Close this search box.

Episode 117: Max costs Money

The cost of having a dog with Mak and G
Episode 117: Max costs Money


We all know having a dog isn’t cheap but how much does it really cost?


This week, Mak and G dive into the costs of having a dog, what it all adds up to, and what other pets you can get that won’t break the bank…


Having a dog as a pet is like adding a member to the family, and they bring a range of benefits to children’s development too.


But what are the hidden costs involved with having a dog, and how do we work out how much they’ll cost us in the long run?


Today, Mak and G join forces to find out why dogs cost so much, what all these costs add up to, and see if they can find some other cheaper alternatives…


“Everyone can spend different amounts. I found the range for a dog is between 800 and 2,000 dollars a year on the low end.” – G


“We have to start and think about all the things a pet would need and do some research.” – Mak

Time Stamps:

00:30 – Why last year fewer dogs were rescued from shelters while dog purchases from breeders soared.

02:11 – The unexpected costs of having a dog as a pet.

04:19 – How to analyze how much it costs to get a new pet.

06:11 – How much the average owner spends on their dog.

06:57 – The benefits of having a dog.

07:45 – Less expensive pet options.


Connect with Ben Jones:



DAD: Welcome back to money with Mak & G.  Don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment.   Mak, what were just talking about?

MAK: I was just saying what a great fourth of July we just had.  Fireworks, sunshine, picnic, a little pool action, the Farmer’s Market and lots of great food.

GRANT: I agree baby sis. It’s always a great time, but you know who doesn’t like it much?

MAK: Oreo!  I guess most dogs don’t do very well over the holiday.  You know Daisy, grandma’s dog, she doesn’t like the fireworks either. 

GRANT: Clearly the noise bothers them, but since they go off at random times, I’ve read that dogs perceive them as a threat.  It triggers that whole “fight-or-flight” response.  Then, Oreo starts to bark, run away and even hide.

MAK:  Yeah, he loses sleep, pants, whines and other stuff.  I think keeping him with us and comforting him while really turning up the white noise in the background helped this year.  Treats also take his mind off things.  Anything to distract him, right? Hey, did you see the article that less pets were adopted from animal shelters and rescues last year due to COVID?

GRANT: Ok, that seriously doesn’t sound right.  I thought more people were at home and adopted more pets than ever. I remember many people being put on waitlists?  That doesn’t make any sense.

MAK:  It does sound weird.  It appears there were about 17% less adoptions from shelters and rescues in 2020.  It looks like a supply and demand thing.  The number dropped from almost 1.9 million to around 1.6 million due to supply. Since people were home, fewer people GAVE UP  their pets and the number of stray pets going INTO shelters went down 27%. Isn’t that crazy?  

GRANT:  So, that must mean that dog breeders have soared.  From what I found online, that’s exactly what happened. It looks like the lack of animals available at shelters made people go looking to BUY a pet from a breeder or store.  Here’s the question, what’s it cost to have a pet?

MAK: Great question.  I’m not sure dad looked at that when we got Oreo.  Do you remember when we first brought him home, and less than a week later we were at the vet?

GRANT:  I honestly thought dad was going to make us get rid of him.  When he ate those mushrooms on the walk with mom and almost died, that was some emotional trauma.  Thank goodness the vet was less than a mile away from our house or he wouldn’t have made it. Do you remember how much that visit cost???

MAK:  I think mom said it was about $1,000.  The SECOND time it happened a couple weeks later was even more. He ate the same mushrooms and had a NICE. You know.. a Nasty Intensive Care Emergency. He had an overnight stay in the puppy ICU. Dad wasn’t even sure he liked having a dog.  I don’t think Mom wanted Dad to know.

DAD: Know what guys?  

GRANT: We were talking about aaaaaaaa (searching for the words, to not let dad know)….. Oreo, and how he learned how to roll over and shake.  It’s pretty cool. You should see it.

MAK: Yeah, I can get him to talk on command and fetch his toys too.  Super cute.

DAD: You know, I was just thinking about Oreo.  

MAK/GRANT:  You were?

DAD: Yeah, doesn’t he need his claws clipped and a trim.  I love that little guy.

GRANT: Sounds like you’re good with spending money on Oreo?  We know spending money is one of your least favorite things.

DAD: It is, but I love you guys, and spending money on you, though hard, is worth it.

MAK: Thanks for the overwhelming vote of confidence dad!!

DAD: Sorry. I LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU. Hey, but before we had you guys mom and I had to talk about the money.  You cost a lot. We did a bit of research. But, I didn’t do it before Oreo. I thought it was simply some food and we’re done.  I’ll have to admit, that wasn’t so smart.

GRANT: Big miss on that financial decision. Hey dad? But, we’re super glad you didn’t, or you might not have let us get him, especially after the mushroom incidents. (slipping up) OOPS!!!

MAK: Grant, you weren’t supposed to say anything! Ok, dad. Let’s forget about Oreo for a minute. Think good thoughts.  But, if you WERE to get another pet, how would you analyze it?

GRANT: Mak, I think dad would say we have to start and think about all the things a pet would need, and do some research, right? That would include:

MAK: Food and treats


MAK: A bed, leash and collars

GRANT: Microchip maybe?

MAK: Vitamins and training

GRANT: Pet insurance

DAD: You’re right.  Mom bought pet insurance after our second incident, and no issues since then. Those things all add up, and depending on each family you can spend more or less.

MAK: You got that right. If you buy a Gucci dog bed, that’s a lot. Or if you hire a “Danny”.

GRANT: That’s a Dog Nanny.  I knew that one.  But how about paying for “Doga”?

MAK:  I got that one covered.  That’s Doggie Yoga. I bet Oreo would nail “Downward Dog”.  It all costs more money, just like choosing to feed your dog only free range and raw foods.  If that’s not crazy enough, did you hear about how expensive a dog collar can cost?

DAD: I got this one.  Our dog collar costs 3.2 dollar.  But, this company called “La Collection de Bijoux” which is french for jewelry collection, has a stunning line of diamond dog collars. It has one called the “Amour Amour” Dog Collar which means “Love Love” in french. It shows your complete LOVE for your pet.  It has a total carat weight of 52 with diamonds, platinum and crocodile, which provides comfort and durability for a mere $3.2 million dollars.

GRANT: That’s literally 1 million times more expensive.  That’s nuts. I’d be afraid to walk around with him for fear of someone stealing it…and him.  Wow, I was just worried about the vet bills.

MAK: Ok, everyone can spend different amounts, I found the range for a dog is between $800 and $2,000 per year on the low end, up to $10,000 per year on the higher side. That includes:

MAK: Food, treats and supplements

GRANT: Pet insurance

MAK: Medical exams and vaccinations

GRANT:Toys, leashes and collars

MAK: Beds, some training and microchips

GRANT: So if dogs live for around 10 years, that’s between $8,000 to $100,000.  The average is actually around $15,000. That doesn’t include BUYING the dog either.  That’s a lot. Plus, you always have to think about your dog if you want to take a trip. We’ve had that discussion a lot!

DAD: I know. I’ve thought a lot about all the expenses. However, there are a lot of benefits.  He’s such a great companion, member of the family and studies have shown that having a pet is comforting. It says kids have higher self-esteem, improved social skills and are more popular. Did you read anything about other benefits?

MAK: More exercise

GRANT: Better emotional understanding

MAK: Sharing which reduces loneliness

GRANT: Better immune system

MAK: Teaches us responsibility.

GRANT: Which is walking and feeding him

MAK: Plus, picking up his poop!

GRANT: It says it also boosts the LOVE between brothers and sister

MAK: Not sure how that happens, and if it’s true. I’ll have to think a bit more on that one!!

DAD: It’s definitely expensive and requires some thought if it fits in your budget.  But, there are a lot of benefits too. So, I’ve come up with several less expensive choices online. Can you help?

GRANT: Sure.  The first is a Leopard Gecko. Kind of like the one the insurance company ads. It will set you back about $250 for the Gecko, tank and supplies. Plus lots of trips to get food, which is another $250/yr for crickets and worms. NICE…

MAK: Here’s a long-time favourite. The goldfish.  Prices vary, but if you’re cost-conscious, your TOTAL for everything is $50 for the fish, a bowl and ALL its food FOREVER. MUCH cheaper!

GRANT: Ok. Here’s another cheap one. An Ant farm. You can completely set it up for less than $40 for the farm and ants.  Food is about $6 per YEAR. But, have to pray, the farm never breaks

MAK: Or mom would go NUTS!!!!  Dad, how about you? What do you have?

DAD: I was thinking of a Hermit crab. It’s about $200 for the crab, a tank and supplies. As he grows out of his home, which is his shell, you’ll need to get him new ones.  So, I’ll need a flight to Florida to find them on the beach for a couple of hundred bucks, plus hotel, food and other stuff. 

GRANT: You’re out of your mind!

MAK: That doesn’t count!

DAD: OK, I guess I could buy some shells on Amazon for just a couple bucks each.  It actually tries on the new ones at night.  Isn’t that crazy?  And some of the shells are REALLY cool.  Oh, his food and stuff is about $300/year. 

GRANT: So, not too bad when compared to other potential pets. But, you probably don’t get any exercise. How the heck would you walk a hermit crab?

MAK: I think Grant has a point!

DAD: Here’s to all the dog lovers out there like us!  Make your decisions wisely.  

Thanks for being here, and we’ll see you next time for More Money with Mak & G.  Don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment!!


Never Miss a Beat of Our Podcast

Get notified about updates and be the first to get early access to new episodes

Scroll to Top