The Cost Of Owning a Dog in Ontario: A Fur-Bulous Budget Guide

So, you’re planning on becoming a pet parent? There’s much love and excitement to it. But also, it’s a new mouth to feed.

Patience, care, training, and food are the costs you had in mind. However, these are not the only ones.

Read more about the actual cost of owning a dog in Ontario.

What Is The Cost Of Owning a Dog in Ontario?

According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), the average annual expenses of caring for a dog are around $3.724.

However, owning a puppy costs more – ranging from $4.589 to $4.666. This is because of the initial costs, like the cost to deworm a puppy, neutering and spaying surgeries, and chip installment.

Moreover, puppies need more vitamins and special food, which can additionally increase these costs.

But how much does a dog cost per year, exactly? We’ll break down the expenses in the table below.

Service/ Product From Up To
Food $330 $3.330
Flea and tick prevention medication $60 $250
Poop Bags $20 $100
Treats $70 $240
Toys $100 $420
Annual Vet Check Up $80 $120
Total $660 $4.460

As you might notice, the costs that can seriously increase the cost of owning a dog in Ontario are connected with the food regime of your pup.

The annual vet checkups along with the meds to keep your dog flea-free are also unavoidable annual expenses, but their costs vary within the average budget.

This being said, we can conclude that the maximum cost of dog ownership in Ontario is $4.460, but you can go as low as $660. Aside from your lifestyle and budget, this cost is also determined by your dog’s breed and size.

First-Time Dog Expenses

Be prepared to take on additional expenses when adopting a dog, especially if you’ve never had a pet in your house.

Some other initial expenses usually come as a one-time cost but definitely add up to the overall dog budget.

Look at the table below to see everything you need to purchase and cover for your new fur family member.

Item/Service From Up To
Adoption Fees $200 $500
Spaying/ Neutering surgery $400 $1.000
Microchip $100
Initial Vet Exam and Vaccines $400 $600
Collar/ Harness $5 $60
Leash $5 $160
Crate $10 $350
Food Bowls $5 $70
Poop Bags $10 $50
Bed $10 $420
Shampoo and Brush $10 $20
Potty Pads $20 $90
Stain/ Odor Remover $5 $20
Pet License $10 $180
Toys $10 $180
Treats $10 $90
Proper Essential Vet Care $120 $400
Total $1.330 $4.290

Your first puppy’s vet visit, alongside the surgery (to save you from future worries), are mandatory and costs more than the rest.

Also, if you decide to rescue pets or adopt a dog from a shelter, you may avoid the initial spaying surgery. Most dogs have already been neutered and spayed in shelters and rescue facilities.

On the other hand, adopting a purebred from a breeder can increase the costs by a few more hundred or even thousands – depending on the dog breed.

However, you don’t have to splurge all the money at once – you can buy one thing at a time, starting with the necessities.

Finally, you can also use old kitchen bowls instead of buying new ones and DIY a dog bed. This will help you stay within budget and save a dime.

Optional Dog Expenses

After breaking down the annual cost of owning a dog, we’re sure you did the math, i.e., your household budget will go up. And it’s not just because of the dog food cost or the average cost of puppy shots.

The cost of owning a dog in Ontario also depends on your own lifestyle. Do you want to take your dog for dental cleaning? Do you want it to be adequately groomed?

Or, maybe you don’t have time, so you need to hire a dog walker?

Here are some of the most common additional expenses that raise the bar on having a dog.

Item/ Service From Up To
Dental Cleaning $500 $700
Wellness Vet Bills $300 $650
Dog Walking $10
Daycare/ Dog Boarding $30
Grooming $30 $300
Training (per session) $50 $300
Pet Insurance $300 $540
Total $1.220 $2.530


All of these expenses are optional. For instance, you can home-groom your pet or train it yourself and avoid some of the abovementioned costs.

But did you know that pet insurance can lower the costs of sudden and unexpected vet visits? This is quite beneficial since the cost of a single emergency visit to your vet can set you back anywhere from $200 to $1.500.

We advise getting pet insurance as soon as you adopt a puppy and saving on further expenses.

How Much Does a Purebreed Puppy Cost?

The breed is a huge factor when it comes to determining the price of a particular dog. Purebreds are expensive, but the dog’s size affects their food budget expenses.

Anyway, how much does a dog cost per month on average?

We’ll elaborate on the prices of dogs according to their breed. Let’s have a look!

1. German Shepherd

Purebred German Shepherd Puppy Price: $1.200 – $2.000

Monthly Average Expenses: $150+

German Shepherds are guardians and can be agressive if not properly socialized. Moreover, they’re one of the most popular dog breeds.

This breed can get a size of 25 inches (males) and weigh up to 95 lbs. Since they’re bigger, they also have a natural tendency for more intense odour than small dogs. Additionally, they have a medium double coat that needs proper grooming. With these things in mind, be prepared to spend more on refreshers and grooming items.

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Puppy Price: $1.000 – $3.500

Monthly Average Expenses: $100 – $149

Retrievers are a large dog breed that can grow up to 100lbs. They’re one of the most popular dog breeds for a family and also companion dogs for seniors and people with disabilities (e.g. blind people).

Goldies are also very active and can be demanding when walking them.

Nevertheless, since you know the average price for Golden Retrievers in Ontario, think about whether you can afford it. And don’t forget to include the cost of grooming items you’ll need. This is because the Retriever sheds quite frequently, its known to be drooly, and has a medium to long coat that needs care.

4. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Puppy Price: $700 – $2.500

Monthly Average Expenses: $50 – $149

The Aussie Shepherd is a medium-sized dog that can grow up to a maximum of 23 inches (males) and weigh between 40 – 60lbs.

They are active as all shepherd dogs are, so you’re definitely up for more nature walks. However, one thing to pay attention to is their medium-length double coat. They don’t shred as much as Goldies, but their coat still needs care and regular grooming.

5. Mixed Breeds


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Monthly Average Expenses: $50 – $149

Getting a mixed-breed dog will save you some money. Their price ranges between $75 and $1.000 — it depends on the parent’s origin and pedigree (if there’s any), among other factors.

However, mixed breeds come in different sizes, big as shepherds or small as chihuahuas. Hence, the cost of owning a mixed-breed dog also varies on the size.

6. Small to Mid-Size Dog Breeds


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Monthly Average Expenses: $50 – $99

Among the popular small to medium-sized dog breeds are Shih Tzu, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, French Bulldogs, and Jack Russel Terrier. Their size demands less feeding, but you’ll be surprised by the amount of energy they have. So, think twice about their feeding habits.

Jack Russels are famous for being energetic, but with Shih Tzu, Poodle, and a Yorkshire, you’ll definitely have regular grooming expenses.

*Their price varies from one breed to another. Thus, it depends on the parents’ pedigree and the breeder’s location.

7. Chihuahua


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Chihuahua Puppy Price: $500 – $1.000

Monthly Average Expenses: less than $100

An adult Chihuahua weighs only 6 pounds. Also, their short fur doesn’t need extra grooming. However, those with longer fur need brushing at least once a week. What’s best is that they don’t tend to have a heavy odor.

All in all, they’re easy to clean after and bathe; however, you may need to buy clothing for the winter to keep their small bodies warm.

Finishing Words

Are dogs expensive? You can say so!

The price of having a dog doesn’t only pay in cash, but with your time too. That said, the average yearly cost of owning a dog in Ontario is over $3.700, and the breed and dog size play a part in determining it.

What’s more, aside from the initial/ mandatory expenses, there are numerous optional and unexpected costs behind the price of a dog.

So, you’re better off without a dog if you can’t meet all the expenses. But, if you get one, ensure it has all the commodities of happy family life.


How much do Pitbulls cost?

A Pitbull puppy can cost anywhere between $500 and $5.000, depending on the pedigree, fur color, and whether you’re getting it from a shelter or a breeder.

However, you should know that you can’t own a Pitbull in Ontario since they are illegal and there’s a ban on them (2005).

How much do emergency vet visits cost?

The initial vet cost for a puppy comes nowhere near the emergency vet visits. That said, an emergency vet visit can go as high as $1.500 per visit and raise the overall cost of owning a dog in Ontario.

How Much is a Chihuahua?

On average, a purebred Chihuahua in Ontario costs between $500 and $1.000.

How Much Does a Corgi Cost?

The average price of adopting a Corgi is around $1.500, but pedigree purebreds can cost even more than $2.200.


When Angela combined her deep-seated love for linguistics with her growing interest for finance and money management, she struck a gold mine. She’s scoured the internet far and wide for all things related to money and finances, including payments, budgeting and investing. Now she’s eager to share her knowledge and skills with the world, determined to make it a better place. In her free time, she loves to read a good book.

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