The Costs of Owning a Dog: Maintenance, Vaccinations, Vet Check-ups, and More
For some of us, the ideal best friend is a furry, hyperactive, and four-legged creature. If you want someone to keep you company or someone who loves warm cuddles, an adorable dog will surely fit the bill.
Owning a dog has undeniable benefits. According to the reputable mental health publication HelpGuide, playing with a dog can elevate the levels of serotonin and dopamine. In other words, dogs help you relieve stress.
However, one truth remains: owning a dog can be stressful, too! This is especially true when it comes to dog care costs. Taking care of younger pets, in particular, is not only physically taxing but also financially demanding. If you’re single and taking care of a dog, you’ll be somewhat forced to try your hand at child-rearing even if you don’t have a kid!
With that, you need to be emotionally and financially prepared before you take home a pooch. Otherwise, you’ll end up neglecting your pet, which of course is not a great thing to do.
Below is a comprehensive guide that will give you all you need to know about owning a dog, from costs to becoming a responsible fur parent.
Table of Contents
- How Much Does Owning a Dog Cost in the Philippines?
- Should I Consider Dog Adoption?
- How Much Does Dog Adoption Cost?
- How Much Does Owning a Dog Cost?
- Final Thoughts
How Much Does Owning a Dog Cost in the Philippines?
The Philippines has many dog breeds, ranging from the beloved aspins to regal toy poodles. In case you’re looking for a dog with a good pedigree, here’s a list of breeds that are popular in the country, including their estimated prices.
Shih Tzu: PHP 5,000 – PHP 25,000
Originating from China, this small dog is known for its long fur, and its distinctive underbite creates its homely appeal. This breed also charms its owners with its affectionate and friendly demeanor. It’s lively and energetic, meaning you will need to have lots of playtime with it. Shih Tzus are also intelligent, a trait that has made them great contenders in obedience and training competitions.
Siberian Husky: PHP 15,000 – PHP 50,000
If you’re looking for a dog with a majestic stance, get yourself a Siberian Husky. Don’t let its wolfish appearance fool you, as this breed can be a bundle of fun. Huskies are ideal family pets, as they’re good with kids and other dogs at home. They can be goofy, too.
However, remember that these dogs are athletic and require regular exercise. Keep them active and physically preoccupied. Otherwise, they’ll dig the earth in your garden or escape when they’re bored. Also, make sure that your home has an air-conditioning system.
Chow Chow: PHP 15,000 – PHP 50,000
Chow Chows are among the most sought-after dog breeds because of their peculiar yet attractive form. They have a thick coat, which makes them resemble a lion. This pup is ideal for people who live alone or have a small family. They’re usually quiet and independent, which are not the typical characteristics of a dog. Training is needed, especially at a young age, as this will help them manage their territorial tendencies.
Golden Retriever: PHP 15,000 – PHP 40,000
If you want an all-around dog that is great for kids, the elderly, and everyone in your family, including other pets, a Golden Retriever is your best choice. Golden Retrievers are commonly described as friendly, intelligent, and confident. Aggression is rarely observed in them, and they have a very gentle disposition. In fact, they’re so gentle that they make poor guard dogs (They’ll just befriend the burglar!). Owing to that mild and friendly personality, Golden Retrievers make great emotional support dogs and guides for the blind.
Labrador Retriever: PHP 15,000 – PHP 40,000
Just like Goldens, Labrador Retrievers are good-natured dogs. The American Kennel Club describes them as kindly, active, and outgoing. Perhaps, this is because of their worker roots. Back in the time, these dogs were used for hunting, detection, and tracking. These days, they function as therapy dogs and guides for the disabled. While pleasant and friendly, these dogs bark a lot. They could use some training here.
Beagle: PHP 15,000 – PHP 40,000
While beagles have a history of being used as hunting dogs, these pups have a very even temperament. They’re amiable, and they are excellent companions for kids and other dogs. They love cuddles and lots of playtime since they have an athletic disposition. You can definitely say that beagles are people pleasers because they love making friends with strangers.
Pomeranian: PHP 15,000 – PHP 30,000
Think of a Pomeranian as your talkative, outgoing, and extroverted friend. Yes, this breed is sociable and natural people pleasers. When you have one, expect that it will demand your undivided attention. However, poms can be quite willful, dominant, and stubborn. You can curb such dispositions by giving your pet training early on. While it undergoes training, you may witness how intelligent your pom can get, as it responds well to commands and cues.
Chihuahua: PHP 10,000 – PHP 35,000
They say big surprises come in small packages. Chihuahuas definitely prove that. Don’t let their diminutive size deceive you, as they’re packed with energy and huge personality. While affectionate, they tend to be very protective of their owners. They may bark at strangers or anyone who will come near their owners. However, their aggression can be dealt with through early training.
Note: The prices above are just estimates. It’s possible to find a purebred dog at a reasonable price if you’re looking at local breeders (though you must proceed with caution). Pet stores and reputable breeders charge much higher, so expect to find a dog whose price goes beyond this list’s range.
Should I Consider Dog Adoption?
This shouldn’t be a question—yes, adoption shouldn’t just be an alternative but a first option. Many dogs in shelters and rescue facilities are waiting for their forever homes. Abandoned aspins and other pups also deserve the same kind of love and attention that purebreds receive.
Dog Adoption Tips
But before you proceed with the adoption, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Know the Dog’s History
Get to know the dog you’re planning to adopt by looking at its history first. Was it a stray dog? Was it surrendered by its previous owners? Was it abused? Asking these questions will help you determine how you can best cater to the pooch’s needs.
2. Check Its Health
This should be easy, as reputable shelters and rescue organizations maintain updated records of their dogs. They also have veterinary partners to make sure that the pups are in good shape. So, when you ask about a dog’s health, you can expect that the shelter will give you a prompt answer.
3. Ask If the Dog is Well-Socialized
The last thing that you’ll want to happen is to find yourself returning the adopted dog to the shelter because you can’t keep up with its energy and aggression level. So, before you leave the shelter, ask if the dog has received obedience training. Find out if it is naturally friendly and well-socialized.
How Much Does Dog Adoption Cost?
Yes, shelters and rescue organizations may impose some fees for the adoption process. For instance, adopting a dog from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) will cost PHP 1,000. Good thing, the fee already covers the following:
- Updated vaccination
- Treatment for tucks and pleas
- Spaying or neutering
How Much Does Owning a Dog Cost?
It may take a village to raise a dog. After all, having a pup under your care is akin to having a child. You have to feed them, get them vaccine shots, and at times, spoil them.
Dog Maintenance Cost in the Philippines
To help you with your budget, here is a list of dog ownership costs to take note of.
1. Cost of Dog Food: PHP 1,000 – PHP 3,000 per 15kg-20kg sack
If you want your dog to grow healthy, you must feed it with high-quality food. You may be tempted to feed your pup human food such as leftovers. But remember that your food contains ingredients that may be harmful to animals.
Your expenses on food and treats will depend on the size of your pet. For instance, if you have a Pomeranian, which is a small dog, a 20kg sack may last up to two months, especially if you properly portion the servings.
2. Toys: PHP 500 – PHP 2,000
Just like humans, dogs need to be entertained and mentally stimulated. You can get cheap ropes and squeaky toys online. But do your due diligence first and check if the toy has choking hazards or components that are potentially dangerous to your pooch.
If you’re physically active, take your dog with you every time you exercise outdoors. All you need is a good-quality stick (which you can pick up at the park) or a rubber ball, and your dog’s good to go.
3. Bed: PHP 500 – PHP 2,000
Sometimes, your dog will sleep beside you in your bed. But if you don’t want to deal with fur and dog smell, train it to sleep in a designated area. You may get your pup a cozy bed. Prices will depend on the size of your dog. And if you want a durable bed that is also easy to clean, prepare to shell out some cash.
4. Collars and Leashes: PHP 100 – PHP 500
Dogs tend to get over-excited when they’re outdoors, and they may chase whatever interests them. Avoid losing your pup by getting it high-quality collars and leases. You’ll need these, especially if your dog is quite aggressive and easily provoked.
5. Grooming: PHP 300 – PHP 1,000 per session
If you’re too busy to bathe your dog or trim its fur, take your adorable baby to the groomers. The grooming cost generally depends on the size of the dog and its coat’s thickness. If you have a Chow Chow, a poodle, or a Siberian Husky, expect to pay a higher grooming fee.
6. Dog Check-ups Cost: PHP 250 – PHP 500
Keep diseases and other conditions at bay by having your dog undergo routine veterinary check-ups. Other than that, the veterinarian may also recommend some examinations, such as Parvo and heartworm tests. Blood tests, fecalysis, and urinalysis may also be required. Keep in mind that these examinations come with costs that are separate from the vet’s check-up price.
7. Dog Vaccinations Cost: PHP 250 – PHP 700 per vaccine
The prices of 5-in-1 vaccine for puppies in the Philippines starts at PHP 400. The 5-in-vaccine protects dogs from canine distemper virus, two types of adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.
On the other hand, an anti-rabies vaccine starts at PHP 250. If you want to save money on this vaccine, check with your barangay or local government to see if it offers free pet vaccination services.
8. Pet Sitting Service: PHP 200 – PHP 700 per day
Leaving for work or going on a week-long trip? Pet hotels are obviously pricey. But if you want a cheaper alternative, you can find someone who is willing to take care of your beloved dog while you’re away. Businesses, such as Pet Backer, match you up with a suitable pet sitter.
9. Obedience Classes: PHP 7,000 – PHP 15,000 (six to seven sessions)
Is your dog being destructive? Is it always anxious or stressed out for no reason? Is it irrationally aggressive toward some of your family members and friends? If you want to deal with these problems head-on, enroll your dog in obedience classes. Expect, however, that trainers will charge a high fee, well, because teaching dogs is challenging.
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So how much does owning a dog cost in the Philippines? It can be expensive so remember that one should not own a dog just for the sake of having one. You own a dog because you’re willing to share that love within you and make some sacrifices. After all, dogs can be stubborn like real kids.
Part of your preparation for being a fur parent is calculating the costs that you may possibly cover. That way, you can figure out how much of your monthly income should go to your pet. While you have this list as a guide, understand that owning a dog also comes with hidden fees, such as hospitalization. With that, it would be also wise to set aside some money for emergency expenses.
-  The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets (HelpGuide)
-  Labrador Retriever (The Kennel Club)
-  Adopt from PAWS
-  What is the DHPP Vaccine (5-in-1 Vaccine) for Dogs? (PetMD)
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