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Puppies 101 - Getting Started

First Year Puppy Costs

By Mawoo Pets · 19 Nov · 9 min read
First Year Puppy Costs

When you fall in love with the perfect little puppy, it’s hard to focus on details like vet visits and the cost of everything over the course of the first year of puppyhood. You’re probably more excited about your new puppy's toys than about pet insurance right now, and that’s understandable!

Before jumping in, take some time to add up the expected costs of dog ownership, just so you are prepared for the expenses and know whether you are really ready to get a new dog. Here's everything you need to know about initial costs and how much a puppy costs in the first year, and how to set a budget.

How Much Does a Puppy Cost in the First Year?

The average cost of a puppy in the first year is different than most other years, mostly because you’ll need to drop by the veterinarian’s office multiple times for vaccinations and check-ups. It’s estimated that on average, puppies cost between $750 and $2,000 in their first year, plus the amount of the buying price.

For any puppy, first-year vet costs include basic injections, vaccine booster shots, health checks, and potential treatment for injuries and sickness. In addition to medical expenses and the cost of buying the dog itself, first-year costs will include pet insurance, training, regular grooming, pet accessories, microchipping, and pet-sitting or boarding fees.

If you’re unsure about any part of the process, remember it is totally fine to ask questions when buying a puppy! We have all the information you need, and more. At Mawoo, we’re dedicated to making your first year, first month, and first week with your puppy as wonderful as it should be.

Upfront Cost of a Puppy in the First Year

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step expenses involved in the process of buying a puppy, bringing it home, and keeping it healthy and happy during year one. You can use this guide to estimate your own costs depending on the cost of the puppy you want to buy and the breed.

Purchase Price or Adoption Fees

The purchase price of every puppy is different, according to its genetic heritage, size, popularity. and whether it is a purebred. You can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to several thousand depending on physical features, cost to the breeder, and whether you are adopting or buying a dog.

Must-have designer dogs like Cockapoos and Chow Chows tend to cost more than tried-and-true Terriers and Pointers simply because they are more complicated to breed and more in demand. Dogs who cost the least are mixed breed mutts that are found in animal shelters and foster homes, since the price is meant to repay rescuers and veterinarians for saving and returning the dog to health.

Adoption fees refer to rescued dogs, while purchase prices are assigned to puppies available from professional breeders. Both should include basic medical attention, such as first vaccinations, spay and neuter (unless prohibited by the breeder’s contract), and a full check-up.

Crate and Bed

Before your new puppy moves in with you, you should do some thinking about where they will sleep and spend most of their time. Even if you want your dog to sleep in bed with you or nap on the couch (which is totally up to you!) it’s a good idea to give them a doggy bed of their own. That way, they always have somewhere to go when they want to get away from it all, plus a comfortable and familiar place to sit or sleep when away from home.

A crate will be necessary for travel, whether it is taking your puppy home for the first time or visiting the family on holidays. The crate shouldn’t be too snug; look for a carrier that allows your dog to sit, stand and turn around comfortably. Of course, as your small pup becomes a big dog, they will need more space.

You may also choose to use your puppy’s crate for crate training. Crate training is a method of teaching your dog house manners that involves establishing the crate as a calm and comfortable place to relax or sleep. It can help to stop a young dog from destroying household items and peeing indoors. Usually, crates and carriers cost between $50 and $200.

Leash and Collar or Harness

Most vets and dog trainers agree that dogs should learn to walk with a leash and harness, but that a collar is best way to go for everyday wear. Be careful to select a collar that features a breakaway latch so your puppy won’t accidentally get stuck somewhere and choke. Talk to your vet or dog trainer about when and whether you should switch to a non-breakaway collar.

Nylon and leather leashes are both durable and strong, and should have details on the size of dog they can handle on the packaging. The same goes for collars and harnesses. Many will grow with your puppy to a certain extent thanks to adjustable straps.

You should be able to find a good collar, harness and leash for under $50, but these will all need replacing at some point, depending on how fast your dog grows.

Toys and Other Puppy Supplies

Now comes the most fun part! Dog toys are something the two of you can enjoy together, both indoors and out. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing toys: Size and material are important.

Dogs, especially very young dogs, love to chew anything they can get their paws on. Don’t expect any chew toys to last very long! Anything that goes into your dog’s mouth should be non-toxic and harmless if swallowed, so keep plastic toys put away when they aren’t being played with. Some chew toys made from very hard rubber are almost indestructible, which makes for a safer play experience.

There’s no solid price tag to be put on toy and puppy supply annual expenses, since it’s all up to you. Try out a few types of toys to find out what your puppy likes best and follow their taste. A few things to chew on is a good place to start, but you can also try throw toys like tennis balls or frisbees.

Other supply needs include crunchy food, wet food, treats, cleaning supplies, puppy clothes and boots for the cold, and more according to need and whatever you are just excited to try out. Make sure your pet food supplies are veterinarian-approved, as not all dog food on the market is as nutritional as your dog needs. Food will cost about $50 per month to begin with, and increase according to your adult dog's size and breed.

Puppy First Year Vet Costs

As we’ve already discussed, veterinary visits are the most important appointments in your puppy’s first year. A vet should have already performed a health check and given first vaccinations before your puppy leaves its mother and comes to its new home. Afterwards, you’ll need to follow a vaccine schedule and drop by the clinic for various reasons. Talk to your vet about potential health problems during the first year of pet ownership, as some breeds may be more susceptible to certain diseases and injuries.

Wellness Exams

Even when nothing is wrong with your puppy, you’ll need to stop by the vet’s office every few months for a health check. Veterinarians know exactly what symptoms to look for in young dogs to find out if they are developing genetic diseases, suffering from parasites or common illnesses, or acting strangely for their age or breed.

Vaccinations

During a puppy’s first year of life, several vaccinations are given to prevent a dog from catching very common and potentially deadly diseases. These include shots against Bordetella bronchiseptica, distemper, influenza, parainfluenza, heartworm, parvovirus and rabies. Shots are spread out over the course of a year, including boosters. The whole series will cost at least $100.

Spaying or Neutering

Dogs are normally spayed or neutered within their first few months of life to prevent them from reproducing unwanted puppies. Some veterinarians prefer to wait until a dog has reached one year in age to perform this surgery, so the timing is something you’ll have to talk about with them.

The breeder who sells you your puppy may or may not require you to have them spayed/neutered. The purpose of this clause is both to prevent increasing the population of dogs, and potentially to prevent you as a pet owner from using your dog to become a breeder. In either case, the cost of these surgeries depends very much on what type of clinic performs the surgery.

Humane Society clinics are often the most affordable, and it will cost less to neuter a male dog than it costs to spay a female. Budget anywhere from $50 to $350 for the surgery and follow-up veterinary care.

Microchipping

Microchipping your pets is mandatory in some cities and regions. The procedure involves using a hollow needle to insert a very tiny computer chip under your dog’s skin along its spine. That chip contains your name, address and contact details as the dog’s owner and can be used to find lost pets returned to the shelter or clinic. Expect to pay $50 to $75 for this service.

Other First Year Puppy Costs

So many factors come into play when it comes to the cost of having a puppy. Will you groom, wash and trim the dog yourself? Will you train your own puppy or hire an obedience specialist? What about your work schedule, will that require a pet sitter or dog walker? Remember to consider your lifestyle and dog maintenance plans when budgeting for the first year of puppy ownership! The following are some of the most important pet care expenses.

Grooming

For most dogs, grooming is essential every one or two months. Professional groomers not only wash and dry your doggy, but trim their fur and nails to keep them looking neat and tidy. Each grooming appointment costs between $50 and $100, though if your dog is particularly big or hard to handle, the cost will be more.

Daycare and Boarding

Most dogs, particularly when they are just puppies, shouldn’t be left on their own for whole days at a time while you go to work. It can be upsetting for sensitive breeds like Beagles and Spaniels. If you need to be away for most of the day, arrange for someone to come over and spend time with your dog, or take them to a doggy daycare. A dog walker can also be a great help.

A family member who would be at home with your dog anyway can usually be persuaded to look after your puppy for free. Professionally, a pet sitter or kennel boarding can cost anywhere from $20 to $75 per day and night, though long-term contracts could save you some money overall.

Training

Puppy training can be done by anyone with time and treats—whether that’s you, your friend, or a professional dog obedience trainer. Simple commands like, “sit,” “stay,” and “come” are something most people can help their dog learn, but not every dog learns as easily as its neighbour. In addition, dogs need to learn to potty outside, keep calm when strangers stop by, and keep barking to a minimum.

If you decide to get help with positive-reinforcement training for your puppy, you can either take them to obedience school or have a trainer stop by for personal lessons. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars either way for 5-10 training classes that help your dog learn the basics. Be persistent and confident in the learning process, and even the most boisterous puppy will calm down eventually.

Pet Health Insurance

Pet health insurance should cover the emergency costs of treating and medicating your puppy following an accident or illness. This should also include dental care. Most plans cost between $20 and $60 per month, per pet. If you have a multi-pet household, there are a few group plans available that could keep the costs down.

Puppy Emergency Fund

If you don’t already know how chaotic a puppy can be, you will soon! It’s very important to plan for anything going wrong at any time, which will inevitably cost money. As a good dog owner, you’ll need to be able to pay for unexpected trips to the veterinarian, the groomer, and even doggy daycare.

Budgeting for Puppy’s First Year

When you write out a budget to figure out costs for your puppy’s first year at home, remember to check into breed details that might affect those numbers. An Alaskan Malamute eats a lot more than a Dachshund, and a Chihuahua might need more visits to a professional trainer than a Border Collie or a Lab.

To find out which puppy breed suits you and your lifestyle best, take ourDob Breed Quiz. It only takes a minute to be matched with adorable dog breeds and actual puppies for sale through our excellent network of reputable breeders right now! We wish the very best for you both during puppy's first year.

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