A dog can be a wonderful companion for a single individual or a family. If you live alone, they are great company, and there are not many parents who haven’t heard the plea for a puppy. Pets can be expensive though, and recent times have been tough for many. There are choices you can make, however, that can bring down the expense of a puppy now and in the future.

Consider the size of the puppy and what size the puppy will grow up to be. In general, the smaller the dog, the less expensive the dog is to care for. First, they eat less, so your food bill will be less. The cost to spay or neuter is generally based on the weight of the dog. Also, dog toys, leashes, and collars tend to be less expensive for small dogs.

Grooming is another consideration. Do they require a lot of grooming? Do they need professional grooming? Dogs such as a Bichon Frise require their coat to be brushed regularly, bathed, and trimmed about once a month. This is an expense you will need to budget for.

Will your dog require professional training? With research and diligence, you can train your own dog. Some dogs are easier to train than others, and if you need professional guidance, this can be costly. Considering the temperament of the puppy you are interested in is important here.

Where you get your puppy can make an enormous difference in the cost. A purebred breeder with papers will be the most expensive. Adopting from a shelter or rescue will be the least expensive. You will also find people with puppies for sale that are a certain breed but without papers. For any breeder, make sure to research their credentials and make sure they are a reputable breeder. Check them out on the AKC site.

If you are interested in a non-papered puppy, make sure you visit the home the puppy is at. You will want to see both parents and make sure it is not a puppy mill. Be sure the puppies are well cared for in a clean environment and have been seen by a veterinarian who has administered their necessary shots.

Contacting your local shelter and rescue groups is a great way to find your furry friend. Many shelters will have a good idea of what breed or mix of breed dogs they have. They will have observed their temperament and can generally tell you if they are suitable for children, are very active, or move at a slower pace. If you are interested in a particular breed, contact your local rescue group for that breed. Petfinder is a great way to find rescues in your area.

The breed of dog you choose can make a huge difference in the cost of getting a puppy. Some dogs are more prone to genetic health issues which can become quite expensive. Some breeds are just more expensive, while others tend to be less. Some of the more affordable purebred and mixed breed dogs include:

  • Puggle
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested Hairless
  • Rat Terrier
  • Foxhound
  • Cane Corso
  • Australian Terrier
  • Dachshund
  • Golden Retriever
  • Miniature Pinscher

Once you get your puppy home, Care Credit can help you finance routine procedures and emergencies that can come up. You can also try and negotiate with your veterinarian. The Humane Society has many ideas to help reduce the cost of having a pet and for paying for those emergency bills that can pop up.