The annual cost of owning a dog in Canada ranges from ~$3,530 - ~$4,410 and here is the breakdown.
We should mention there are many factors contributing to the cost based on where you live, whether you adopt or get your dog from a breeder, and your lifestyle.
Many people ignore it: owning a dog is actually expensive in Canada
There is no doubt that dogs improve our quality of life. There are studies showing that simply petting a dog can decrease the level of stress hormones and boost the release of serotonin. Dogs are arguably the greatest companion you can have and with the pandemic in 2020, we’ve seen a 250% increase in pet adoptions all around the world!
It’s no surprise that you’d want to quarantine with your loved ones and for some, that might include your four-legged friend. This may not come as a shock to most dog owners but some new pandemic pet parents are surprised by ownership costs.
We should mention there are many factors contributing to the cost based on where you live, whether you adopt or get your dog from a breeder, and your lifestyle. So what exactly does it cost to own a dog in Canada in 2022?
We’ve put our paws together and crunched the numbers, here’s what we’ve found: The annual cost of owning a dog in Canada ranges from ~$3,530 - ~$4,410 and here is the breakdown.
There are many one-time expenses when you first bring your pup home. It may seem overwhelming at first, but trust us! It’ll be worth it in the end. The total upfront cost of a dog is $3,530 - $4,410 in Canada and we should remind you that factors such as breed, adoption, and how much you splurge on the essentials.
Adopting is a budget-friendly option, but the price can increase and go upwards of a few thousand dollars. Another factor to consider is whether or not your new four-legged friend is spayed or neutered, which could cost about $600 - if you’re adopting from a rescue, the rescue typically covers the price of spaying and neutering.
Vaccinations, regular vet checkups, and preventative care are part of being a responsible owner and keeping your pup happy and healthy. This is especially important for puppies and typically costs around $300 - $400, as well as microchipping ($60) if that is something you’re interested in.
We’re all pet parents here, it’s okay to deck your doggo out in the latest branded collar, leash, or poop bags and accessories (we totally get it). This does add to the upfront initial costs, averaging around $100 depending on your personal spending. Other gear that you might want to consider as an upfront cost might include a crate ($70-$300), a bed ($50 - $250), toys ($50), and treats ($50). All important and essential to keeping your pup happy.
Like all things, it’s important to do the research and we should mention that these costs range depending on factors such as breed and adoption process. We highly recommend doing research on the price ranges of owning a dog in Canada to determine budget and priorities.
The cost of owning a dog: Annual Expenses
The time and efforts in owning a dog in Canada don’t stop there! After setting up and welcoming your new dog home, there are also annual costs that pet parents should maintain that add up to (on the lower end) $510 - $3,360 per year.
Food is typically the largest cost of the annual expenses for pet parents to keep up with, typically spending between $450 - $2,300 depending on the brand and how much your dog needs to eat. Many dog parents opt for fresh dog food or dry food to be delivered to your doorstep, which can cost upwards of $2,000 (and again, this is all dependant on your dog).
Routine vet visits are a must if you want to keep your pup healthy and in good shape, which costs around $200 - $400 a year. Not including preventative care such as flea and tick prevention (averaging about $100-$250) and heartworm prevention (averaging about $50-$200). Between keeping your dog happy and healthy on the inside, keeping your dog’s teeth with regular oral care/dental chews and general grooming could cost between $50 - $200 annually.
As for toys, treats, and poop bags, all pet parents know that these items are a part of your everyday essentials. Treats and toys, which could be one of the biggest expenses (depending on splurge, brand and your dog) could cost a parent anywhere from $85 - $300. Poop bags are on the lower end and cost about $30 a year for most dog owners.
The cost of owning a dog: Additional Expenses
We know that these additional expenses aren’t expenses that all pet parents incur and naturally depend on the lifestyle, but it’s smart to plan for the unexpected which in Canada could average between $712 - $1,437. Pet insurance is often not something pet parents immediately opt into right off the bat, but if they choose to, could cost ~$1,000 a year.
With many pet parents having the flexibility to work from home during unprecedented times, pet parents may be interested in looking into dog walking or doggy daycare, averaging $32 - $100 per session for daycare and $15-$20 per walk.
If you have a special breed that requires a lot of maintenance such as Italian Greyhounds or Cocker Spaniel, that is something you’ll have to consider: accessories (sweaters, boots, jackets). Especially in Canada where we experience different seasons, this could cost pet parents between $100 - $150.
Lastly, depending on the province you live in, you might have to allocate an additional amount as a down deposit before bringing a new puppy into your home. This sum ideally should cover any unforeseen physical damages your pup may have caused.
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