Getting a dog isn’t just an emotional commitment, it’s also a financial one. But when it comes to money, not all dogs are created equal.
A bit of research goes a long way in discovering which dog breed is best for your budget. GOBankingRates has done the work for you and found the least expensive dogs to own. This curated list was created based on several financial factors, including the dogs’ purchase cost, bathing or grooming costs — whichever is cheaper — and the minimum potential healthcare cost of common breed-specific issues.
Instead of buying one of the most expensive dog breeds, take a look at this list of furry canine friends that are easy on the wallet.
The spirited and observant Manchester Terrier costs an average of $600 to purchase and has a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. They won’t cost as much as having a kid, but these game terriers can still rack up a potential minimum healthcare cost of around $10,500. Common health issues with the breed include cataracts, patellar luxation — kneecap issues — and cardiomyopathy.
Luckily, Manchester Terriers are easy and inexpensive to groom with a typical bathing cost of just $27.
These small dogs, weighing only 10 to 16 pounds, are often referred to as “little black devils,” thanks to their mischievous and energetic temperament. Schipperkes cost an average of $650 to purchase, and typical bathing costs come in around $30.
Schipperkes are at risk of developing eye problems, patellar luxation, and autoimmune thyroiditis, bringing their minimum potential healthcare costs to $7,200 throughout their 13- to 15-year lifespan.
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Don’t get an Irish Terrier if you’re looking for a lap dog. These feisty dogs have a life expectancy of 13 to 14 years and an average purchase price of $650.
Their lifetime healthcare costs are much lower than other dog breeds at only $1,000. Grooming costs sit around $42 due to a coat that requires careful attention, but the good news is, these dogs hardly shed.
German Wirehaired Pointer
Owning a German Wirehaired Pointer sounds like a dream come true to some, but you might want to consider adopting one instead of buying. These medium-sized hunting dogs cost an average of $700. Bathing costs are minimal at just $35.
German Wirehaired Pointers make the least-expensive dog list because they’re generally healthy, with potential minimum healthcare costs of about $1,700 throughout their 12- to 14-year lifespan.
As smart dogs that hate inactivity, a Border Collie falls on the list of least expensive dogs thanks to an average purchase price of only $525 and lifetime healthcare costs of around $1,800. Just look out for hip and eye health issues, which can progress throughout their 13- to 16-year life expectancy.
To have a Border Collie groomed, expect to pay around $50. And be sure to brush this breed two to three times a week for minimal shedding.
A Beagle’s low-maintenance coat and affordable bathing cost of only $23 per grooming make this one of the least expensive dog breeds to own. These friendly, happy dogs cost approximately $650 to buy and have a life expectancy of 11 to 15 years.
Their minimum lifetime healthcare costs could potentially total $7,700, however, thanks to common health conditions like spinal problems, hip dysplasia, chronic ear infections and allergies.
The Australian Silky Terrier comes in a smart and sassy, 10-pound package at a purchase price of $550. This terrier’s coat requires frequent brushing to prevent matting, and typical grooming costs total $45.
These dogs are fairly healthy and can live 12 to 15 years, but common genetic health problems can add up to total a minimum of $2,500 in healthcare costs.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
These active, low-to-the-ground dogs are a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned and bred Pembroke Welsh Corgis. With an average purchase price of $550 and average bathing cost of $40, Corgis make the cut as an affordable dog to own.
These dogs live 12 to 14 years and have a minimum potential lifetime healthcare cost of $4,000. They’re susceptible to genetic conditions like hip dysplasia, and the most serious breed-specific issue, degenerative myelopathy, which is a type of spinal cord disease.
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The Otterhound originally was used to hunt — you guessed it — otters in Great Britain. They cost around $550 to buy and require careful bathing that typically costs around $40.
An Otterhound usually lives 10 to 13 years and is at risk of developing health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy and gastric torsion –aka bloating — which can lead to potential minimum health costs of $3,500.
These spotted dogs are famous for their running abilities, status as a firehouse mascot and, of course, their iconic Disney movie. A Dalmatian has an average purchase price of $700. Owners can expect bathing costs of only $30. But it’s the low cost of healthcare that makes these dogs inexpensive to own.
Dalmatians live an average of 10 to 13 years and have a minimum healthcare cost of only $700, although they are prone to genetic health problems like deafness and kidney and bladder stones.
These tiny, feisty dogs have become famous as the purse-sized companions of rich celebrities. They make the list of least expensive dogs because of their $23 average bathing cost and $650 purchase price.
Chihuahuas have a life expectancy of 12 to 18 years, with potential lifetime healthcare expenses adding up to a minimum of $5,500.
The average purchase price of a Cesky Terrier is only $400, making it one of the most affordable dogs to purchase. Minimum potential healthcare costs for this terrier, with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, average $1,500. Grooming costs for Cesky Terriers can be pricier than other breeds: about $57 per session.
A relative of the Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel, the Field Spaniel is ideal as both a hunting and family dog. These dogs live 10 to 12 years and come with an average purchase price of $550.
Having this breed professionally bathed can cost around $40, and their lifetime healthcare costs add up to a potential minimum of $2,300. Common health issues include hip dysplasia and autoimmune thyroiditis.
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Laid-back and gentle, Redbone Coonhounds stand out with their striking mahogany-red coats. They have an average purchase cost of $650.
Redbone Coonhounds land on the list of least expensive dogs thanks to a low grooming cost of $31 and a lifetime minimum healthcare cost of $1,500. These dogs live 11 to 12 years on average.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Despite their reputation, American Pit Bull Terriers can be loving, trustworthy and loyal family dogs. With an average purchase cost of $600 and a typical bathing cost of only $27, Pit Bulls are one of the least expensive dogs to own.
These dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years and a minimum potential healthcare cost of $5,100 for common health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia and bloat.
Pekingese, which typically weighs in at no more than 14 pounds, have bold attitudes fit for much bigger dogs. These little pooches have an average purchase price of $500 and a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
Professional bathing for a Pekingese typically costs $40, while the minimum healthcare cost for common issues — such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and hernias — can reach $3,150.
Known as one of the sweetest and most affectionate dogs, the Bichon Frise is characterized by its curly, cotton-ball like hair. An average purchase price of $525 and typical bathing cost of $33 make the Bichon one of the cheapest dogs to own.
Bichon Frises have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and a potential minimum healthcare cost of $4,300 to treat common breed-specific issues, such as cataracts and patellar luxation.
The Affenpinscher comes with a low $400 average purchase price and an estimated grooming cost of $42 to keep its shaggy coat neat.
The average lifespan of an Affenpinscher is 11 to 14 years, and over its lifetime, the minimum healthcare costs for common issues could reach $4,000.
Initially bred to hunt badgers, Dachshunds are characterized by their short legs, long backs and fun spirits. They’re inexpensive to own, with an average purchase price of $500 and a typical bathing cost of only $23.
Weiner dogs, as they’re affectionately called, have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Expect to pay a minimum of $7,300 in healthcare costs to treat back problems, which are the breed’s most common health issue. To offset these high healthcare costs, consider taking advantage of the many tax breaks for pet owners.
Papillons are known for their butterfly-wing ears. These small, smart dogs cost $400 on average to purchase and have estimated bathing costs totaling $40.
The life expectancy of a Papillon is 13 to 15 years, and minimum healthcare costs come in around $3,600 because of a number of health issues that commonly affect smaller toy-dog breeds.
Buying a wrinkly-faced pug costs an average of $350. Bathing costs are a low $27, but healthcare costs for issues common to Pugs and other flat-faced dogs start at a potential minimum of $9,600. The breed’s life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.
This hunting dog is known for its distinctive feathered coat. An English Setter has an average purchase price of $350 and a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
It will cost about $40 to bathe an English Setter to prevent mats and tangles, and the breed’s potential minimum cost for common health issues sits around $3,900.
Treeing Walker Coonhound
These tri-colored dogs are often confused for an oversized Beagle, although the two breeds are very different.
The speedy and competitive Treeing Walker makes the list of least expensive dogs due to its average purchase price of $500, typical grooming cost of $31 per session and minimum healthcare costs for common issues starting at only $1,500. Its life expectancy is 12 to 13 years.
Miniature Pinschers think they’re bigger than they are, and they often bark at and chase anything that crosses their path. The average cost to purchase a Miniature Pinscher is $500, and like many small dogs, they have a longer life expectancy of 14 to 15 years.
The typical cost of bathing a Miniature Pinscher is low at $25, and the potential minimum health care costs for common issues like patellar luxation and disease start at $2,500.
Although the American Foxhound is one of the older American breeds, it’s not very well-known. The average purchase price of an American Foxhound is $475, with bathing costs coming out to an estimated $27. The minimum potential cost for medical issues totals $1,500. Life expectancy of the breed is 10 to 12 years.
Parson Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terriers, also known as Jack Russell Terriers, are athletic, clever and friendly. These medium-sized terriers have a $400 average purchase price tag. Professional bathing costs average $25. A Parson Russell’s lifespan is about 13 to 15 years.
The breed is generally healthy, with a budget-friendly minimum potential healthcare cost of $2,800.
The Plott Hound is a tenacious hunting dog that will sniff out any animal from a raccoon to a bear. The breed’s low $275 average purchase price makes it one of the most affordable dog breeds to own, and it lives 12 to 14 years.
The typical grooming cost for a Plott Hound is $31, and the minimum potential cost to treat health problems like gastric torsion, commonly known as bloat, is $3,000.
Black and Tan Coonhound
American born and bred, this hunting dog is known for its black and tan coloring is happy-go-lucky and calm by nature. Ranked No. 3 on the list of least expensive dog breeds to own, the Black and Tan Coonhound has an average purchase price of $350. The estimated bathing cost is $27.
Expenses to treat common issues like hip dysplasia come out to only $1,500. The dog’s life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.
Playful and fearless, Rat Terriers love to “talk” and socialize with their families. These small dogs are one of the least expensive toy breeds, with a purchase price averaging $350. Typical professional bathing costs are $25. They live a long life: 15 to 18 years.
The low $1,500 minimum healthcare cost of the breed’s common issues helps to cement the Rat Terrier’s place as the second-least expensive dog to own.
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No. 1 on the list, the Harrier is the most affordable and also one of the rarest dog breeds. This hound is sweet and affectionate, but as a hunting dog, the Harrier is full of energy. Its lifespan typically ranges 12 to 15 years.
This is the cheapest dog to own, with the budget-friendly combination of a $300 average purchase price, $27 in typical grooming costs and a minimum potential healthcare cost of $1,500 for common issues.
Keep reading about the most affordable pets.
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Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this story.