A Dog’s Love is Fur-Ever, But Here’s the Real Cost of Owning a Dog

Rouselle Isla

Rouselle Isla

Last updated January 18, 2023

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 provide warm cuddles, an adorable dog will surely fit the bill.

And why not, when owning a dog has undeniable mood-boosting benefits? However, one truth remains: having a dog can also be financially demanding. 

We’ve come up with a comprehensive guide on the cost of owning a dog, including dog prices in the Philippines, vaccination costs, vet check-up costs, and more. 

What to Consider Before Owning a Dog

cost of owning a dog - what to consider before owning a dog

According to the mental health publication HelpGuide, playing with a dog can elevate serotonin and dopamine levels.[1] In other words, dogs are fantastic stress relievers.

But taking care of dogs, particularly the younger ones, can also be physically taxing and financially demanding. If you’re single and taking care of a dog, think of it as trying 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 it. Here are some things you need to consider before getting a dog. 

✔️ Budget

Can you afford to take care of a dog? Apart from paying the puppy price in the Philippines, can you pay for everything your dog will need, from food to medicine and veterinary care? Remember that these are not just one-time expenses. You’ll provide for your dog for the next seven to 15 years. 

✔️ Dog-Friendly Space 

Do you live in a place that’s conducive to having dogs? If you live in a condo or a small apartment, does your landlord allow dogs? Is there a fenced yard where they can play off-leash, or is there enough indoor space for your dog to roam around safely? 

If you live in a house with stairs or a balcony, or on a busy street with no gate, consider these danger zones. Think about how you can put up safety measures for your dog and make your home as pet-friendly as possible. 

Moreover, you must also prepare for your personal space to be invaded once you have a dog. No matter how much you clean your house or train your dog, there will always be a mess when there are dogs around. 

✔️ Time 

Having a dog is a lot like having a baby. You feed and groom them. You potty-train them, clean after them, take them out for walks and playtime, and bring them to the vet for their check-ups. 

In short, dogs will take up a lot of your time and energy. You may have to sacrifice your me time or hobbies for cuddles, walks, training, and playtime with your dog. 

If you’re busy with a demanding job or constant travel, you may have to postpone getting a dog. Although bringing your dog to work or on your trips is possible, you’ll need to make significant adjustments and shell out more money for airfare and pet accommodations.  

✔️ Commitment

When you get a dog, you’ll be in a relationship with that dog for life. So before you get one, ensure that you’ll be able to provide a good and loving home. Also, consider whether you’re physically, emotionally, and financially prepared for it. 

If you live with a roommate, a significant other, or family members, they must also be on board with your plans to be a fur parent. Since you all live in the same house, they’ll also have to make big adjustments to be part of your dog’s life.

Dog Price List in the Philippines

Perhaps the first question in your mind as a future dog owner is, “How much is a dog in the Philippines?” There are many affordable dog breeds in the Philippines, ranging from beloved aspins to regal toy poodles. Here’s a list of dog breeds in the Philippines, price range included.

🐶 Shih Tzu Price: ₱5,000 - ₱25,000

cost of owning a dog - shih tzu price philippines

According to a study, the Shih Tzu is the most popular dog breed in the Philippines.[2] Originating from China, this small dog is known for its long and beautiful fur. 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’ll need lots of playtime with it. It’s also intelligent, a trait that has made them great contenders in obedience and training competitions. The life expectancy of a Shih Tzu is 10 to 18 years, so you can enjoy many happy years loving and taking care of it. 

Shih Tzu price in the Philippines ranges from ₱5,000 to ₱25,000.

🐶 Siberian Husky Price: ₱15,000 to ₱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 bored. Also, make sure that your home has an air-conditioning system.

🐶 Chow Chow Price: ₱15,000 to ₱50,000

cost of owning a dog - chow chow price philippines

Chow Chows are among the most sought-after dog breeds because of their peculiar yet attractive form. They have thick coats which resemble that of a lion. This pup is ideal for people living alone or with 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, to help them manage their territorial tendencies.

🐶 Golden Retriever Price: ₱15,000 to ₱40,000

cost of owning a dog - golden retriever price philippines

If you want an all-around dog that’s great for kids, the elderly, other pets, and everyone in your family, 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. They’re so gentle that they make poor guard dogs (They’ll just befriend the burglar!). 

Owing to their mild and friendly personality, Golden Retrievers make great emotional support dogs and guides for the blind.

What’s the Golden Retriever price in the Philippines? You'll have to shell out at least ₱15,000 to own one.

🐶 Labrador Retriever Price: ₱15,000 to ₱40,000

cost of owning a dog - labrador price philippines

Just like Goldens, Labrador Retrievers are good-natured dogs. The American Kennel Club describes them as kind, active, and outgoing.[3] Perhaps this is because of their worker roots. 

Back then, 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.

🐶 Bichon Frise Price: ₱6,000 to ₱40,000

cost of owning a dog - bichon frise price philippines
Photo: Heike Andres (Wikipedia)

Bichons are considered among the dogs with the best personalities in the world. Usually bred for companionship, Bichons are playful yet gentle dogs that get along well with kids and other pets. This makes a Bichon Frise a lovely addition to a family with children.

What’s the Bichon Frise price in the Philippines? You can get one starting at ₱6,000.

🐶 Beagle Price: ₱15,000 to ₱40,000

While Beagles have a history of being used as hunting dogs, these pups have a very even temperament. They’re amiable and excellent companions for kids and other dogs. 

They love cuddles and lots of playtimes since they have an athletic disposition. You can say that Beagles are people pleasers because they love making friends with strangers.

🐶 Pomeranian Price: ₱15,000 to ₱30,000

cost of owning a dog - pomeranian dog price philippines

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 be, as it responds well to commands and cues.

🐶 Dachshund Price: ₱2,000 to ₱10,000

Are you looking for a good family dog? A Dachshund is your best bet! Dachshunds make excellent watchdogs and loyal companions at home. Well-trained dogs of this breed are also good with kids.

The Dachshund is one of the cheapest dog breeds in the Philippines. Dachshund price in the Philippines starts at ₱2,000.

🐶 Chihuahua Price: ₱10,000 to ₱35,000

cost of owning a dog - chihuahua price philippines

They say big surprises come in small packages. Chihuahuas prove that. Don’t let their diminutive size deceive you, as they’re packed with energy and a huge personality. 

While affectionate, they tend to be very protective of their owners. They may bark at strangers or anyone who comes 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 higher prices, so expect to find a dog whose price goes beyond this list’s range.

Dog Adoption in the Philippines

Should I Consider Dog Adoption?

cost of owning a dog - dog adoption philippines

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 plan to adopt by looking at its history. Was it a stray dog, or did its previous owners surrender it? Was it abused? These questions will help you determine how to best cater to the dog’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 ensure the pups are in good shape. So, when you ask about a dog’s health, you can expect the shelter to give you a prompt answer.

3. Ask If the Dog is Well-Socialized

The last thing you want is to find yourself returning the adopted dog to the shelter because you can’t keep up with its energy and aggression level. Before you leave the shelter, ask if the dog has received obedience training. Find out if it’s naturally friendly and well-socialized.

How Much Does Dog Adoption Cost?

The cheapest dog is the one you adopt from a friend or neighbor. 

However, if you adopt from a dog shelter or rescue organization, it may impose some fees for the adoption process. For instance, adopting a dog from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) will cost ₱1,000. Good thing the fee already covers the following costs of owning a dog:[4]

  • Updated vaccination
  • Treatment for ticks and fleas
  • Spaying or neutering

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What is the Cost of Owning a Dog in the Philippines?

It takes a village to raise a dog. As mentioned, having one under your care is akin to raising a child. You feed them, get them their shots, and shower them with love and attention. 

To help you with your budget, take note of the following costs.

Dog Food: ₱1,000 to ₱3,000 per 15kg-20kg Sack

If you want your dog to grow healthy, you must feed it 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 food and treat expenses will depend on your pet's size. For instance, if you have a small dog such as a Pomeranian, a 20kg sack may last up to two months, especially if you properly portion the servings.

Toys: ₱500 to ₱2,000

cost of owning a dog - dog maintenance cost

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 potentially dangerous to your pup.

If you’re physically active, take your dog with you every time you exercise outdoors. You only need a good-quality stick (which you can pick up at the park) or a rubber ball, and your dog’s good to go.

Bed: ₱500 to ₱5,000

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’s easy to clean, prepare to shell out more cash.

Collars and Leashes: ₱100 to ₱500

Dogs tend to get over-excited outdoors, and they chase whatever interests them. Avoid losing your pup by getting it high-quality collars and leashes. You’ll need these, especially if your dog is aggressive and easily provoked.

Grooming/Hygiene Supplies and Accessories: ₱100 to ₱5,500

Of course, if you want your dog to look and smell good, you need to buy grooming and hygiene accessories. Dog grooming essentials (shampoo, wipes, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, flea and tick prevention, and nail clipper) can cost anywhere from ₱200 to ₱1,500. 

The prices of dog hygiene supplies like tear stain wipes, towels, blankets, and pet spray also vary depending on the brand. So prepare to shell out ₱100 to ₱700 for these. 

Dogs also need vitamins and supplements to stay healthy and to keep their coats looking good. Dog energy and dietary supplements, dental chewable, probiotics, and multivitamins start at ₱100 and can cost as much as ₱5,500.

You can also buy a Dog GPS Tracker for peace of mind, especially if you have a dog who loves to roam around the neighborhood. Buy one online for just ₱100 to ₱250.

Grooming: ₱300 to ₱1,250 per Session

cost of owning a dog - dog grooming cost

If you’re too busy to bathe your dog or trim its fur, take your adorable baby to the groomer. The grooming cost generally depends on the size of the dog, its coat’s thickness, and whether you’ll avail of just the basic or the full grooming session. If you have a Chow Chow, a poodle, or a Siberian Husky, expect to pay a higher grooming fee.

Meanwhile, some pet owners prefer to book their pet’s grooming sessions at home. Home grooming sessions are more expensive because you pay for the convenience, the groomers’ fee, and other miscellaneous expenses. So prepare to add a few hundred pesos for a home grooming session.

Vet Check-up Cost in the Philippines: ₱250 to ₱1,000

Keep diseases and other conditions at bay by scheduling routine veterinary check-ups for your dog. Other than that, the veterinarian may also recommend some examinations, such as Parvo and heartworm tests. 

Blood tests, skin scraping, deworming, fecalysis, and a urinalysis may also be required. Remember that these examinations come with costs separate from the vet’s check-up price.

Spaying or Neutering: ₱1,000 to ₱5,000

Spaying or neutering prevents unwanted litters, infections, and illnesses, helping your dog live a longer and happier life. It can also help reduce undesirable behaviors, like aggressiveness or marking, usually brought on by their heat cycles. For this, you’ll need to spend at least ₱1,000.

Pet Insurance: Starts at ₱1,125 Per Year

A pet insurance policy prepares you financially for unexpected expenses if your dog gets sick, gets hit by a car, gets lost, or dies. Also, the insurance premium is affordable. For instance, you can insure a six-month to eight-year-old dog at Malayan Insurance for an annual premium of just ₱2,800. 

When your pet is insured, you won’t have to pay for everything out of pocket. Some insurance coverage for dogs may also include cash assistance and burial assistance.

Dog Vaccine: ₱250 - ₱700 per Vaccine

cost of owning a dog - dog vaccinations cost

How much is a vaccine for dogs in the Philippines? Prices of 5-in-1 vaccine for puppies in the Philippines start at ₱400. The 5-in-vaccine protects dogs from canine distemper virus, two types of adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.[5]

On the other hand, an anti-rabies vaccine starts at ₱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.

Medical Emergencies: Varies

Dogs are very active creatures, so accidents or illnesses can’t be totally avoided, no matter how much you take care of them. The cost of medical emergencies varies depending on the procedures and medicines needed. Here are some expenses you may need to pay for in pet emergencies: 

  • Confinement: ₱500 (small breeds) to ₱1,500 (large breeds) per day
  • IV Line Insertion: ₱500
  • Complete Blood Count: ₱850
  • Urinalysis: ₱650
  • Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile: ₱2,500
  • Laser Therapy (for wounds or sores): ₱750
  • X-Ray: ₱2,000
  • Canine Leptospira Antibody Test: ₱1,000
  • Antibiotics:  ₱25 to ₱600 per piece

Dog Boarding/Sitting Service: ₱300 to ₱700 per Day

Leaving for work or going on a week-long trip? You can book a pet hotel if you don’t want to inconvenience friends or family members by having them pet-sit while you’re away. 

But pet hotels are pricey. If you want a cheaper alternative, you can find someone willing to take care of your beloved dog while you’re away. Businesses like PetBacker[6] match you up with a suitable pet sitter.

Obedience Classes: Starts at ₱500 per Day

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. However, expect that trainers will charge a high fee because teaching dogs is challenging.

Obedience classes for small breeds start at ₱500 per day (or about ₱15,000 per month). There are also well-known dog obedience schools, such as Manalo K9, that charge ₱65,000 for a three-month basic and advanced obedience course. 

Read more:

Some Tips to Reduce the Cost of Owning a Dog 

Like any significant financial undertaking, saving for a dog can help you reduce the costs of having one. Ideally, save at least three to six months of living expenses for your pet fund. 

Save to get or adopt the puppy, and then save to buy its essentials, such as food, treats, medicines, and veterinary check-ups. 

Research what procedures and medications you can expect to pay for at the vet. Factor all these expenses so you can save the amount and put it into your dog fund. 

Walk your dog instead of hiring a dog walker. Watch YouTube videos on basic dog training so you won’t have to enroll your fur baby in expensive dog obedience schools. 

More importantly, get pet insurance. Unexpected pet-related expenses can drain your wallet, so it’s better to have pet insurance coverage that will cover costly medical expenses and veterinary treatments. 

Final Thoughts

The cost of owning a dog in the Philippines can be expensive, especially if you want to give it a good and happy life. So don’t get a dog just for the sake of having one. You should own a dog only if you’re willing to share that love within you and make some sacrifices. After all, dogs can be stubborn like real kids.

Calculating the costs you may cover is part of your preparation for being a fur parent.  That way, you can determine how much of your monthly income should go to your pet. And while you have this list as a guide, understand that owning a dog also comes with hidden fees, such as hospitalization. It’s also wise to set aside some money for emergency expenses.

Personal loan in the Philippines

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Rouselle has over eight years of writing experience in the personal finance niche. She has written feature stories, articles, and how-to guides on various personal finance and trending lifestyle topics. And when not writing or editing articles, Rouselle likes binge-watching Netflix shows and fixing herself a nice, tall glass of iced coffee. Follow Rouselle on Linkedin.