We know that caring for a companion animal provides a variety of physical and psychological benefits to an owner. However, owning a companion animal does come with initial and ongoing expenses to consider. The purpose of this page is to help Canadian pet owners have a better understanding of how to budget for their family pet.

Below, you can find the following information:

2.

Interactive spreadsheets where you can explore the costs of the first year of puppy or dog ownership and/or annual cost of adult dog ownership.We realize that you may not invest in all of the items we have listed in our cost tables, and that’s ok! By filling in these spreadsheets, you will be able to develop your own personalized budget for the first year of ownership and/or your annual pet ownership budget.

The costs listed below are approximations. Some costs can vary by age, size, and breed of your dog, geographical region, and your personal preferences. Regarding veterinary care, it is important to be proactive. Ask your veterinarian up front about the costs of annual health care. Also, having additional savings for unexpected expenses (e.g., emergency veterinary care) is worth considering.

Initial and ongoing supply list to consider for dog ownership

Here, we have simply provided a list of things you might consider providing to your pet and have labelled the items as initial and/or ongoing costs to help you with your budget.

 InitialOngoing
Adoption or purchase price - look into credible sources/breeders/shelters/rescues    
Food and treats    
Vaccines (puppy series and annual boosters)    
Routine veterinary care (e.g. annual exam)    
Preventive medication/supplements (always ask your pet’s veterinarian for their opinions before deciding to do this)    
Spay/neuter    
Emergency veterinary care/diagnostic testing/treatments/medications/in-hospital care    
Flea/tick control    
Heartworm testing and medication    
Deworming    
Dental care/toothbrush/canine toothpaste    
Microchipping    
Licensing    
Bed    
Bowls (food and water)    
Collars    
Leash    
Toys    
Training/Obedience classes    
Training aids (e.g., clickers, baby gates)    
Fence    
Crate/carrier (depending on the size of your dog)    
Car restraint (e.g., seatbelt)    
Shampoo/bathing/grooming/nail clipping    
Combs and brushes    
Stain cleaner/carpet cleaner    
Waste disposal (e.g., dog poop baggies)    
Boarding/travel expenses/pet sitting    

*Pet Insurance is available to help with the costs of emergency treatments (for examples, see “5 Common Accidents/Illnesses for Dogs” table below). It involves a monthly cost that is dependent on the coverage plan you choose. If pet insurance seems like the right option for you, this may be a conversation you could have with your veterinarian or where you are getting your dog. There are a variety of companies with different options to choose from depending on your budget.

Figure 1. 5 Common Accidents/Illnesses for Dogs (OSPCA, n.d.)

The spreadsheet below provides a general idea of the costs of the first year of puppy or dog ownership based on projections from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. As you will see, not all the items from the initial and ongoing costs table are included here. This table represents the more basic and fundamental costs of ownership. Remember, these are approximate values; some expenses may differ depending on your dog (e.g., breed, size, age), geographical region, and your personal preferences.

In the spreadsheet below, you can fill in the costs of items you expect to invest in during the first year of puppy/dog ownership. We realize that you may not invest in all of the items we have listed in our costs table, and that’s ok! By filling in this spreadsheet, you will be able to see your own personalized budget for your basic expenses for the first year of puppy/dog ownership.

First year of puppy/dog ownership

Item^Cost($CAD)Your Personalized Budget
Physical exam and vaccines Puppy: 373
Dog: 133
Fecal exam 37
Deworming medication 30
Heartworm/flea prevention Puppy: 118
Dog: 140
Microchip 67
Spay/Neuter 415
*Pet insurance Puppy: 734
Dog: 734
Obedience classes 249
Municipal pet license 25
Food Puppy: 500
Dog: 580
Bowls 24
Leash and collar 35
Crate 104
Bed 50
Toys 55
Grooming 280
TOTAL  

^These cost figures are from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (2016). In addition, this total cost is based on the basic needs for the first year of puppy/dog ownership. You may have additional expenses that are not accounted for here (e.g, emergency veterinary care).

 

The spreadsheet below provides a general idea of the annual cost of dog ownership based on projections from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. As you will see, not all the items from the initial and ongoing costs table are included here. This table represents the more basic and fundamental costs of ownership. Remember, these are approximate values; some expenses may differ depending on your dog (e.g., breed, size, age), geographical region, and your personal preferences.

In the spreadsheet below, you can fill in the costs of items you expect to invest in annually. We realize that you may not invest in all of the items we have listed in our costs table, and that’s ok! By filling in this spreadsheet, you will be able to see your own personalized budget for your basic annual dog ownership expenses.

Annual cost of caring for your adult dog

Item^Cost($CAD)Your Personalized Budget
Physical exam and vaccines 133
Annual Fecal exam 37
Annual blood test
(including heartworm test)
185
Heartworm/flea prevention 140
Dental cleaning 506
*Pet Insurance 734
Annual municipal pet license 25
Food 580
Toys 55
Grooming 280
TOTAL COST  

^These cost figures are from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (2016). In addition, this total cost is based on the basic needs of your dog. You may have additional expenses that are not accounted for here (e.g., emergency veterinary care).


Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA). (n.d.). Dog insurance. Retrieved from http://www.ospcainsurance.ca/Main/DogInsurance.aspx
 
Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. (2016). Cost of caring for a puppy in its first year. In Pet Insurance: the value of pet insurance. Retrieved from https://www.ovma.org/pet-owners/pet-insurance/
 

Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. (2016). Cost of caring for an adult dog. In Pet insurance: the value of pet insurance. Retrieved from https://www.ovma.org/pet-owners/pet-insurance/