• Nicola Smith

How much does it cost to have a dog in the first year?


Thor photographed by Hannah Davidson from Good Wolf Studios

Bringing a puppy into your life can be rewarding in so many ways. They are our best friends, our companions; they help keep us healthy, reduce stress, force us to get outdoors, and even help give us a sense of meaning and purpose. As an avid dog lover, I could go on forever listing all of the positive benefits of owning a dog.


With the COVID lockdown, more and more people have gotten and are still getting puppies. I have regularly received phone calls and emails from potential dog owners asking me to help them outline some of the costs of getting a puppy. Because of these calls and emails, I decided to ask some of our clients with young dogs to break down what their costs were in the first year.



Factors that will increase your costs in the first year of owning a puppy


- You work long hours

-You do not have extra help from family members or friends

-Your puppy need special or extra training (not all puppies learn the same way or at the same pace)

- You travel often

-Your puppy gets sick and needs special veterinarian treatment

-Replacement of personal belonging or objects destroyed from chewing (I've heard lots of stories)


With all of these potential extra costs, it can be difficult to accurately estimate the actual cost of having a puppy in the first year. It is important to consider all of these costs when deciding to get a puppy.

Meet a few of our dogs below and find out what it cost their pawrents to provide for them in the first year!


Meet Thor:


Thor is a one-year-old, Mini Australian Labradoodle and comes from a two-parent household that both work full time. Thor walks with We Wag in Corktown. His favourite treat is liver and occasionally cream cheese.


Advice from Thor’s owner:


"This is going to be the best adventure of your life, but it really needs patience and dedication. Know what you're getting yourself into and know when to get professional advice. As first-time dog parents, we knew nothing about dog behaviour, and really connecting with a professional dog trainer helped Thor flourish to the dog he is today. This needed more than just monetary investment - it needed my time and my dedication as well."


THOR - COST BREAKDOWN - YEAR ONE

Training $3100

Vet Bills $2000

Boarding (15 nights total) $900

Dog Walking (3 x’s/week) $3432

Doggy Daycare (1 x / week) $2600

Treats $840

Food $1130

Puppy Equipment (crate, baby gates, leashes, harnesses, pee pads etc) $800

Grooming $1200

Clothes (winter gear, bandanas, etc) $340

Miscellaneous $225

Toys $400

Insurance $0


Total $16,977


This is Alfred:


Alfred is a one-year-old, rescue dog who comes from a single-parent household that works full time. Alfred walks with We Wag in the Harbourfront neighbourhood. His favourite treat is peanut butter.


Advice from Alfred’s owner:


"A trained and obedient dog is a free dog. Put in the time and effort In the beginning and it will pay off in the long run."


ALFRED - COST BREAKDOWN - YEAR ONE

Training $1750

Vet Bills $1035

Boarding $0

Dog Walking / Doggie Daycare $8125

Treats $800

Food $2200

Puppy Equipment (crate, baby gates, leashes, harness, pee pads etc) $2450

Grooming $115

Clothes (winter gear, bandanas, etc) $170

Miscellaneous $100

Toys $380

Insurance $900 Total $18,025

Introducing Tyson


Tyson is a one-year-old Rottweiler who comes from a single owner household who works full time. His favourite treat is pieces of steak.


Advice from Tyson’s owner:


"Make sure you have lots of time to walk your puppy. The best thing for your dog is regular exercise. If you don’t have time to do this consistently, invest in dog walking. It will make a huge difference in your puppy’s behaviour and your life."



TYSON - COST BREAKDOWN - YEAR ONE


Training $400

Vet Bills $1200

Boarding $675

Dog Walking (3 x’s / week) $3432

Doggy Daycare (1 x / week) $0

Treats $360

Food $2600

Puppy Equipment (crate, baby gates, leashes, harness, pee pads etc) $1220

Grooming $0

Clothes (winter gear, bandanas, etc) $550

Miscellaneous $0

Toys $500

Insurance $1260


Total $12,197

Meet Ivy


Ivy is a one-year-old Toy Australian Shepherd. Her favourite treats are Trainers and they come in lots of delicious flavours. Ivy loves the salmon flavour the best.


Advice from Ivy's owner:


"Control your pups environment so that you can keep an eye on them and make sure they are not getting into trouble or having accidents. I did this by keeping Ivy on a leash in the house and using baby gates!"



IVY - COST BREAKDOWN - YEAR ONE

Training $370

Vet Bills $1600

Boarding $100

Dog Walking $0

Doggy Daycare $130

Agility classes $240

Food and treats $840

Puppy Equipment $0

Grooming $0

Miscellaneous $0

Toys and accessories $500

Insurance $0


Total $3680

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