How Much Do Dog Breeds Cost To Keep?

Updated November 29, 2020

Ever wondered how much it costs to keep different dog breeds?

Recently I saw a very unfortunate case. The dog was barely 12 months old and had already had LOTS of vet visits. The owners were at their wits end both emotionally and financially. It didn’t help when I said; ” That’s not uncommon for the breed”.

“How were we supposed to know?” they said. I had to agree there wasn’t an easy way. There should be.

Did you know it can cost over four times as much to keep some dog breeds as others? That doesn’t mean having a more expensive breed should be seen as a mistake. There isn’t a right or wrong dog breed as long as you’re prepared.

Later: A chart showing the cost of keeping common Adelaide dog breeds.
NOW: How to read the chart.

The Major Costs Of Dog Ownership

Here are the five large expenses all dog owners should be prepared for. Prices are in Australian dollars & were accurate at the beginning of 2017.

Medical Care

Some breeds cost twice as much to insure as others! These differences are related to the cost of treating the health problems of different breeds.

I’ve used pet insurance data even though fees are probably higher than fund-it-yourself healthcare would cost (I estimate 25% extra). And of course just because a dog is known for a disease doesn’t mean it will happen every time. However, the costs should be in the right ballpark and allow us to compare dog breeds.

If this makes you wonder what are the benefits of dog insurance, follow the link to learn more!


I’ve used the same high quality dog food that I feed my dogs (Hills VetEssentials) and extrapolated my older dog’s daily food intake, which is much less than the packet recommends. I’ve used the cheapest source of this food that I could find.

It’s still possible to feed dogs quality food more cheaply but not by a lot. It’s also possible my estimates for dogs over 40kg could be a little high.


I’ve asked around for grooming prices, but I’ve assumed that short and medium coated dogs will be shampooed at home and not clipped.

Add extra if you use others to do your cleaning or get your dog clipped for summer (which they really love, by the way).

Preventative Health

These costs include:

  • Annual health check and vaccination ($90 per year average in our clinic)
  • Continuous heartworm control
  • Monthly flea control
  • 3-monthly intestinal worming

I hope you notice this is reliably the smallest of the four costs!

What’s Not Included?

I can’t put a dollar value on our time, but it’s precious, and all dogs need a lot of it every day. If dog ownership goes to plan, time will never feel like a cost, but it’s without a doubt your biggest investment in your dog.

Other less predictable costs can be associated with training, boarding, transport, public liability, home rents & mortgages, pet accessories etc. These aren’t included either.

I can’t accurately estimate for cross breeds but they should be at similar rates to dogs of the same size and breed.

And now the chart. If you want to see the actual dollar value for each breed, there’s a table at the end. Click here to see the average sizes of each dog breed used in the calculations. Follow this link to learn more about the diseases associated with different dog breeds.

Chart Of Dog Breed Costs

expense owning dog
Afghan Hound231
Airedale Terrier151
Alaskan Malamute194
American Bulldog212
American Cocker Spaniel131
American Staffordshire Bull Terrier154
Australian Bulldog192
Australian Cattle Dog146
Australian Kelpie140
Australian Koolie140
Australian Shepherd153
Australian Silky Terrier87
Australian Terrier94
Basset Hound158
Bearded Collie203
Bedlington Terrier154
Belgian Shepherd163
Bernese Mountain Dog217
Bichon Frise130
Border Collie138
Border Terrier95
Boston Terrier117
Bouvier Des Flandres198
British Bulldog169
Bull Arab210
Bull Terrier175
Cairn Terrier95
Cane Corso296
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel106
Chinese Crested87
Chow Chow166
Clumber Spaniel178
Cocker Spaniel116
Curly Coated Retriever181
Dogue de Bordeaux261
English Setter164
English Springer Spaniel142
Finnish Lapphund130
Finnish Spitz114
Flatcoated Retriever179
Fox Terrier (Smooth)98
French Bulldog164
German Pinscher141
German Shepherd Dog188
German Shorthaired Pointer173
German Wirehaired Pointer171
Golden Retriever174
Gordon Setter183
Great Dane267
Griffon Bruxellois85
Hungarian Vizsla166
Irish Setter174
Irish Terrier109
Irish Wolfhound261
Italian Greyhound99
Italian Spinone203
Jack Russell Terrier89
Japanese Akita203
Japanese Chin102
Japanese Spitz102
Kerry Blue Terrier101
King Charles Spaniel144
Labradoodle (standard/miniature)187/144
Labrador Retriever191
Lagotto Romagnolo173
Lakeland Terrier95
Lhasa Apso130
Long-haired Dachshund100
Manchester Terrier98
Maremma Sheepdog206
Miniature Dachshund94
Miniature Pinscher87
Miniature Poodle133
Miniature Schnauzer120
Neapolitan Mastiff295
Norfolk/Norwich Terrier93
Norwegian Elkhound140
Old English Sheepdog236
Polish Lowland Sheepdog231
Portuguese Water Dog168
Pyrenean Mountain Dog228
Rhodesian Ridgeback191
Schnauzer (Standard)144
Scottish Terrier100
Shar Pei177
Shetland Sheepdog109
Shiba Inu114
Shih Tzu139
Siberian Husky146
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier124
St Bernard315
Staffordshire Bull Terrier128
Standard Poodle197
Swedish Vallhund116
Tenterfield Terrier83
Tibetan Spaniel121
Tibetan Terrier107
Toy Poodle122
Welsh Corgi111
Welsh Springer Spaniel129
West Highland White Terrier98
White Swiss Shepherd Dog193
Wire Haired Dachshund107
Wire Haired Fox Terrier96
Yorkshire Terrier83

Have something to add? Comments are welcome and will appear within 24 hours of lodging.

Have something to add? Comments (if open) will appear within 24 hours.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. Meet his team here.

4 Replies to “How Much Do Dog Breeds Cost To Keep?”

  1. Thank you for this list of approximate costs for so many breeds of dogs.
    We adopted a gorgeous little girl when she was approximately 6-8 years old.
    We were unable to take out insurance because we didn’t know her age exactly and we had no way of finding out. She had been a ‘lost dog’. Not microchipped. She is now.
    We would not change her for the world, but she has been a challenge with some chronic conditions including a heart murmur, which is getting worse. She is on expensive medication now and has seizures. We love her so much. She brings much joy to our lives and is totally beautiful.

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