How Much Does a Dog Cost – We Did the Math

How much does a dog cost per month and for a dog’s life? When deciding on a dog, in addition to all the positive emotions that are released, you should also take a look at the costs that a dog can cause over the course of a dog’s life. Because the acquisition of the animal not only means a change in habits and costs time, a dog also costs money. And that’s good and happy a middle-class car. Therefore, with the following list, we would like to give you an indicator of what you have to calculate in terms of expenses for small, medium-sized, and large dogs as well as for different life situations. Nothing is worse than having to part with your dog because you can no longer afford it.


There are many ways to buy or get a dog. From free to exclusive, everything is possible here.

From Private Ownership

It often happens that animals change hands privately. Either because the dog can no longer be kept there because the living conditions have changed, or because an unplanned litter of puppies was the result of an unsupervised “act”. The costs incurred range from free of charge to several hundred euros, depending on the agreement.

From the Animal Shelter or Animal Welfare

If you buy a dog from an animal shelter or animal shelter, you have to reckon with costs between €100 and €350. Older dogs are usually a little cheaper than young, purebred puppies from shelters. Part of the protection fee benefits the animal shelter, a large part is used to cover the costs incurred for transport, visits to the vet (chip, vaccinations, Mediterranean test, and, if necessary, castration), and work done. By the way, you don’t negotiate with animal shelters, every cent is urgently needed there.

At the Breeder

If you want to buy your dog from a breeder, you have to calculate between €800 and €2,500, depending on the breed and the breeder. Prices that deviate significantly from the guideline values ​​should be critically examined. If the dog is too cheap from the breeder, this can either indicate poor breeding, non-recognized breeding, or a health defect in the animal. If the dog is more expensive than €2,500, you should also critically question what the price is based on. We estimate €2,000.

  • Inexpensive: 0 € – 200 € (animal shelter, private animal welfare)
  • Normal: €1,000 (common dog breed, normal breed)
  • Expensive: €2,000 (rare dog breed, well known and successful breeder, working line dog)

Basic Equipment

A dog really only needs its owner and is completely free of material thinking. Almost perfectly happy. Nevertheless, proper initial equipment is required in order to be able to offer the dog a minimum of comfort, to be able to train the dog, and to be able to guarantee the safety of the animal in one’s own care. Many small costs quickly accumulate here and the result is a proper final bill.


The basket represents a place to sleep and a retreat for the dog. Because a dog sleeps between 17 and 22 hours. Hard tiled floors are completely unsuitable, so a basket, dog bed, or dog cushion is essential. Depending on the size of your own four walls, you should think about another permanent place to sleep. If the basket is in the living room and visitors are present, the dog’s peace and quiet are gone. It should also be considered that a young puppy still needs relatively little space or a small basket, while an adult St. Bernard no longer fits on a DINA4 sheet of paper.

  • Inexpensive: A discarded mattress, acquisition of used dog furniture from acquaintances, or classified ads on eBay. €10
  • Normal: You can get a normal dog basket in stores or online for €30-50
  • Expensive: Orthopedic dog beds, luxury beds, or custom-made beds are more like 80 – 130 €

Collar and leashes

Collar and leash are essential and are part of the mandatory equipment, as there is a leash obligation in many places in Germany. No responsible dog owner leaves the house without a collar and leash, as these guides ensure control over the animal right at the beginning. There are also price differences here. For our cost analysis, we use a used collar + leash set, which is already available for a few euros. Expensive collars or alternatively the dog harness hit the office much higher.

  • Inexpensive: Used equipment available for around €10
  • Normal: collar and leash in specialist shops for around €40
  • Expensive: A chest harness including a leash €80 – €100


In general, I recommend every dog ​​owner carry a muzzle or at least a muzzle loop in the basic equipment. These are available from as little as €5 and no longer make the roast fat. But they protect your own dog and the environment immensely. In addition, every dog ​​should be used to wearing a muzzle so that no additional problems arise if necessary.

  • Inexpensive: from 5 € at Amazon or used
  • Normal: for about 20 € – 40 € you get a very large selection of the common models
  • Expensive: You can also leave €100 and more for a muzzle


Of course, dog toys are also part of the initial equipment. Finding the right equipment here is difficult since every dog has different preferences. If you want to be creative, you can indulge your passion for handicrafts here and of course, you can save a lot of money. Once again. A dog does not judge whether the toy comes from a brand manufacturer or has been TÜV certified. He decides by his nose whether he likes it or not.

  • Inexpensive: Check out old friends and neighbors for discarded toys, make them yourself, or use them. €10
  • Normal: A Kong, a Chew Bone, and a Zergel are available for around €30
  • Expensive: A lot costs a lot. If you still buy a snuffle mat, intelligence toy, etc., you will quickly have spent €150

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