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Cheapest Dog Breeds to Maintain

Written by aslmad.yaz


While the most expensive dog breeds may carry a hefty price tag when it comes to pet ownership, not everyone’s budget can accommodate such costs. It goes without saying that the price of pup parenting goes far beyond the initial purchase or adoption fee. While it may sound shocking, the current estimated costs of pet care for some of the most expensive dog breeds to own may reach nearly $12,000 annually! The good news is there are plenty of dog breeds that may be far more budget-friendly to maintain, especially if you choose to add one of the cheapest dog breeds to your home.

Top 10 cheapest dog breeds

We’re not only referring to the breeder’s price tag — and, in fact, we strongly advocate for adoption! This can potentially save a dog’s life, but it can also save you a big chunk of money.

When considering the cheapest dog breeds, it’s essential to take into account the expenses associated with pet care and maintenance. For example, breeds that demand frequent or professional grooming can lead to higher monthly costs compared to those with low-maintenance coats. Similarly, dog breeds prone to health issues may necessitate more frequent vet visits. Alternatively, this may result in higher pet insurance premiums, which can quickly accumulate.

Although dog ownership comes with unavoidable expenses, certain dog breeds can prove to be more cost-effective in the long run. If you’re in the market for a new pooch and are concerned about budget constraints, worry not! We’ve curated a list of the cheapest dog breeds to own and maintain. Considered factors include their dietary needs, grooming demands, veterinary care, medication, exercise requirements, fencing or crating, initial adoption fee, training, and toys.


cheapest dog breed chihuahua standing
(Photo credit: Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images)

At the top of our list of cheapest dog breeds is the Chihuahua. Loving, loyal, and spunky, Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that pack a punch of personality into a small package. Their small stature, long lifespan, and minimal upkeep make them an affordable and rewarding companion. Because the breed is typically very healthy, vet trips will likely be limited to ordinary checkups and vaccine boosters. Your pup’s food budget will also be much more affordable due to their small size. These loving canines offer abundant companionship and will remain devoted companions for years to come.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog Cheapest Dog Breed
(Photo credit: Marco Victervo / 500px / Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a pooch that’s tough as nails and healthy as a horse, the Australian Cattle Dog — also known as the Blue Heeler — is your breed. These dogs are known for their smarts, work ethic, and energy. Moreover, they’re not prone to many health problems. As their name suggests, they were bred to herd animals, so they need lots of exercise to stay in tip-top shape. Additionally, these dogs don’t require a lot of grooming, which can save you a bit of money in the long run.

German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired pointer pure breed dog closeup portrait.
(Photo credit: Granger Smith / Getty Images)

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a breed known for its athleticism, intelligence, and adaptability. Bred for versatility and durability, they tend to be in good health. However, like other large breeds, there is a slight risk of conditions like hip dysplasia. Nonetheless, they are among the hardiest of dog breeds, which can translate to lower long-term veterinary expenses.

While their size may lead to some expenses in regards to food budget, their low-maintenance coat can save you money at the grooming salon. Furthermore, their exceptional intelligence and eagerness to please mean that much of their training can be accomplished at home with the assistance of instructional guides, sparing you the cost of hiring a professional dog trainer. That’s certainly a relief for your wallet!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi jumping in the air.
(Photo credit: Giacomo Augugliaro / Getty Images)

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a delightful and laid-back breed, earns its place on our list of cheapest dog breeds thanks to its good health, low-maintenance grooming, and minimal care needs. Despite their reputation as companions, these dogs were originally bred for work, which has contributed to their overall robustness. It’s important to ensure that your Corgi gets ample exercise because they can be susceptible to weight gain, which may lead to health issues requiring more visits to the vet. By controlling your pup’s food intake and providing them with regular physical activity, you can keep these dogs budget-friendly while ensuring they remain healthy. It’s a win-win!

Border Terrier

cheapest dog breed border terrier
(Photo credit: Paul Wills / 500px / Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a long-lived, healthy, and spunky little dog, check out the Border Terrier! Like other Terrier breeds, the Border Terrier was first bred for hunting. Because these little dogs are athletic and energetic, they make great companions for active pet parents. These dogs are also considered one of the healthiest small dog breeds with a lifespan of 12-15 years, which is obviously a large consideration when looking for the cheapest dog breeds.

Additionally, Border Terriers are easily trainable, which means you can save money by putting in the work on your own. As an added bonus, these dogs are great with kids, which may be worth considering if you’re looking for a household-friendly pup that is low on cost.


Greyhound sitting on living room couch.
(Photo credit: Lourdes Balduque / Getty Images)

If you’re in search of a large, low-maintenance, and gentle dog breed that won’t break the bank, consider the Greyhound. Despite their reputation for being lightning-fast, these dogs are surprisingly laid-back. They gracefully adapt to indoor living, making them excellent companions for apartment dwellers. Still, it’s crucial to allow them the opportunity to stretch their legs and enjoy a run.

What’s even more impressive is their minimal barking tendencies, low-maintenance coat, and overall good health. However, like other large dog breeds, these pups can be at risk for conditions like bloat. Be careful to monitor food intake and do some research on ways to prevent this life-threatening condition from occurring. Otherwise, these pups remain loving, affectionate, and budget-friendly companions.

Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier close-up.
(Photo credit: EyeWolf / Getty Images)

While you might not need a rat catcher (at least we hope not), you’ll find a budget-friendly buddy in the Rat Terrier. They’re usually healthy, smart, and quick to learn basic commands and fun tricks, so you can skip the pricey obedience classes. Plus, you can save money by grooming them at home. What you’ll love most is how much your pup wants to be part of the family. Rat Terriers adore kids and have the energy to keep up with them during playtime.

Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier staring up at camera.
(Photo Credit: Stuart Cox / Getty Images)

Originating from Manchester, England, the Manchester Terrier stands out as one of the healthiest small dog breeds, saving you money at the vet. This little companion is a vivacious, highly intelligent, and resourceful canine — always eager to learn. Resembling a miniature Doberman Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier shares similar coat patterns and distinctive pointed ears. These pups reach a modest height of approximately 16 inches at the shoulder.

With its smooth and sleek coat, grooming expenses are minimal. Additionally, its small size means you won’t have to invest in massive bags of dog food. However, it’s advisable to set aside those savings for potential future veterinary checkups to ensure the long-term health of your pup.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Pit Bull, cheapest dog breed, on grass.
(Photo credit: Mike Linnane / 500px / Getty Images)

Affectionate and devoted, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also known as the Bull Staffy, is a loving and healthy dog breed. Like other Pit Bull breeds, these companions are readily available for adoption, offering substantial upfront cost savings. Furthermore, their short coat is low-maintenance, typically requiring only a weekly brushing. While, like many breeds, there is a risk of genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia, veterinarians generally consider them a healthy breed.

It’s crucial to bear in mind that the Staffordshire Terrier is not well-suited to hot weather, so you’ll need to take precautions to keep them cool during the warmer months to prevent any unexpected trips to the vet.


Bolognese dog smiling
(Photo credit: Jody Trappe Photography / Getty Images)

The delightful Bolognese stands out as one of the cheapest dog breeds to own. Their impressive lifespan of 14-16 years is primarily due to their robust health. This breed is not prone to many health conditions, which translates to cost savings on veterinary bills. Additionally, this pup does not require a great deal of grooming other than a weekly brushing. As an added bonus, Bolognese dogs are not particularly voracious eaters, which reduces your monthly food expenses. Their small size and amiable disposition also make them an excellent choice for pet-friendly living arrangements.

Low-cost resources for dog owners

According to the Pet Advocacy Network, the pet industry contributes hundreds of billions of dollars to the United States economy each year. Woof! That’s a lot of cash. In the United States, the average cost of pet ownership sits at close to $1,600 per year. That’s no small monthly fee.

In addition to adopting one of the cheapest dog breeds to maintain, you can take a look at other resources to help lower the cost of owning a pet. In particular, the Humane Society of the United States has many resources for pet owners facing financial challenges.  Additionally, Pet Help Finder is a database that may assist with finding financially friendly care, food, boarding, and supplies.


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