before adopting — and becoming attached to — your new furry friend.
|Surgical vet visits||$426|
|Routine vet visits||$212|
Readers, what's your advice for adopting a dog? Let us know in the comments below.