Pugs are excellent family dogs that love children, are good around other household pets, and are eager to please. They need moderate amounts of daily exercise and are always ready to play whenever you are. Despite being small dogs, apartments aren’t the best environment for them unless you have a nearby park where you can take them to burn off some of their copious amounts of energy.
Since Pugs are on the small side, the recurring costs of owning a Pug are less than owning a larger breed. However, because of their disposition and easy-going nature, Pugs are often in high demand, making them somewhat expensive to purchase. In this guide, we break down all the costs of owning a Pug in a helpful categorized format. We estimate the monthly costs of everything from food to toys and give you some ideas for where you can save money.
Bringing Home a New Pug: One-Time Costs
Pugs are one of the most popular breeds, and therefore they can cost a pretty penny up front. Rescuing a Pug from a shelter is the best way to save money initially, although it can be difficult to find one since they tend to get adopted quickly. If you decide to go with a breeder, prepare to pay a lot of money since Pugs are very popular and can fetch high prices.
Occasionally a shelter or animal rescue will reduce or eliminate their adoption fees, giving would-be dog owners an opportunity to rescue a dog for free. If this is the only way you can afford to get a Pug, call your local shelter regularly and ask if they have any Pugs that need to be adopted. If you choose to go this route, consider donating money to your shelter when you have the means to.
Adopting a Pug is a good option for people who want to save money and help shelter dogs. Animal shelters are often inundated with puppies that they don’t have the resources or space to care for properly. By adopting a puppy, you’re helping them free up time and space to better care for another dog in need.
The major disadvantage of adoption is availability. It takes luck to find the right puppy, and often several months will pass before you find the right dog for you. We recommend calling as many local shelters as you can and asking if they have notification programs. Some shelters will call or text prospective adopters to help them find the perfect pooch.
The most expensive option is purchasing a Pug from a reputable breeder. A Pug puppy from a breeder will cost around $1,200. If you decide to go this route, take the time to research potential breeders thoroughly. It is essential that you only work with responsible breeders to ensure your new puppy is healthy and well-cared-for before you pick them up. Don’t be afraid to call breeders and ask them any questions you have. You should also not be shy about asking for proof of licensing.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Bringing home a new puppy is a big commitment in both time and money. Pugs are small dogs and won’t cost you as much for supplies as larger dogs, but it’s still important to know how much you should expect to spend. The first-year costs of owning a Pug are between $200 and $700, with the bulk of those costs coming from vet visits. You will also need to purchase all the necessary accessories you’ll need to give your new buddy the life they deserve.
You can find a handy itemized list below.
List of Pug Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$30|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$10|
|Pee training pads||$25|
|Food and Water Bowls||$15|
How Much Does a Pug Cost Per Month?
- $80–$100 per month
After the first year, pugs are one of the most affordable dogs to own, only costing about $90 per month on average. Pugs don’t require tons of food and are generally healthy, so regular monthly costs are low. However, Pugs are prone to several genetic health conditions that might require high one-time costs and subsequent monthly medication costs. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict whether a given dog will develop health issues, so it is a good idea to establish an emergency fund in case your Pug needs treatment.
- $75–$130 per month
Pugs are inexpensive dogs when it comes to food and grooming, but health costs could pile up if your pup develops health problems as they age. Eye problems are the most common issues Pugs face, but some also develop breathing disorders that require surgical intervention to treat.
Here is a rundown of health-related costs.
- $6–$12 per month
Fully grown pugs weigh between 14 and 18 pounds and only consume about 100 pounds of dry food per year. How much you spend on food is up to you, but we strongly encourage you to consult a veterinarian or veterinary nutrition specialist when deciding what food to give your Pug. Not all dog food brands are created equal, and it is essential to make sure your dog’s nutritional needs are met. A vet who knows your dog will help you choose the right food for them and their specific situation.
- $0–$20 per month
Pugs are very low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. Unlike long-haired breeds, Pugs have short coats that are easy to clean and maintain, making professional grooming unnecessary. If you choose to groom your Pug yourself, it’s a good idea to pick up a grooming kit, which will run you about $75 on average. Instead, if you opt for a professional groomer, plan on six visits per year, each costing about $40, although prices vary based on location.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $25–$35 per month
Even healthy dogs should go to the vet once per year for a checkup. A vet visit typically costs between $150 and $250. You will also need to give your Pug heartworm medication and possibly flea and tick medication, depending on where you live and your dog’s outdoor activity level. Expect to pay about $15 per month for these medications.
Extra vet visits to address health problems can be quite expensive. Pugs are especially prone to eye problems, many requiring regular eye drops to manage the condition. Extreme cases can require special treatment amounting to between $50 and $100 per month. It is worth reiterating the importance of having a pet emergency fund in the event your dog needs unexpected medical care.
- $40–$50 per month
On the topic of unexpected medical costs, pet insurance is a great way to avoid crippling expenses in the unfortunate event your dog develops a serious condition. Unexpected surgeries or diagnostic tests like X-rays and MRIs can be thousands of dollars. Without pet insurance, you’ll have to choose between paying exorbitant fees yourself or jeopardizing your furry friend’s health. Pet insurance can give you peace of mind knowing you’ll be able to give your dog the treatment they need, even in extreme circumstances.
- $5–$10 per month
Pugs aren’t known for chewing, digging, or other destructive behavior, so you probably won’t face many repair costs. However, it is always good to have cleaning supplies and fresh stock of paper towels to clean up the inevitable messes any dog will make. All dogs have accidents—especially as puppies—and even adult dogs will sneak inside with muddy feet every once in a while. These are low costs and shouldn’t amount to more than $5-$10 per month at the very high end.
- $10–$20 per month
Pugs are occasionally laid-back dogs that need moderate amounts of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them occupied and happy. A few toys should do the trick, but make sure to provide them with at least a few puzzle toys to get their brains working. Pugs thrive on attention, and most are happy with an hour or so of playtime in the yard, two walks per day, and an occasional trip to the park to socialize with other dogs.
Training your Pug beyond basic obedience training is a great way to bond with them and provide mental stimulation. Pugs are eager to please and attentive to their owners, so teaching them tricks or training them in agility are excellent ways to occupy their minds and enhance your relationship.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Pug
- $80–$120 per month
Owning a Pug can be more affordable than owning some other breeds since they are small dogs with relatively modest entertainment needs. Pugs only eat about 100 pounds of food per year and are mostly healthy, although setting aside extra cash to deal with emergencies is a good idea.
Overall, you should expect to pay between $80 and $120 per month over your Pug’s life on average. Food, medication, and pet insurance—if you purchase it—will be the highest regular costs, but occasional vet visits and extra medication for potential eye problems could become significant outlays as well.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Most Pug owners have success training their dogs themselves, but some people still opt for professional training. Luckily, training costs don’t recur for the duration of your dog’s life, but they could contribute to your upfront costs. Good trainers will usually fetch between $500 to $1000 for a set of 5-10 sessions.
Dog sitting is another extra cost that only applies to some people. If you regularly travel and can’t bring your Pug with you, you’ll have to pay to have your dog boarded or pay to have someone dog sit. These costs usually aren’t substantive, especially if you don’t travel more than a few times per year.
Owning a Pug On a Budget
Pugs are a great breed to consider if money is tight since they’re small dogs with relatively few health concerns. They need regular exercise and mental stimulation, but a few toys and a couple of walks per day are enough to meet their needs and won’t cost you more than a few dollars.
Before you purchase your new buddy, make sure you can budget enough money per month to cover food and medication costs. It is also a good idea to have money set aside to cover unexpected medical expenses. Even a minor issue like a broken bone can cause serious financial damage if you don’t have money available for a surprise vet visit and X-rays. Pet insurance is a good option, even though it’s a sizable monthly cost.
Saving Money on Pug Care
The best way to save money on Pug care is to get creative with your Pug’s entertainment and play needs. It doesn’t take much money to entertain a Pug since most are content to interact with their owners. Training games, obedience training, and makeshift agility courses are excellent inexpensive ways to keep your Pug happy and make for some great owner-dog bonding time.
You should expect to pay approximately $2,000 upfront when you buy a Pug, including the possible price of a breeder, spaying/neutering, and a pet insurance plan. Your upfront costs could be significantly reduced if you adopt a dog from a local shelter.
The monthly cost of owning a Pug will usually be between $40 and $100; rarely will your monthly costs fall outside this range. The main drivers are food, medications like heartworm and flea and tick prevention, and pet insurance.
Featured Image Credit: Praisaeng, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Pug: One-Time Costs
- List of Pug Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Pug Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Pug
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning a Pug On a Budget