How to Financially Prepare For a Puppy

16 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
February 12, 2023

young puppy with money

How fun – you’re considering a puppy for sale! The anticipation can be a most exciting time. You want to prepare your home for a puppy for a smooth transition from your trusted breeder to a member of your family. 

A puppy is a living, breathing lifetime commitment. In order to be a responsible puppy owner,  you have to be willing and ready to care for your dog from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death…yes, you take a vow to your puppy when you become a pawrent! You are now married to the resolution that you will do your absolute best to keep your puppy happy and healthy for the rest of its life. 

Your expenses do not stop once you get the puppy; in fact, they’ve just started. When you’re looking to buy a dog, you may be wondering how to prepare financially for a puppy to join your family. Here are all sorts of factors to consider – some obvious ones and others you might not have thought about yet – when it comes to the monetary costs of owning a puppy

The Cheapest Price is Not Always the Best Choice

There’s a saying that you get what you pay for, and raising a puppy is no different. Don’t always assume the cheapest price on anything is the best option. In fact, some rock-bottom prices can signal there is no thought to pet safety at all. 

Avoid puppy scams and puppy mills

Let’s think about buying a puppy. When someone has a cardboard sign that says “Puppies for sale” in the gas station parking lot selling them for $50 out of a plastic bin, you have to pause a second. Maybe you saw that cute puppy in the pet store window. Perhaps you’re about to buy a puppy through a social media site. 

Stop! These are all red flags for puppy scams or possible puppy mill dogs. Are these puppies bred by responsible breeders who breed for the very best standards and health? Are the facilities clean? Will the puppy have quality healthcare in the first weeks of its life? Has the person done their very best to provide socialization and mental stimulation puppies need before coming home to you? Are the puppies going home over 8 weeks old? We all know the answer to these questions. Trust your gut instincts and stay away!

Select a puppy from a trustworthy breeder

When you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder, you can absolutely expect a high level of trust in raising puppies in the healthiest manner possible. Responsible breeders aim to develop puppies with the best qualities of each parent, raised in a clean, loving environment, not to mention contracts that protect both you and the breeder. All the paperwork will be in order, and the puppy will have a clean bill of health with required vaccinations for each age and stage prior to leaving for your home. 

Your breeder may offer club registration packets, where they either pay to register your pup or leave you to the decision. Either way, registering your puppy will involve a fee. 

Go for quality pet products

Quality products will be free from materials toxic to puppies. The cheapest bag of dog food on the bottom shelf may not have the best formula for your puppy and contain fillers that aren’t the healthiest for your puppy’s diet. The toy at the bottom-barrel discount store that pop up like mushrooms on every corner in town may not originate from places with safety standards and oversight. It’s best to choose quality puppy products whenever possible. 

Choose Priorities That Fit Your Budget

Rather than go the cheapest, try to find the very best products and services that fit your budget. Decide what is the most important aspect to you – for example, maybe you don’t need all the bells and whistles of a full grooming visit and are willing to opt for a more basic price, but you are adamant on high-quality food no matter what it costs. Or perhaps you aren’t interested in a whole wardrobe for your puppy but know your dog will need specialized dental care which is definitely worth the money. 

Sometimes you will be spending more to prevent expensive issues down the road. For example, some breeds require specific supplements. While they could seem pricey, it sure is cheaper than emergency surgery down the road due to something you dragged your feet on providing for your puppy all along! 


Know Specific Health Issues of Dog Breeds

While we wish our puppies would stay healthy forever, the reality is certain breeds are predisposed to various ailments. Instead of picking out the cutest puppy you see, remember that each specific breed can be prone to certain illnesses no matter how healthy you raise your puppy. While some can be preventable (like keeping up with good dental health), some unfortunately develop. You want to be able to know how to prevent what you can and how much treatment options will be. Here are some conditions that different breeds may encounter: 

  • Eye problems
  • Skin conditions 
  • Certain types of cancer 
  • Bloat in large, deep-chested breeds
  • Breathing problems in snub-nosed breeds
  • Luxating patella, hip dysplasia, and other joint issues 
  • Ear issues with dogs that have floppy ears that can trap bacteria and are prone to infection

Living Costs

When you buy a puppy for sale, you’ll absolutely need to think about how to pick the best dog breed for your living situation. Do you need a fence, whether it be a physical one or an electric collar? Do you live in an HOA that restricts what type of fencing you have, therefore providing few choices in your budget? Does your rental or lease agreement require non-refundable or refundable pet security deposits? If you have other animals, are there additional costs for yours? Even breed restrictions will limit you to what type of puppy you buy. 

Replacement money for the puppy teething stage means your puppy is going to ruin at least one thing important to you no matter how much you try. Whether that’s your (insert expensive shoe) or a ripped screen, you have to be prepared to replace or fix the item (or just part with it). 

Location Finding Devices

When your dog escapes your fence, runs out the front door, slips out of their leash, or won’t come when called, they could easily go exploring on their own. You absolutely must pick a way to identify your puppy if any unfortunate situations occur with a lost puppy. 

Puppy location devices can include microchips, embroidered collars, AirTags, or GPS tracking collars. While location finders all have costs to varying degrees, they will be priceless if your dog goes missing. 


Veterinarian Care and Services 

Price should not be the only reason to think about when choosing the best veterinarian for your puppy, but it is definitely one of the biggest factors to consider. It’s always a good idea to call around and see how much a well-puppy visit is and the services included, as each practice is different. Here is a list of possible puppy veterinarian services performed in a typical vet’s office:

  • Labs
  • Vaccines
  • Anesthesia
  • Microchips
  • Wellness visit
  • Euthanization
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Radiology/X-rays
  • Emergency services 
  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • Prescriptions offered
  • Bathing or grooming 
  • Reproductive services
  • In-house training sessions
  • Dental exams and services
  • Boarding or doggy daycare 
  • Sick visits (unrelated to procedures or medication) 

Emergency veterinarian services

In addition, you have to be prepared in an emergency situation, as your vet will not always be open or equipped to deal with certain scenarios. And we all know puppies do not care about business hours! When you need help, you’ll need it quickly. 

Call around to local emergency vet services and ask what common issues they see and how much procedures can run. Not only will this help you financially prepare for pet emergencies, but they will also give you a better understanding of how to prevent some of these emergencies from happening in the first place. Start saving up now with a dog emergency fund, even if it’s a little bit at a time. 

Sometimes these puppy emergency services cost the full amount up front, even with pet insurance! Unless you have thousands of dollars saved up, you’ll have to be ready to pay the entire bill somehow on the spot. Usually that will require a credit card, which means you have to have one plus enough credit available to cover the cost. 

Food and Nutritional Needs 

You may be overwhelmed at all the nutritional puppy food choices that are out there. Start with your breeder, who will tell you what type of food your puppy is eating. Eventually, you’ll decide when to switch your puppy to adult dog food which will be a different formula made specifically for your dog’s stage of growth. 

In addition, your puppy may need various supplements one day for joint health or other reasons. A variety of the best puppy treats can serve more purpose than for just being a good boy or girl. Anti-anxiety treats can help calm nervous puppies. Training treats are high-value, delicious morsels to motivate your puppy to learn quickly. Dental supplements will help keep your puppy’s teeth pearly white. 


Puppy Accessories: Needs vs. Wants

One easy way to save money is knowing the difference between a need and a want when it comes to puppy accessories. 

Does your dog need 12 raincoats and sweaters? Well, no, but they sure are cute! Maybe your dog does need a minimum of 1-3 if your dog breed gets cold in the winter, but a puppy with a bigger, nicer wardrobe than what you have is excessive, you have to admit. 

Lots of people utilize their puppies as an expression of your interests. For example, your favorite sports team or branded, licensed merchandise is going to be more expensive than a generic, basic item, even if it serves the same function. Choosing the best harness for your dog or the right dog leash for your puppy depends on what works best for your puppy’s size and training journey as well as your personal preference and comfort. 

Sleeping needs

Lots of people crate train, providing a safe, enclosed space for when you are away or can’t supervise or as a chill place to hang out when overstimulated. You can either choose to buy separate ones, but to cut costs, buy one to fit their projected adult size with an adjustable partition that can be moved to a bigger position. 

Selecting the right dog bed for your puppy can also be overwhelming because you might not know how to choose one when staring at all of them at the pet store. A puppy will most likely not need the same style as a senior dog with orthopedic issues. 

Dealing with puppy teething 

Budgeting for anything to help during the puppy teething stage is absolutely necessary! This is definitely where you will want to buy the best your budget can afford, especially if you have a heavy chewer that destroys toys in seconds. Invest in high-quality, durable chew toys, frozen solutions for soothing the pain, and anything on the market that can keep your puppy focused on when and where they can chew appropriately.

Mentally stimulating toys

Mental stimulation for puppies is absolutely necessary to keep their brains engaged and healthy. Whether you make homemade DIY mentally stimulating toys and games for your puppy or purchase them, make sure you rotate out toys so your puppy does not become bored.


So many cutting-edge gadgets can help make raising a puppy a breeze. You might opt to purchase apps, cameras, self-feeders, robot vacuums, or other devices that enhance your life by automating tasks so you have more time with your puppy. 


Grooming Costs 

Understand what goes into the price of your groom and what services are provided. Always comparison shop as one of your factors in choosing a groomer for your puppy

All dogs need regular nail trimming. You can choose to do it yourself or sometimes it’s easier to pay someone. 

Expressed anal glands are important in keeping a puppy clean and sanitary. Most people opt to get this messy, stinky service done professionally!

The type of coat a dog has greatly affects their grooming services bill. Doodles may cost more to groom due to needing extra time to devote to their coats. Dogs that have haircoats need regular clipping. Those that shed heavily may need help removing both undercoats and overcoats. 

Bathing can be another expense whether you have it done or do it yourself. Outside or extra dirty dogs may need more baths. Puppies love to eat poop and other nasty things, so it’s inevitable you’ll need to give them an unanticipated bath.

Here are some grooming items to keep on hand: 

  • Pet-safe cleaners
  • Paper towels
  • Waste bags
  • Old towels
  • Detachable shower head
  • No-slip mat
  • Dog brushes and combs
  • Nail trimmers (clippers or Dremel)
  • Shears
  • Clippers
  • Electric razors and blades

Pet Services While You Are Away

While we’d love to keep our puppies by our side forever (and they would, too!), the time will come when you have to leave your precious bundle of fluff with someone else. Whether you go out of town, are away from the house for a while, or just want to send your puppy in for some old-fashioned playtime and socialization, you’ll need to pay someone to watch and keep your pup safe in a loving environment. 

It can be overwhelming when you’re wondering how to find the best dog sitter for your puppy, but with a little bit of research, you’ll find the right fit. 

In daytime hours, you may wish to hire a dog walker or send your puppy to doggy daycare. They’ll come back well-socialized and exhausted, and we all know a tired puppy is more likely to be happy and well-behaved!

If you sign up for a pet-sitting service or site to search for a dog sitter, you may pay a fee to join. You’ll need to weigh the pricing, considering the individual services and add-ons available. 

When searching for an overnight boarding facility, you’ll find a huge range of accommodations and services. Know what’s included in the base price plus any extra services. For example, add-ons that may be available are grooming, pool time, frozen peanut butter kong treat, individual nature walk, etc. 

Training and Socialization 

Whatever you do, set aside a huge chunk of your budget for proper puppy training and socialization! Whether you teach the basic training commands for puppies yourself or do a send-away camp for 2 weeks, training and socialization is a necessary, required cost as a responsible puppy owner. 

Beyond a puppy obedience class, some dogs will need specialized training, such as guide dogs, therapy dogs, or hunting dogs. You may also own a dog breed that absolutely would benefit from extra training. 

Training expenses can range from very affordable options like a clicker, a basic leash or some treats. They can then progress to special e-collars and go as far as intensive doggy-camp sessions lasting 2 weeks from home. Extra training will also not come cheap, but the results can be priceless when raising a well-socialized puppy. 


Extracurricular Activities

You may want to have some extra fun with your puppy, and that’s great! However, you’ll need to be able to pay for your dog’s hobbies. Some extracurricular costs can be found in dog shows and conformation, agility club fees, or even getting a doggy-friendly non-alcoholic beer or a special treat at the dog bakery. Like to hike or be outside? You may need a special daypack harness, booties, or reflective leash with GPS. 

Traveling With a Pet

Some people love traveling with their puppy! You may encounter facility fees, such as pet deposits like AirBnB. Be sure to travel with a little kit, including first aid and cleaning supplies. You might need a doggy seatbelt/harness or travel crate.

Check with airlines for travel specifications, as fees may vary. You’ll also want a soft travel crate.

As always, being a responsible pet owner is handling any destruction your puppy causes. 

Pet Insurance 

If you’re looking into getting pet insurance for your puppy, you’ll find a huge range of customizable options. Enrolling in pet insurance can save you possibly thousands of dollars and give you a way to afford care when your puppy needs it the most. A great pet insurance policy also gives you peace of mind and takes the stress of unexpected medical bills. 

Be sure to choose the right pet insurance plan for you when shopping around. Your puppy may require more routine services covered under pet insurance, or perhaps you won’t need a top policy. 

Paying For Your Puppy 

At Pawrade, you have several options to pay for your puppy for sale. We make it easy to finance your puppy if you choose! We use a secure platform called PetPay, making transitions easy and seamless to ensure a safe and secure puppy adoption. 

When you use PetPay, you’ll know you are not dealing with a scam; rather, PetPay uses the latest anti-fraud technology to ensure a smooth transaction. PetPay does not reveal any personal financial information to anyone. In addition, PetPay contracts help protect both you and the breeder. 

When you buy a puppy at Pawrade, you can pay upfront or in easy installments through Klarna. Our superb payment options allow flexibility and trust in customers. 

Getting Your Puppy 

Hurray! You’ve bought your puppy! Now you get to decide how you will meet for the first time. Will you do a local pick-up? In that case, you will either drive there or take a flight, so you’ll need gas/wear and tear or plane tickets & parking. 

Will you need ground transportation?

Your Puppy Concierge can work with you to choose a company and times that fit your needs.

Will you need a flight nanny? 

Our flight nanny, Peter, gives an excellent insight into a day in the life of a flight nanny so you can see how the process works first-hand. He has a great point about financially getting ready for a puppy when he says, “Your puppy is going to last longer than your car and will bring you more daily joy anyways.”

Pawrade Puppies For Sale are Waiting on You

Now that you’re totally financially prepared for dog ownership, let us help you in the process of searching our puppies for sale. We have a dog breed to fit every person’s needs, whether you are a retired individual or a family with young children. Contact us today if you have any questions about paying for a puppy, and we’re happy to help you find your new 4-legged best friend. 


Lucy Hughes profile picture

Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

All Author Posts