The monthly cost of owning a dog is more than double what people expected according to new research.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated August 24, 2018
How much does a dog cost - woman playing with dog
Credit: M_a_y_a/Getty Images

They may be man’s best friend, but how much dogs cost their owners each month will probably surprise you. Owning any pet, but especially an active, devoted dog, requires huge investments of time and money on the part of owners, but many dog lovers still underestimate exactly how much that financial cost is.

According to Rover’s new Cost of Dog Ownership Survey that polled more than 1,500 adults, most people believe owning a dog costs between $26 and $75 per month, but data from multiple sources (including the American Kennel Society and the Chicago Tribune) shows that dog owners spend, on average, $153 per month on their furry friends. That’s more than double the highest estimate.

This average monthly expenditure comes after the many costs associated with initially getting a dog, which include adoption fees, purchasing the first supply of bedding, leashes, toys, and other necessities, vaccines (for ailments like dog flu), and spaying or neutering the pup.

Owning a dog may not be for true spendthrifts, but Rover’s survey found that dog lovers are willing to give a lot up for a dog—28 percent of respondents said they’d give up alcohol, while 20 percent would give up coffee.

And the survey results show that many dog owners are willing to go above and beyond that $153 monthly cost of owning a dog, with one in three dog owners saying they would spend more than $250 on a special gift for their furry best friend. (One in four dog owners also admitted to purchasing a massage for their dogs—likely the same people as those installing dog showers in their homes.)

If that monthly cost of dog ownership seems a little daunting, there are ways to lower your pet expenses–and if you think another type of pet would be better for your current finances, be sure to do your research on how much that pet will cost you.