How much does it Cost to Adopt a Dog?

Adopting a dog from a shelter is among the best ways to express yourself as an animal lover. Fortunately, there are various avenues to find the perfect pet. Since dogs can be so cute, it’s possible to rush into the adoption process before fully realizing its cost. You should know how much it costs to adopt a animal and compare your options before you make your decisions.

how much does it cost to adopt puppy@tan4ikk / Freepik

How much Does it Cost to Get a Dog?

There are several ways to get a pet. You can consider ‘Clear the Shelters’ or ‘free-adoption’ events. They present an excellent opportunity to get dogs and create space for other homeless pets at shelters. If you are yet to adopt a pet because of the upfront costs, it may be an indication that you’re not quite ready to be a dog owner. It is vital to ensure you’re financially prepared before you adopt a animals from the shelter.

The first expense when adopting a animal from a shelter is the adoption fee. The fee differs based on things like where you live, is the adoption through a private rescue organization? Or is it through a city shelter? You may get a pet at little to no cost, and you may pay steeply for it. The price, therefore, ranges from a relatively low fee to several hundred dollars. When it comes to puppies, small dogs or purebred dogs, shelters, and rescue organizations usually charge heavily.

Even when adoption fees appear expensive, it’s still reasonable when compared to the cost the shelter or rescue has incurred to cater for the pet you have decided to adopt. They are mandated to provide food and veterinary care, train, and sometimes rehabilitate the animalss and puppies before their adoption.

The adoption fee generally covers the cost of spaying or neutering the dog and can cost up to or more than $350.

how much it cost to get a dogPhoto by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

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How can I get a Free Dog?

Technically, getting a free pet is possible, especially if you don’t insist on a particular mix or breed. There are free dogs of all ages and sizes. If you’re opting for a free family friend, you need to be on the lookout for adoption-fee free events at your local shelters. There are other options for getting a free dog, but this is arguably the most responsible way to go about it.

You can also ask around. Your family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances can be on the lookout for you. Eventually, someone they know will have puppies that will need new homes when weaned after about 8-12 weeks.

Another route is to go through a daily or weekly newspaper publication in your area. Such publications often feature at least one page of classifieds. You may find a section for family friends in need of adoption. You’re very likely to find a section dedicated to or featuring pets in need of adoption. These publications can be a local alt-weekly or a paper with a wide regional circulation.

You can also get dogs for free through Craigslist. However, you need to be extra careful if you go this route. Read the listing in full and ask any question that is relevant to your request. Be sure to check out why they are giving the pet away and for free. Ask if it’s spayed, vaccinated or neutered. From the landing page on Craigslist, find your home state, and dive down to the metro area closest to you. Select the category labeled “Pets” under the “Community” heading. At this point, you need to use your intuition.

Even when you get a family friend for free, you will still incur costs as a pet owner. Live things cost money for continued survival.

Dogs for Adoption on – is proud to be a part of the online dog adoption community. Browse thru thousands of Dogs for Adoption, listed by Dog Rescue Organizations and individuals, to find your match.

Ways you will spend money on your Dog

1. Dog Supplies

When thinking of getting a pet for free, know that you will spend on supplies for the pet when it becomes yours. A pet’s necessary supplies include treats, toys, ID tags, dog beds, harnesses, dog bowls, collars, sturdy leashes, and appropriately sized crates. You may spend about $250 on supplies.

2. Dog Food

Your pet will eat, right? And as the owner, you are now responsible for feeding it. Although the quality and cost of family friend food vary, you still need to buy it the best you can afford. Dog food costs an average up to $90

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3. Dog Training

A lot of people who are new to the pet adoption scene think dog training is negligible. It’s not. It is a necessary expense that you must consider when adopting a pet. Al least, opt for the discounted basic manners classes provided by some shelters and rescue organizations. You may pay up to $100 to $300 for a six-week-long dog training classes, depending on where you live. If this doesn’t suffice, you may need to register your pet for private training. In most cases, private training is worth it as it results in happier dogs that become safer in addition to the family and community. Private classes also provide an opportunity to bond with your family friend and build their confidence.

4. Dog Walking / Dog Sitting

Do you work a 9-to-5 job? Are you taking a no-pets-allowed vacation in a few months? There’s a high chance that you’ll need a pet walker or doggie daycare if you’re always busy during the daytime. If you need to travel without your family friend, you’ll need to pay for a dog sitter. While the prices for these services vary based on where you live, they can add to the cost of raising a pet.

5. Vet Bills

Vet bills are a recurrent expenditure for your new pet. If you adopted a puppy or a young dog, you’ll probably make frequent vet visits. Vet costs also include unexpected and emergencies such as injuries (if your dog is active and large). Vet costs vary depending on your location and the pet treatment.

6. Pet Insurance

Pet health insurance plans are similar to human health insurance. With a small monthly premium, you can have the larger bills covered by the insurance. There are different pet insurance companies you can research to find the most suitable fit for your family friend. Some pet insurance plans may not extend coverage for pets that have existing medical conditions, or dogs that train in sports like agility. Ensure you’re familiar with the details of any pet health insurance plan before you buy into it.

how much does it cost to adopt dog at petsmart@victoriadunn / FreePik

Cost to Adopt a Dog from PetSmart

Adopting a pet from a PetSmart shelter is a good decision. PetSmart has a number of adoption shelters and you can select from the one closest to you. Each adoption event or center varies according to the locality and preferences of the adoption partners. Adopting a medically vetted, spayed/neutered and vaccinated animal may cost from $150 – 350.

Regardless of the slight differences, here are the common processes to adopt a pet from PetSmart:

1. An Interview

After you’ve decided on the dog to adopt, you’ll need to meet with a representative at the local adoption group. You’ll answer the questions they ask which is to ensure that the dog is a suitable match for your home. The questions also convince notify them if you’re capable of making the family friend happy. They may also share valuable insight about the pet’s personality, medical history and habits.

2. Some Paperwork

This is the stage where you’ll do fill out an application and also pay the adoption fee. The fee is usually determined by the adoption partner. This process may take about 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Taking Your Pet Home

In a lot of cases, you can take your animal home the same day. However, there are times when additional requirements such as background checks and a home visits will stall the time to take the pet home. These requirements are often to ensure the long term safety of the family friend. Before you begin, ask your adoption representative about the time it’ll take to conclude the adoption process. PetSmart has some same-day adoption shelters if you want to take the dog home the same day.

Visit PetSmart website to find pet near you.

how much does it cost to adopt a dog at petco@lifestyle80 / FreePik

Adopt a Dog Cost at PetCo

PetCo helps to match wonderful, adoptable pets with loving families. It is a perfect shelter to find the right dog for adoption. Adopting a animal at PetCo begins with a donation of $25 or more. You can start the adoption process at any of the adoption habitats which operate every day, including weekends.

To find shelter in your area, visit the PetCo Foundation website.


Taking care of a living thing comes at a cost. Even if you get the dog for free, you must be willing and able to cater to it financially if you want to keep the pet happy. Since you are probably getting a pet for companionship, bonding with your dog will be a priority and this can only be smooth when you utilize the resources to make your family friend happy and comfortable. It is therefore advisable to activate the adoption process when you’re ready in every way, not only when you feel like it.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

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