The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a tiny dog with a hefty price tag. It’s easy to understand why this breed is desirable, but many owners aren’t prepared for the costs of ownership. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000 — and that’s just for the dog. This breed is known to have certain health problems, which adds to their expense. That said, the cost of their regular maintenance is fairly low, averaging about $65 per month.
Knowing how to budget in advance will help you avoid surprise expenses if you’re considering a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Here, we break these expenses down for you, including the price of obtaining a dog, maintenance costs, and one-time expenses.
Bringing Home a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
There are a few costs related to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that are one-time expenses. These include the cost of adopting or purchasing the dog, spay and neuter surgery, and microchipping.
While shopping online for free puppies can be tempting, there are significant risks to doing so. Many free puppies are the result of accidental breeding, and most are not purebred dogs. Sometimes, senior dogs are offered for free due to the owner’s inability to care for them.
Most free dogs are unwanted and therefore, not well-cared for. There are exceptions, of course, but there is still no guarantee of a healthy dog.
It is significantly cheaper to adopt a dog from a shelter than it is to purchase a puppy from a breeder. However, most shelters only house adult dogs, and Cavaliers are rarely found in animal rescue shelters.
The best chance of adopting an adult Cavalier is to contact breeders who offer the adoption of dogs that are no longer breeding or unsuitable for breeding. Some breeders even offer puppy adoption for dogs lacking show-quality characteristics.
The price to purchase a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from a reputable breeder will set you back between $1,800 and $3,500. Show-quality puppies can cost as much as $4,000. Several factors influence the price of a Cavalier puppy. Puppies with championship bloodlines are more expensive, as are pups that exhibit standard colors that meet the breed standard set out by the American Kennel Club. Puppies that exhibit “substandard” coat colors can’t be entered in dog shows or registered as pedigreed animals, so they will be sold slightly cheaper. If you are purchasing a Cavalier as a family pet, this is a great opportunity to save money by choosing a less popular color of dog.
Since Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are rare dogs with pedigreed bloodlines, they are expensive. Few dog owners choose to purchase a puppy of this breed.
Initial Setup and Supplies
The price of obtaining your dog is just the beginning. There are additional costs to consider for supplies and veterinary care when you bring your new pup home.
The following chart gives an approximate breakdown of these prices.
List of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Care Supplies and Costs
|Initial Vet Checkup||$100–$300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50–$200|
|Miscellaneous Dog Supplies||$15–$30|
|Grooming Tools (Brush, Shampoo, Toothbrush)||$30–$150|
|Food and Treats||$50–$80|
|Leash and Collar||$15–$50|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10–$25|
How Much Does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Cost Per Month?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will require grooming, healthcare, and training, just like any other dog. They’re a small breed dog, so their monthly maintenance costs are fairly low, averaging about $100 per month. This cost is primarily for maintenance, grooming supplies, and food. If you choose to purchase pet insurance, the monthly price will go up slightly, depending on your premium.
Part of owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is budgeting for routine veterinary care. For puppies, it’s recommended to see the vet every 3–4 weeks until they are 4 months old. Since they are usually adopted out at about 8–10 weeks, the first couple of visits and initial vaccinations should be completed by the breeder before adoption. The cost of these visits will likely be included in your initial purchase fee. You will be responsible for the visits after this point.
The first year of a dog’s life is the most expensive, and owners can expect to pay between $1,400 and $3,000 during this time.
The monthly cost of dog food will, of course, depend on the brand of food that you choose. The listed price represents the average cost of high-quality dog food, but not prescription food, which is more expensive.
Since the Cavalier is a small dog, they don’t consume much food. This makes it more affordable to feed them a quality, nutritious food.
Most of the grooming costs of your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be incurred with the initial purchase of associated supplies. These dogs don’t require regular grooming beyond weekly brushing and occasional baths.
You may wish to visit a professional groomer two to six times per year for extra care. These sessions cost an average of $50 per session.
Medications and Vet Visits
All dogs should receive regular wellness visits at the vet. They require deworming, flea prevention, and heartworm medication. Flea, tick, and heartworm prevention is usually only given during the part of the year when dogs are at risk. How many months you need to give the medication will depend on your geographic location.
Pet insurance premiums vary significantly depending on the company and the type of coverage that you choose. Basic accident-and-illness coverage for emergencies offers the lowest premiums, while policies that reimburse the cost of wellness care are the most expensive. Since Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to certain inherited diseases, it is recommended to have pet insurance. Mitral valve disease, for example, occurs in 50% of dogs before the age of 5. Treatment costs range from $1,000 to $5,000, but these can be mitigated by pet insurance.
Cavaliers don’t require extensive environmental maintenance. They don’t have high exercise demands and are satisfied with daily leash walks around the neighborhood. If you work away from home for long hours, you may wish to budget for a dog walker who can let your dog out midday, but otherwise, Cavaliers do fine on their own.
While Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need toys to keep them entertained and busy, they aren’t demanding when it comes to playtime. They’re not destructive or big chewers, so most toys don’t need regular replacement. Budgeting for a new toy every month or two is more than sufficient to keep these dogs happy.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Most of the monthly maintenance costs for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will consist of food, toys, and pet insurance. If you choose to hire a dog walker occasionally, this adds to the expense. Pet insurance costs can also vary depending on how extensive your coverage is.
Overall, the Cavalier is an inexpensive breed to own and has low-maintenance costs.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Individual dogs have different needs. If your dog develops a health condition, you will need to budget for additional treatment costs. If you don’t have pet insurance coverage, this can be substantial.
You will need to plan to take care of your dog when you’re on vacation. Most boarding kennels average between $30 and $50 per day. There are also in-home pet sitters whom you can hire while you are away, depending on your preferences.
Dog training also adds costs, as you will need to budget for the number of sessions that you choose to participate in. Pet insurance does not cover these expenses in most cases.
Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on a Budget
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an inexpensive breed to feed and maintain. Other than the initial expense of obtaining the dog, you can easily keep them happy and healthy on a budget. You can do a few additional things to keep the costs down.
Saving Money on Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Care
Since Cavaliers are already relatively inexpensive to keep, there isn’t much to shave off the budget with regard to their care. You may find that buying large bags of food is slightly cheaper than buying small bags. It is also worth comparing the prices of dog food at big-box department stores vs. pet stores. Many large stores, like Walmart or Target, now carry quality name-brand foods for a lower price than specialty stores. Amazon is also a great place to find savings on food, treats, and toys.
Since vet care makes up the most expensive portion of caring for your dog, it may be worth shopping around for lower prices. Just make sure that inexpensive care doesn’t mean low-quality care.
Avoiding the purchase of novelty toys, treats, and dog accessories will help reduce your monthly budget. You can also choose to groom your dog at home rather than paying a groomer.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are expensive dogs to purchase but low-cost to maintain. You can expect to pay $1,800–$3,500 to adopt a Cavalier puppy from a breeder. You’ll need to cover several initial expenses, averaging $525–$1995. The average monthly cost of maintaining a Cavalier is $50–$280. You can keep these costs down by choosing less expensive items for your dog and doing their maintenance care yourself. Pet insurance, dog walkers, and professional grooming will add to these costs, but most owners won’t incur expenses over $200 per month.
Featured Image Credit: Svetlanistaya, Shutterstock