Let’s face it, owning a pet can be expensive, but even people on a limited income want to enjoy the benefits of dog ownership. Believe it or not, some low-cost dog breeds are ideal for potential pet parents on a budget. Many factors like size, general health, and grooming needs are factored in when deciding which dogs are the least expensive to care for.
The expenses associated with owning a dog begin before you even adopt your new “fur-ever” friend. Are you planning to adopt a puppy from a breeder? This is a much more costly option than adopting an adult dog from a shelter. If you adopt a puppy, you'll need to pay for vaccinations, spay or neutering fees, and other costs associated with welcoming a young dog into your family.
Similarly, some breeds will be more expensive to own. Some breeds are prone to health issues that will require a lot of veterinary care. Others are grooming intensive breeds, and the bill for grooming services and at-home grooming supplies will quickly add up. If you're looking for a budget-friendly pooch, check out these low-cost dog breeds.
What Makes a Dog Breed Affordable?
As you look at our list and explore the most affordable dog breeds, keep in mind the factors that make a breed affordable.
The upfront cost is a concern, meaning how much you would typically pay if you got the dog from a breeder.
Other important cost considerations include:
- The amount of food they eat
- How much grooming they require
- Whether they require professional grooming
- How hard training is and if you can do it yourself
- Whether they are healthy or predisposed to health issues
25 Most Affordable Low-Cost Dog Breeds
Mutts are mixed breed dogs. They may not be high on your wish list, but they are certainly affordable. Mutts are usually given away for free or found in shelters for a small fee.
Mutts are generally healthier since they do not contain the genetic flaws that are sometimes found in purebred dogs. These flaws can cause health and behavioral problems. Since they come in all shapes and sizes, you can find a mutt that doesn’t eat much and needs little grooming.
The Puggle is a relatively new breed made from crossing a beagle and a pug. They have short hair that only lightly sheds. You can do any grooming at home. Puggles are also small and do not need a yard to run in.
The simple truth is that the smaller the dog, the cheaper they are to maintain. Their size means they do not consume a lot of food, dog products for small breeds are typically less expensive, and maintaining a small dog's grooming needs costs a fraction of the grooming expense for a large breed.
Beagles are short hair dogs with minimal grooming needs. They are active and will need a yard or daily walks, but their food intake is low. Beagles do have a lot of energy and may need a couple of toys to play with and proper Beagle dog food to maintain good health and energy levels.
This small dog has been bred to hunt, so it may not be easy to keep in the yard. A fence or wireless containment system will likely be a necessary expense for these dogs. Beagles are one of the most popular low-cost dog breeds as they are friendly and make great companions.
4. American Hairless Terrier
You'll notice that this list of the top low-cost dog breeds is filled with small breeds. Like the others, food for your American Hairless Terrier won't cost an arm and a leg. You might want to add doggy sweaters into your budget, though, as these little guys will get cold easily.
5. Chinese Crested Hairless
This dog does have some hair, but it is not enough to take away from the cost benefits of owning a hairless dog. As a small dog, it eats little. As a hairless dog, grooming is restricted to baths that you can give at home.
Affectionate and lively, this breed makes a great companion. They are a lot of fun for owners who enjoy playing with their pup. This is also an ideal dog for any potential pet parent that hopes to travel with their pooch.
Some Chihuahuas have short hair, which really cuts down on the grooming bills. They are also small dogs that eat very little. While there are some common health problems with Chihuahuas, if you have a vet look at your puppy, you can avoid them.
If you don’t mind brushing at home, there are also long hair varieties to suit your fancy. These pups require a bit more maintenance, but they're still one of the most low-cost dog breeds.
RECOMMENDED: 10 Best Cheap Dog Food Brands
These dogs are considered by many to be one of the most healthy and resilient breeds around. Not only will you save money with vet bills, but with grooming bills as well. They are a little larger than some others on the list but still only eat a moderate amount of food.
Like many other breeds of hound, these guys are mellow-tempered and easygoing. They are also independent and stubborn, so it's best to keep Foxhounds in a fenced-in yard.
8. Rat Terrier
This breed also has short, wiry hair, making for easy grooming and clean-up. Rat terriers are one of the most friendly and lovable law-cost dog breeds. They are inquisitive and feisty. Up for almost anything, this dog is a great choice for owners on a budget.
9. Australian Terrier
Australian Terriers stay small. Their coat should be groomed professionally a couple of times each year, but you can easily learn to take care of those needs at home. This breed is energetic and may enjoy a walk a few times a week.
They usually have excellent health, which will offset the more expensive grooming costs. Like many other breeds on this list of the most low-cost dog breeds, the Australian Terrier doesn't eat many foods.
10. Cane Corso
The Cane is eager to please, which makes them quiet, mild manner dogs. If you're interested in low-maintenance breeds, but you want a large dog, this might be the best choice for your family.
11. Boykin Spaniel
Boykin Spaniels are very obedient and often trained as hunting dogs. They won't want to spend all their time out in the field, though. Boykin Spaniels love to be inside snuggling with their owner and prove to be a very affectionate breed.
Dachshunds stay small with short, little legs. They do not require much space to run around in and are happy with short walks, but they need good Dachshund dog food to maintain proper health and energy levels.
If you get one from the short hair varieties, they require little bathing and grooming. Their hair is easy to pick up, so no special cleaning tools are required.
Their energy levels and size mean they are one of the cheapest dogs to feed, which lands them on our list of the most low-cost dog breeds. This breed also tends to be very healthy, meaning your vet bills should be low as well.
14. Bichon Frise
As you can see, their coat does require a bit of grooming, but you can easily learn to do this at home. A quick cut and a bath now and then, and your Bichon Frise will be looking great!
ALSO SEE: 40 Best Dog Breeds for Women
15. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is arguably one of the laziest dogs around that love to eat food and nap a lot. You will not need to spend a lot on collars and leashes. They are medium-sized dogs, but their low energy levels keep the food costs down.
Bullies have short hair with minimal shedding. However, you'll need to clean between their fat rolls to keep bacteria out. Bulldogs are friendly and have a rugged stature, making them ideal for families with children.
16. Manchester Terrier
The Manchester Terrier makes for a good house dog. Their short hair requires no grooming, but you'll still need to clip their nails, clean their ears and give them baths. If you're comfortable with it, you can easily learn to do all of this at home.
Manchester Terriers also have a minimal scent, which means infrequent baths and no need for furniture deodorizers. This breed is active, though, and will enjoy walks and toys.
17. Jack Russell Terrier
These dogs are also very hyperactive. They're really only suited for homes where they won't be left alone for long periods of time. Jack Russells are known for developing behavior problems when they don't get the attention they need. Only get one of these if they are the only dog in a kid-free home.
18. Mexican Hairless
Their official name is the Xoloitzcuintli Xolo, though not many people can actually pronounce it. That's why most people refer to this breed as the Mexican Hairless. They need no brushing and minimal bathing.
The Mexican Hairless has average exercise needs. Their vet needs are minimal, as well. Just make sure they have shelter from the sun – as with other hairless dogs – because they are susceptible to sunburn.
RECOMMENDED: 20 Best Cheap Dog Grooming Supplies
19. Glen of Imaal Terrier
Another terrier to add to the list of low-cost dog breeds. These guys are gentler and less excitable than most other terriers. If you want minimal grooming and walking, the Glen of Imaal Terrier will be a good fit for you.
They are another small dog with minimal shedding, making for a cheap clean-up and low-cost grooming. They are healthy and intelligent, making them easy to train and less costly at the vet's office.
20. Yorkshire Terrier
They do require brushing. Some people prefer to keep their Yorkie’s hair short of cutting down on cleaning. These dogs are lap dogs requiring little exercise outside of a few toys.
RELATED: Best Dog Food for Yorkies
21. Miniature Schnauzer
They are small dogs with small appetites. Schnauzers are known for having high energy. If you're thinking about adopting this breed, be sure you have plenty of time to devote to play, exercise and training.
They do not shed, so you need not spend money on special cleaning items. Light grooming is all a Havanese requires, and they are outgoing and funny. They'll keep you smiling with their silly personalities.
If you want a laid-back dog, the pug is for you. They are one of the low-cost dog breeds because they require minimal grooming and don't eat many Pug dog foods. The Pug is a small dog with short hair.
They are just as happy on the couch as they are at the park, so you can exercise them when it's convenient for you. This breed is affectionate, and they enjoy being lapdogs.
24. Skye Terrier
While they do have long hair, it should be fine with just occasional brushing. These dogs are typically calm and would make a good family dog.
25. Australian Shepherd
The loyalty, intelligence, and obedience of this dog mean little training. Quick training means fewer messes. Their fur needs weekly brushing.
While the above are the most affordable dog breeds, the following are also inexpensive. If you don’t see a breed above that gets your attention, consider one of these instead:
- American Foxhound
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Black and Tan Coonhound
- Border Collie
- Border Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Cesky Terrier
- English Setter
- Field Spaniel
- German Wirehaired Pointer
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Terrier
- Japanese Chin
- Miniature Pinscher
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Plott Hound
- Redbone Coonhound
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Shih Tzu
- Toy Fox Terrier
- Treeing Walker Coonhound
FAQs About Affordable Dog Breeds
The following summarizes our information about affordable dog breeds and answer any lingering questions you may have.
What Is the Cheapest Breed of Dog to Buy?
While adopting a mutt will typically be the cheapest option, an American Foxhound is also incredibly affordable, as are puggles.
Which Breed of Dog Is Cheapest?
The cheapest dog breed will have low initial costs and food costs, and minimal medical issues. Beagles are among the most affordable, thanks to their minimal grooming requirements.
What’s the Cheapest Breed of Dog to Buy?
The dogs on our list are inexpensive, but the most affordable dog breeds are mutts, puggles, and beagles.
What Is the Cheapest Dog to Adopt?
A mutt will almost always be the cheapest dog to adopt as shelters are overflowing with them.
What’s the Most Expensive Dog?
As of 2020, the most expensive dog in the world was a Tibetan Mastiff that a Chinese businessman bought for $1.6 million.
The key to having a successful pet experience is education. Please make sure you fully research the breeds and their individual needs before making a decision. A visit with a vet is also a good idea. Good luck!
READ NEXT: 17 Small Dog Breeds That Are Good With Kids