HomePet NewsDog NewsThe most and least expensive states to own a dog

The most and least expensive states to own a dog

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Watching the National Dog Show with your family on Thanksgiving Day may tempt you to bring home a new furry friend if you don’t have one (or enough) already. 

Loving a dog may not cost you anything, but feeding, entertaining, accessorizing and taking your dog to the vet can add up quickly. In the Unites States, new dog owners pay around $1,750 per year caring for their canines, a recent study from Pettable found.

There are plenty of variable expenses that come with owning a dog that budget-conscious pet lovers can skip (does your dog really need gourmet human-grade food?). But covering the basics like vaccines and spaying or neutering are pretty non-negotiable. And some states offer a more affordable experience than others.

Here’s a look at the average cost of owning a dog in every U.S. state, according to Pettable.

The least expensive states to own a dog

To estimate the typical cost to own a dog, Pettable collected data on how much the basic needs cost during your first year of dog ownership.

Bringing your pup home in the first place may come with adoption fees or other extras depending on where you plan to get your dog. After that, dog owners can expect to pay for food, vet checkups, vaccines and spaying or neutering. Pet insurance can help cover some of those costs, but will come with its own monthly premium.

Dog owners in these states spend the least on their pets, according to survey data and price estimators from insurers and veterinary clinics:

1. Idaho

  • Annual food cost: $103.20
  • Pet insurance: $502.44
  • Vet visit: $52.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $573.22
  • Total: $1,231.81

2. Utah

  • Annual food cost: $185.76
  • Pet insurance: $484.80
  • Vet visit: $57.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $594.77
  • Total: $1,323.38

3. South Dakota

  • Annual food cost: $276
  • Pet insurance: $468
  • Vet visit: $59.52
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $600.90
  • Total: $1,404.42

4. Rhode Island

  • Annual food cost: $374.04
  • Pet insurance:$509.16
  • Vet visit: $61.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $469.63
  • Total: $1,414.78

5. Oklahoma

  • Annual food cost :$379.32
  • Pet insurance: $428.52
  • Vet visit: $51.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $566.41
  • Total: $1,426.20

Many of those costs are going up like nearly everything else, thanks to inflation. A huge boom in pet ownership during the height of the pandemic has now turned into a crisis for animal shelters that report people are increasingly surrendering animals they can’t afford. 

Getting an idea of how much you’re likely to spend on a new furry friend can help you figure out how to work it into your budget, or help you decide to wait until you’re in a better financial situation to bring Fido home.

The most expensive states to own a dog

Dog food costs vary the most across the states, with owners in Idaho paying the least at just $103.20 per year and those in Delaware paying the most at $1,609.44. Those figures helped Idaho and Delaware claim the titles of least and most expensive states for dog owners, respectively. The other cost categories are far less varied.

 1. Delaware

  • Annual food cost: $1,609.44
  • Pet insurance: $548.40
  • Vet visit: $66.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $639.70
  • Total: $2,864.49

2. Massachusetts

  • Annual food cost: $1,406.04
  • Pet insurance: $570.72
  • Vet visit: $69.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $655.93
  • Total: $2,702.64

3. New York

  • Annual food cost: $807.24
  • Pet insurance: $732.60
  • Vet visit: $76.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $688.78
  • Total: $2,305.57

4. California

  • Annual food cost: $792.48
  • Pet insurance: $735.48
  • Vet visit: $71.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $663.63
  • Total: $2,263.54

5. Washington

  • Annual food cost: $961.68
  • Pet insurance: $523.56
  • Vet visit: $67.95
  • Vaccines and spaying/neutering: $647.32
  • Total: $2,200.51

Pettable compiled cost estimates from a variety of sources to rank the states by total approximate cost. Sources include:

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