When you decide to bring a canine friend into your home, you are making a lifelong commitment. And, as much as we love dogs, they can be expensive. There are many costs associated with owning a dog. These include grooming, food, veterinary care, toys, and other essentials.
The cost of owning a dog can vary greatly depending on the breed you choose. Some breeds have common health issues, such as hip dysplasia, heart disease, or brachycephalic syndrome. Other breeds require frequent, professional grooming. Some dogs will need a high fence installed to keep them safe. You should also consider the amount of food your dog will need. Large breeds will require a much bigger financial investment in feeding.
Before you choose a new pal, you should decide how much you are willing to commit to spending on care for your dog. To help you narrow down your options, let’s take a look at 25 dog breeds that are less likely to break the bank.
The 25 Most Affordable Dog Breeds
1. American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is the only hairless breed of dog native to the United States. They are energetic dogs that love long walks and playing with their families. The American Hairless Terrier craves your attention and does not do well when left alone for long periods. Because they do not have a coat to groom, you will not have to pay to take them to a groomer. They are smaller dogs (10–16 pounds), so food costs will be lower.
Beagles are widely known as everyone’s friend. They love people and are not good guard dogs because they love strangers, too. Beagles also love food. You will have to be careful about feeding your Beagle the right amount of food to prevent them from gaining too much weight. Otherwise, they make great family dogs and companions. They also are known to be quite healthy, making them a very cheap dog breed when it comes to vet bills.
3. Bichon Frise
The cheerful little Bichon Frise makes a great companion for single people or families. Their tiny size means you won’t have to break the bank feeding your little buddy. They love attention and are very affectionate. The Bichon Frise is also a very intelligent breed. Because of this, they are trainable and love learning. Spending time teaching your Bichon tricks will make them happy and provide you with hours of entertainment!
4. Border Collie
Border Collies are working, herding dogs. They love to have a job to do and things to learn. If you are interested in training and agility, the Border Collie would be the perfect dog for you. It is important to note that work and training are not optional for these dogs. They are not couch potato dogs. They must be kept active and engaged with a task or they will become depressed and destructive. That being said, their high level of intelligence means you can train them yourself without paying for an expensive trainer.
5. Cane Corso
Cane Corsos and Cane Corso mixes are fairly common in shelters, making them one of the least expensive dog breeds as you won’t have to shell out a bunch of money for a puppy. Cane Corsos are large, strong, and intelligent dogs with a short coat and low grooming requirements. They need minimal training, but they like having job to do. The Cane Corso is very loving and loyal to its family but will require socialization to ensure that they do not become aggressive. A firm and experienced dog owner is best for a Cane Corso. It is also important to note that, while they love their families, Cane Corsos do not generally like strangers. These are big dogs, so some of your savings will be offset by feeding costs.
Chihuahuas are little dogs with huge personalities. They are smart and enjoy learning. They also love to be close to their family and will follow you around all day. They do not like to be left alone so they aren’t a good choice for a family who is gone all day. The Chihuahua is not a good choice for a home with young children due to their tiny size. They should also always be watched around other dogs as the Chihuahua can be aggressive, even with larger dogs. The good thing about their tiny dimensions is you won’t have to spend a ton of money on food for your Chihuahua.
7. Chinese Crested Hairless
Like the Chihuahua, the Chinese Crested Hairless needs to be close to you all the time. These adorable little dogs usually select one person to cling to. They are not well suited for being left alone for long periods. There are two types of Chinese Crested. The Hairless variety has no hair and the Powder Puff has only a little hair, which means you won’t have to pay for expensive grooming. The Chinese Crested is also very athletic. Even though they don’t demonstrate a need for much daily exercise, they are capable of climbing, jumping, and sprinting. If you don’t mind a little shadow following you around everywhere, the Chinese Crested Hairless might be the dog for you.
Dachshunds are excellent family pets. They are friendly, playful, and intelligent. The Dachshund is also small enough to live comfortably in an apartment. However, if they are bored, they will bark. Your neighbors may not appreciate the noise. If properly cared for and given enough training and attention, however, your Dachshund will be a sweet, playful addition to your family. They are also widely available in shelters at affordable prices.
Dalmatians love running. They need a home with a large, fenced yard or an active family who will give them plenty of exercise every day. The Dalmatian also needs positive training from a young age to help them learn proper behavior rules. There are two other things to be aware of if you are considering a Dalmatian. They are frequently born fully or partially deaf. This can make training a challenge if you aren’t committed to putting in the necessary work. However, they do not typically have many other health problems, which may save you money on vet bills over the course of their lifetime.
10. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is the polar opposite of the high-energy Dalmatian. They are quite content to spend their days napping and need to be encouraged to exercise to prevent weight gain. Too much weight can exacerbate health problems and breathing problems. Otherwise, the Bulldog is pretty low maintenance. They don’t require expensive grooming and are affectionate, calm, and loving.
11. Glen of Imaal Terrier
These terriers make great, loving, family dogs. They can adapt to almost any living conditions as long as they get enough attention and exercise. Because they were bred as hunting dogs, the Glen of Imaal Terrier loves to dig. They also love to chase. You will need to keep an eye on them so they don’t dig up your yard or chase all of the small animals in your neighborhood. However, their high level of intelligence makes them fairly easy to train, so you won’t need to spend a ton of money on a trainer.
12. Irish Terrier
The Irish Terrier needs plenty of exercise and space to roam. They are also generally very healthy and have a nice, long lifespan. They are very intelligent and need to be trained consistently from a young age. They love their families and are good watchdogs. They will bark frequently, so they do best when they are in a house rather than an apartment. Because the Irish Terrier is a hunting dog, they also are best as the only pet in the house as they may try to chase your smaller pets. They do not like other dogs and can be aggressive toward them.
13. Jack Russell Terrier
Next on our list of affordable dog breeds is the Jack Russell Terrier, a mischievous, intelligent, stubborn little dog. They are not a good choice for first-time dog owners as they can be very difficult to train. They are widely available in shelters, perhaps because people misunderstand their needs before buying a Jack Russell. However, if you are experienced and are looking for a feisty little companion, then the Jack Russell might be for you. These little pups need a lot of exercise and firm, consistent training or they will become destructive.
14. Manchester Terrier
The Manchester Terrier is known as one of the easiest terriers to train, which will save you money on an expensive trainer. They love their family and are very affectionate. They love learning and are eager to please. That being said, they do need a lot of exercise and attention. If left alone for too long, they will bark excessively and become destructive.
15. Miniature Pinscher
The Miniature Pinscher is a bossy and fearless dog. If you are considering one, you will need to be prepared to be a firm, consistent trainer. Doing so will result in an affectionate and dedicated companion. They need plenty of exercise and are good at escaping. You should always be watchful so that the Miniature Pinscher doesn’t sneak out. They are also very curious and love to taste everything they come across. However, their small size means makes them one of the least expensive dog breeds when it comes to spending money on their food.
16. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a friendly, affectionate dog that loves to follow his family everywhere. These cute little bearded dogs crave attention and want to be wherever you are. They like to play and run around. They are also great watchdogs and will bark to alert you of any noise or movement. You can save money on an expensive home security system when the Miniature Schnauzer is in your house!
Otterhounds love to play and run around. You can count on them to keep you active and on your toes. There is no need to pay for an expensive gym membership when you have an Otterhound. They have plenty of energy and need a family that understands their exercise needs. In return, you will have a sweet and affectionate dog. The Otterhound is not only interested in running, but they also love water and enjoy swimming. The Otterhound is a barker, so be prepared to hear their baying frequently.
The Papillon is a tiny, adorable, energetic dog. They love to be around their family all day, every day. They do well in most living environments as long as they get the exercise and attention they need. They also have low food needs due to their tiny stature. Even though they are tiny, Papillons are very protective. They are also fearless and won’t hesitate to go after a much larger dog if they think you are in danger.
19. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a great family dog. Their loving, friendly nature makes them great with kids and other pets. They love to play and have tons of energy. Corgis are also usually pretty healthy so you shouldn’t have huge vet bills for them. The Corgi is intelligent, but can also be a little stubborn. Because of this, training from a young age is recommended.
20. Pit Bull
Despite their reputation for being aggressive, Pit Bulls are actually wonderful, loving, family dogs. They were frequently used as nanny dogs because they were good around young children. The misconception that they are aggressive and dangerous is the result of their use as fighting dogs. The aggressiveness needed for fighting is trained into them at a young age by humans. It is not the Pit Bull’s nature. As long as they are raised and socialized properly, Pit Bulls are intelligent, eager learners who love people and affection. They are easily found in almost every animal shelter so you can rescue one for a low price.
The Pug is a companion dog by nature. They love to be around you all the time and do not like to be left alone. They are affectionate and playful. However, without proper exercise, they are prone to weight gain. The Pug can also get along well with other animals as long as they have been trained and socialized properly. They tend to have a decent lifespan of up to 15 years as long as they are properly taken care of.
22. Rat Terrier
The first thing to know about the Rat Terrier is that they love digging. You will need to give them a place to dig or they will dig up your entire yard. They are stubborn and energetic. Like many dogs, the Rat Terrier wants to please you, but they want to do it on their terms. They need training and exercise. With proper care and attention, these dogs will make good watchdogs and fun family pets. They are also healthy, hardy dogs with long lifespans.
These hairless dogs, also known as the Mexican Hairless, are smart and calm. They may not be cute and fluffy, but they make good family dogs. Their lack of hair also means you will save on grooming costs. These pups bond with their people and don’t like to be left alone. They are fine with a moderate amount of exercise and like to cuddle. They don’t care for strangers and can have a high prey drive.
24. Yorkshire Terrier
The tiny Yorkshire Terrier, our last pure breed on the list of least expensive dog breeds, is a popular pet due to its huge personality. They are feisty and love attention. The Yorkie also gets along well with other pets as long as they have been raised with them. They can forget their size and be a little too brave with strangers and larger dogs, so it is important to always keep an eye on your little companion. Their tiny size means you don’t need to buy a ton of food for them. Yorkies are prone to barking and destruction when left alone, so they are not ideal for people who work long hours.
Perhaps the most affordable dog of all is a mutt or mixed breed! Often purebred dogs are susceptible to genetic conditions and diseases not found in mixed breeds, saving you the high cost of vet bills. Furthermore, many mixed breed dogs are packed into shelters across the country. Adopting saves a life and may also save you money.
While all dogs require a financial commitment, it is important to know which breeds are more likely to incur higher grooming, veterinary, and food costs throughout their lives. Doing your research can help prepare you for what to expect from your canine companion.
Featured Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock