Top 22 budget-friendly dogs and how to afford them


Owning a dog brings a good deal of extra joy to the lives of most owners, but there is also the potential for added expenses to household budgets.

The list of expenses varies from breed to breed based upon genetic conditions, size and energy levels.

Some dogs require a lot of space to run around but won’t consume food a bag at a time.

Other breeds are large and routinely go through 50lb bags of food, but spend their day sleeping and are happy to live wherever their people live.

The following breeds are 12 examples of budget friendly dogs to own.

1. American/English Foxhounds

The American and English Foxhounds are closely related breeds and puppies can be found for relatively cheap upfront prices of around $50 and $25 (respectively).

Both breeds are wonderful with children and love the company of other dogs. You will not have to spend a lot of time or money finding entertaining things for these dogs to do. They will be very happy playing in the yard with your kids, or even with each other.

Additionally, neither breed has a particularly long lifespan at 10-13 years on average. They will consume more food than smaller dog breeds with an average adult weight of 65-75lbs, but are far from the type of dog that consumes a bag of food every other week.

Most importantly, neither breed has any well-documented genetic defects leading to extensive veterinary care.

Healthy, loving, and easy to please, foxhounds make wonderful pets. They are a good compromise between a big dog that costs an arm and a leg to feed, and a small designer breed, which often suffer from health problems.

Foxhounds need around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, some of which can come in the form of running around the yard.

Others are reading

  • bella

    you dont need to go to a breeder to get a purebreed. go to any pound. they are there and being killed daily due to no homes or lack of fosters.

  • Mama

    We got our “used” Pug from a breeder who was no longer breeding dogs. They had her spayed and gave her to us. We love our “Pugsley”.

  • kris

    Who writes this stuff? The Bulldog is a budget friendly dog? On what planet? They are very expensive to buy and tend to have high vet bills.

    Besides, I seem to recall the Bulldog is also on the “most expensive breeds” list.

  • Luis

    Well the Chihuahua i agree. We had one that lived for 14 years and never had one health issue. Now it did get sick and the vet suggested due to her age and cost of the procedure it was probably be better she be put down. No, they dont require 50lb bag of foods every month but you be surprised how much the little 7lb dog can eat.

    • James Peacock

      Did your Chihuahua bark a lot?

      • grow-n-old

        I have two Chihuahuas both female and have only heard them bark once, when my son unlocked the door and came in. Had a service man in my house all day and he didn’t even know I had a dog let alone two.

      • Mongoose218

        There is a condition or syndrome called “Little dog syndrome”, meaning that the humans give in, give in, give in, to whatever the dog wants because he’s little and cute, and end up with an out of control, spoiled, yappy, sometimes snapping and biting, little dog who knows no boundaries!!! If you can manage to prevent THAT, then the small dogs will work for you, otherwise, don’t get one!!! Its awful to see an entire family being under the thumb (so to speak) of a tiny dog!!!

    • Meh

      That happens often with older dogs when they require surgery. When they reach a certain age, the hardships that come with surgery just get to be too much for them and the benefits of the surgery are often not worth the recovery process. I am very glad you got 14 years with your Chihuahua :)

  • the_Hold_Steady

    Any dog that costs $75.00 didn’t come from a reputable breeder.

  • Leah

    RESCUE RESCUE RESCUE… Adopt don’t shop!

  • Leah

    Also… where is the Dachshund in this list? I have 2 now and have had several in the past

  • Berni

    I dont see Doxies. Mine is 13 and is the best behaved lowest health issue dog I have ever had… just make a few concessions like a few ramps in the house (like to get onto the bed). Loyal playful very intelligent. and I got her for free from a friend of a friend…. adopt first!!!

    • Mongoose218

      Doxies (Dachshunds) can easily slip a disc in their back….very common among that breed, and can’t be predicted or prevented……their LONG backs, bred that way by humans, are TOO long and therefore trouble can come from it… uncle’s Doxie had to be put down when he ruptured a disc in his back…not that unusual….

  • Aeva

    If budget is that much of an issue, then you should not be getting a dog. I’ve seen countless pets suffer needlessly and sometimes even die, because owners could not afford to pay for preventatives or treatments. If you truly love an animal, you won’t force it to suffer just because you can’t afford to provide the things it needs.

    • Meh

      I agree. You don’t need to be wealthy to own a dog but you should be able to provide routine care and maintenance as well as have a way to pay for an emergency. E-vets are NOT cheap! Things happen even to the most well cared for dogs. Elderly dogs also after cost more due to disease or other ailments old age can bring.

      • Mongoose218

        THAT should be common sense for anyone…..dogs/ cats/ any pets CAN cost money…..invest in pet insurance, or have a “stash” of money for emergencies….twice I’ve had to pay $2000. for surgeries for pets….Once a cat had an middle ear tumor which we didn’t know if it was cancer until it was removed (it wasn’t!!!); and once our Golden Retriever managed to tear almost every ligament in his knee, which required major surgery……but when you love them, you do what you’ve gotta do!!!

        However for a pet with cancer (and I’ve had two of those as well) I don’t believe in “heroic” measures to prolong their life, since the chemo causes nausea and pain, as does radiation, and unlike a person, you CAN’T explain WHY they’re having to go through this, with the loss of dignity, the pain, the invasive procedures……for what? Maybe 6 mos or a year more of life??? We do that stuff for US, the humans, not for the dog or cat!!!

        (My two were cancer were a young cat who very suddenly developed Lymphoma and within a week couldn’t walk across the floor!!!!, and a 15 year old Terrier who suddenly developed mouth cancer, both times we had them put down, with love, by our vet, rather than “put them through” a lot of medical intervention for OUR benefit!!!).

    • Mongoose218

      But, dogs and cats can often live up to 20 years….you can’t always PREDICT what your income level or job security will be 20 years in the future….thats a dumb way, imo, to decide to get a dog or cat, that is, worrying if in 15-20 years you won’t have enough money to do some major medical procedure on the animal!!! Pet insurance is growing in popularity, and though I haven’t ever tried it, some people swear by it…..I figure if I have enough to feed them high quality food, to take them to the vet for their yearly checkup and shots, and to see them through a surgery if its necessary, that should be enough to see MOST pets through their lives.

  • Brittany

    I have to say that this one of the most ridiculous articles I have ever read. There is not such thing as a budget friendly dog. If you budget is an issue you simply shouldn’t be getting a dog. The average cost to own a dog regardless of the initial price is about $6000 over the course of the animal’s life and that is provided that you feed it the cheapest food, buy the bare minimum of supplies, and only have to take it to the vet once a year for it’s shots (after age 8 to 10 most dogs require more health care). Also, there is the cost of grooming. Any of the dogs listed that have hair instead of fur need to be groomed every two months and the average cost of that for a dog under 30 lbs is $45 a visit – making the annual cost of grooming about $300 – $350. And I almost cried when I saw that the writer was saying that certain breeds require less training than others. EVERY dog needs to have basic obedience training for their safety as well as the community’s. Just because a dog is small or less active does not mean that an owner can neglect to train it. Additionally, the fact that the cocker spaniel made this list proves that somebody didn’t do their research. After the first 2 to 5 years of this breeds life, they start to go down hill quick health wise. They are extremely prone to ear infections, skin conditions, cherry eye, and on and on the list goes. I hope no one out there believes this article is more that a waste of paper.

    • snickering

      The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants.

  • Adam

    Where’s the Labrador Retriever? I’ve had 3 Labradors in the past and they didn’t cost much.

    • Mongoose218

      Labs and Golden Retrievers (cousins to speak) are both retriever type dogs, not hunting dogs, they would swim out and retrieve the duck or whatever the hunter had shot, and bring it to him…..they both have “soft” mouths, meaning they can carry things in their mouths without any damage to it…..

      Labs are notorious for a VERY long puppyhood, up to 2 years….Goldens not so much….our Golden was an adult by a year or so…..calmed down, quit chewing things like table and chair legs, etc!!! He was the GREATEST dog we ever had, just a fantastic, gentle, loving, playful big boy!!! BUT AGAIN, for both these breeds: beware, they’re popular so they’ve been overbred!!! Goldens are now riddled with cancer, as well as hip dysplasia, which Labs also tend to get… SURE you know who the parents are and if they were tested for these things….you don’t want to be having to put down a beloved dog at 5 years old!!!

  • whylie2010

    Cocker Spaniels are nowhere near low maintenance. We had one. Their coat is a lot of maintenance and they are prone to skin problems. Loved him to pieces though

  • whylie2010

    Also, puggles are not low energy. At least mine isn’t (and he’s old!). Whenever I run into other puggle owners, the first thing we do is marvel at how energetic and strong they are. They will wear you out. I adopted my puggle from the animal shelter btw.

  • NIcklightie

    Gotta love Beagles.

  • GimmeMyFreeStoff

    Loved my recently departed bulldog……but budget friendly? Are you out of your minds?

    • Meh

      My jaw dropped when I saw the Bulldog on this list. I have friends with Bulldogs and, despite how much they adore their dogs, they are thinking about going with another, healthier breed in the future.

      I am very sorry your Bulldog is no longer with you. I’m facing old age with my Smooth Collie (11 years next month) so a loss is coming my way although hopefully not for a couple of years at least. I am very glad you loved your dog despite the cost of caring for the breed. I’ve never owned one but the ones I have had the pleasure of interacting with have been incredibly charming dogs that made me want to take them home with me.

      • Mongoose218

        Right, me too!!! Bulldogs because of how breeding for “looks” by humans has changed them, makes it hard for them to breathe if they are exercised, or just in hot weather…..they puppies HAVE to be delivered by C/Section because the puppy’s heads are too big to pass down the birth canal……they have a LOT of health issues, most related to how they’ve been “changed” to look like they do!!! I’d avoid one, and get almost any other breed first!!!

  • donald

    I have a bullmastiff and besides being a great friend, he provides me and my wife a great deal of peace of mind. He lives in the house with us and he probably provides more security than anything ADT could. Most people intent on robbing or hurting someone do a little homework. Only a small percentage decide to wing it. Doing the slightest bit of casing would inform any would be monster that my big ball of fur is a constant presence INSIDE with us and they will have to deal with him if they make that mistake of coming after us. He is basically a big “Move on to the next house you moron” sign. You can’t really put a price on it but I would say he pays his keep every day when he struts his stuff on his daily walks.

    • buckeyeblitz

      Unless your dog has hundreds of hours of training to be a guard animal I wouldn’t put that much trust in that. Thousands of homes get broken into with dogs in them daily and the crooks don’t get their legs bit off… most times the people just play with the big scary dog or feed him and they leave them alone while they loot your house…. how do I know this 8 had my house broken into and thought the same thing my big scary pitbull was going to eat someone if they came in… but I was really really wrong… all I found when I got home was a broken back window in my door and about 6 cheeseburger wrappers in my yard and my house and a lot of my stuff gone….. so please don’t put that much faith in your dog attacking anyone unless u have paid thousands do to train him to do such.

  • Clare

    The best dog I ever had was a Benji type mixed breed that I adopted from the local shelter. For some reason, these mixed breeds don’t seem to get sick. He had an annual check-up and lived to be almost 18 years old.

    • Mongoose218

      Mixed breeds, ask ANY vet, are always healthier than purebreds, which tend to be inbred far too much!!!

  • Jtpenguin

    Wow, I’m so sorry about your experience with your Havanese. I wonder about the breeder. My experience with my two Havanese has been the exact opposite. One boy, one girl, they are both super smart, intuitive, affectionate and sweet. They both house trained in about 4days, are absolute lapdogs and love to be with me at all times. They are very sensitive however so in training them I had to keep that in mind. But, like your Havanese, neither likes car rides. I always recommend the Havanese to anyone wondering what breed to choose as a small furry companion.

  • Alexandra B Castle

    What was left out of the mix discussion about beagles is that they are very barky. We go to the dog part regularly with our brood and beagles are one of the most popular breeds there. Lord only know how their owners stand it. So if all else is good, you would be happier if you wear a hearing device that you can turn off whey you want to. And I agree with Brittany, you can’t begin to call dogs budget friendly. One thing to keep in mind is that every breed has its own health issues, but cancer is the common denominator across breeds so if you really love them like family, giving them a few more months or even years of life can get very expensive

    • Meh

      Obviously, I can’t speak for all hound owners but I have a Bluetick Coonhound. Imagine the little bawl of the Beagle being magnified to fit the vocal equipment of a 60-90 lb dog. Other dogs run from my guy the first time he bawls in their face and people have described it as getting “a foghorn blast to the face”.

      However, despite the vocal tendencies of hounds, they CAN be taught that there is a time and a place. When we go out to play, I let him howl to his heart’s content. However, he knows that, unless WE are purposely getting him wound up or asking him howl (“What’s a hound say?”), he is not to make excessive noise. He is very quiet in the house and will only howl when appropriate. It’s no different than teaching happy breeds like Border Collies and Shelties not to bark excessively. It just sounds different and has more volume. Mentally training them though, is just the same.

    • Mongoose218

      yes, beagles howl and bark…..a LOT!!! They’re also known for running away….not that they’re running AWAY from you, but they’re running for the fun and excitement of it…..!

  • PotGuy

    English/Staffordshire Bull Terrier are amazing pets.

    • Mongoose218

      EXCEPT if you live where there is BSL (Breed Specific Legislation, like NO PIT BULLS) you could be in trouble as most people judge what is a Pit bull by its looks alone, and your dog would be constantly confused with a Pit bull!!!

      • PotGuy

        Living in the UK, I believe that isn’t too much of an issue here. At least around London (Live about 30 miles from there)

        Correct me if I’m wrong on that. I know some animals are under BSL but I doubt this breed is. I know they’re under higher scrutiny for this though due to high profile cases. Sadly.

  • Abycinnamon

    I have to disagree on Bichon Frise as a low budget easy to maintain breed. I have found them very difficult to train – particularly to housebreak. They can easily become very destructive. They also have a poodle-type coat that just keeps growing and needs to be cut. Most people are not equipped to trim their own dogs, thus a professional groomer is needed at least monthly.

    • Mongoose218

      I have a half Bichon/ half Poodle, and yes, their hair DOES continue to grow, like a humans, so instead of shedding, either you learn to groom it (not that hard!!) or take it to a professional every 3-4 months……the UP SIDE of no shedding is, of course, NO SHEDDING….which is great for households with asthmatic/ allergic members….and is the reason why we’ve mainly gotten poodles/ poodle mixes for many years!!!!

      I have had NO issues in housebreaking or training these dogs, or in their being destructive (once past puppyhood!!)

  • Kayla Gelsomino

    I have a pit bull the smartest dog I have ever had. I think it’s
    so rude of people to think these animals are killers, it just isn’t true.
    I have had many animals, Henri our pit is the most loving, smart animals…