The Cost of Owning a Dog in Germany

Let’s face it, owning a dog in Germany isn’t cheap. Even a small, healthy dog costs at least 60 EUR per month. For a large dog, you should expect up to 300 EUR. Food costs are the most significant expense.

The main expenses you will face when owning a dog in Germany are:

  • Purchase costs: 150 to 450 EUR
  • Essential equipment (bed, food & drink bowl, bed, leash, collar, etc.): 200 EUR one time
  • Dog food: 20 to 200 EUR monthly
  • Healthcare (vaccines, etc.): one time 250 EUR
  • Insurances: 20 to 150 EUR monthly
  • Dog tax: 40 to 150 EUR annually
  • Total expenses monthly: approx. 165 EUR

Having a dog is a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Dogs are expensive, especially in Germany, where you must pay taxes on your fluffy friend. The first week is the most pricey in your dog ownership journey. It will cost between 200 EUR to 1,000 EUR, but later on, expenses will go down.

In this article, we explain everything you should know about the cost of dog ownership in Germany and what expenses you should definitely include in your budget.

Read all about owning a dog in Germany in our guide.

What is the cost of having a dog in Germany?

My boy Benni

The main costs of owning a dog include:

  • Purchase costs
  • Basic equipment (bed, food & drink bowl, bed, leash, collar, etc.)
  • Dog food
  • Dog treats
  • Vet costs (typically free with insurance)
  • Liability insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Dog tax
  • Care products
  • Toys
  • Poop bags
  • Training

Some of them are only one-time costs; some will occur monthly. Monthly expenses you should expect when owning a dog are:

  • Dog insurance: 15 – 50 EUR per month, depending on the breed
  • Food and treats: 40 – 150 EUR depending on the size of your dog, type of food, food brand, etc. 
  • Poop bags: 3 – 10 EUR

Costs you didn’t expect as a dog owner

As a dog owner, I could confidently say there are some expenses that I didn’t expect coming!

These include grooming, crate, traveling costs, additional vaccinations and tests, leashes, dog walker, dog trainer, and expenses for reimbursement of items that my dog has destroyed in the rented apartment! All these items can easily cost you additional thousand and even more euros.

It’s easy to overlook these extra expenses. Hence, you should consider them add eventually add to your annual budget. 

  • Grooming: 13 – 60 EUR per session
  • Dog sitter/walker: from 10 EUR per hour
  • Pet boarding: from 10 EUR per night 
  • Travel: a valid EU pet passport from 70 EUR
  • Dog training: from 30 EUR per hour or session
  • Additional vaccinations: 20 – 50 EUR
  • Travel with a dog: additional expenses when booking transportation and accommodation are 50 – 300 EUR
  • Dog crate or transporter: 100 – 200 EUR
  • Unexpected costs: even if you have pet health insurance, it doesn’t mean everything is covered. Some health expenses may not be included in the policy.

1. Cost of buying a dog in Germany

Finding the right dog for you is an essential step in becoming a dog owner. There are several ways of getting a dog in Germany, and they all have different price tags. You can find a dog in Germany through one of these places:

  • Breeders
  • Dog shelters
  • Online marketplaces

If you buy a dog, the cost will be higher than adopting a dog. The amount you pay highly depends on the breed and the breeder.

If you buy your dog from a reputable breeder, you can expect a price of around 1,000 EUR. Depending on the breed, your dog may also cost 500 EUR and 2,000 EUR on the upper end. Poor bread puppies cost more than mixed breeds.

A dog from the shelter is the least expensive option ranging from 150 EUR to a maximum of 400 EUR. You can choose between puppies and grown-up pets looking for a new home. It’s a good option if you want to jump over puppyhood, which can be pretty stressful.

The adoption fee varies from shelter to shelter. Nonetheless, getting a dog from the rescue home is the most inexpensive alternative. Expect to pay between 150 EUR and 400 EUR.

For example, in the Berlin tierheim (shelter), you can expect to pay up to 205 EUR for a dog.

In total, you can expect the following expenses for getting a dog in Germany:

  • Buying from a breeder – 500 – 2,000 EUR
  • Getting a dog from the shelter – 150 EUR to 400 EUR

If you buy a dog from a breeder, check if they have the required certifications.

2. Basic equipment

Essential equipment includes everything that a dog absolutely needs. These include:

  • Bowls for food and water: 10 to 50 EUR
  • Collar or harness: 10 to 100 EUR
  • Leash: 10 to 50 EUR
  • Dog bed: 30 to 150 EUR
  • Dog blanket: 10 to 100 EUR
  • Dog transpoter: 100 EUR
  • Toys: 3 to 20 EUR
  • A brush: 5 to 50 EUR
  • If necessary, winter clothing (for dogs with thin fur): 10 to 50 EUR

3. Dog tax

All dog owners must pay taxes in Germany. For regular dogs, it’s pretty inexpensive; depending on where you live, it can be from 40 to 150 EUR a year. Each region and city has different rates. In smaller towns, the amount is lower; in larger higher.

If your dog falls into the list of dangerous breeds, you can multiply this amount. Owning a pit bull might cost you 656 EUR yearly, just in taxes.

A good rule of dump is to budget around 100 EUR annually. The table below shows the rates as of May 2020 for each major German city. However, rates in smaller cities are significantly lower.

CityFirst dogSecond dogAdditional dogs
Berlin120 €180 €180 €
Bremen150 €150 €150 €
Chemnitz100 €135 €165 €
Dortmund156 €204 €228 €
Frankfurt90 €180 €180 €
Hamburg90 €90 €90 €
Hannover132 €240 €240 €
Cologne156 €156 €156 €
Munich100 €100 €100 €
Stuttgart108 €216 €216 €
Source: mademoisellein.de

4. Dog food

Dog food is the most significant monthly expense you will encounter as a dog owner.

The cheapest dog food can be found at discounters like Lidl and Aldi. But no one should feed the dog this “stuff.” You could buy some affordable but still good dog food brands Royal Canin or Bosch. The price for a month for a middle-sized dog will be around 80 – 100 EUR.

The monthly cost will increase if you decide to cook yourself or buy organic dog food. Expect about 200 EUR.

The main factors that play in the cost of dog food:

  • Quality of the food: wet food from the discounter costs from 50 cents per can, while the price of premium quality food will be from 10 EUR per kg for a kibble; wet food might sell for around 3 EUR/can).
  • Size of your dog: logically, small dogs need less food than large breeds
  • Generally, dog food will cost you anything from 20 EUR to 300 EUR per month.

5. Vet costs

Dogs need to be taken to the vet on a regular basis. Whether it’s a simple check-up, vaccination, or even an operation, vet bills are paid out of pocket in Germany. If you don’t want to put your finances at risk, sign up for dog health insurance.

Some common vet expenses you will encounter:

  1. Vaccinations – some vaccinations are mandatory. For instance, in the first year of your dog’s life, about 4-5 vaccinations are needed. Each vaccination would cost you about 20 EUR.
  2. Other health issues:
  • Regular deworming: 25 EUR to 50 EUR
  • Annual general examination: 30 EUR to 50 EUR
  • You might also need to pay for issuing of certificates and additional vaccinations

For special examinations such as blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound, or surgery, veterinary practices charge from 100 EUR and upwards.

The costs can rise exponentially if your dog has other illnesses or accidents. Read more about vet care prices below.

Dog health insurance

To reduce vet expenses, you can sign up for dog health insurance. For typical dog health insurance, expect to pay from 5 EUR to 20 EUR per month. The price of health insurance also depends on your dog’s age, race, and sex.

Dog health insurance covers veterinary and surgical costs for outpatient, inpatient, and surgical treatments, medication, accommodation, and diagnostics for your fluffy companion.

In Germany, we recommend only English-speaking insurance companies like Luko (ex Coya) and Getsafe. The overview of their dog health insurance:

  • Coverage of 80% of the cost
  • Price: from 5,15 EUR per month
  • Coverage abroad
  • Dangerous breeds included
  • No deductible optional
  • English website and service

Besides, pet health insurances usually cover the following:

  • Necessary operations and treatments
  • Dental treatments
  • Hospital stays up to 20 days after surgery
  • Necessary medication
  • Treatments and emergencies while abroad 

Read more about dog health insurance.

6. Toys and other items for your dog

You also want to treat your dog with some joys like treats and toys, which cost money. Budget about 10 – 20 EUR per month on these items:

  • Toys – each starts from 3 EUR
  • Dog biscuits/treats – about 1 – 2 EUR per small bag of good dog treats.
  • Accessories – depending on your dog breed – leash, collar, harness, clothing, bottles, etc. There is an infinite amount of items you can buy for your dog.

7. Dog liability insurance

In many German states, dog liability is mandatory for dog owners. Luckily, it’s not an expensive coverage; the price starts from 2,5 EUR per month at providers like Getsafe. Yet, owners of large breeds and dangerous classified dogs might pay more for coverage. You can compare rates on Tarifcheck.

States where dog liability is mandatory for all dog breeds: 

  • Berlin 
  • Hamburg
  • Saxony-Anhalt
  • Lower Saxony
  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Thuringia

Besides that, dangerous dog breeds must have insurance in these states: 

  • Baden-Wurttemberg
  • Brandenburg
  • Bremen
  • Hesse
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Saarland
  • Saxons

Best dog liability insurance

The cost of dog health insurance range significantly among providers, but you can expect to pay between 20 and 50 EUR per month. Check out Luko (ex Coya) insurance for that. See full review on insurances from Luko.

Luko

  • Coverage: 30,00 Mio €
  • Price: from 5,99 EUR per month
  • Coverage abroad
  • Dangerous breeds included
  • No deductible optional
  • English website and service

Getsafe

  • Coverage: 50,00 Mio €
  • Price: from 2,40 EUR per month
  • For any breed
  • Worldwide coverage
  • 4,9 rate
  • English website and service

Read more about pet insurance in Germany.

Cost of having a dog in Germany per month

So how much will a dog cost you per month in Germany? With the examples mentioned above, you can budget about anything from 60 EUR to 400 EUR per month to own a dog. 60 EUR is the least amount you will need, which doesn’t include initial expenses like buying a dog and the essential equipment for the dog.

That said, owning a small, healthy dog costs at least 60 EUR per month. For a large dog, you should expect up to 300 EUR. Food costs and insurances are the most significant expenses.

Costs (EUR) Things you need for a dog
Dog’s price150 – 2,000Purchasing price will depend on where you buy it, the breed, etc. 
Initial expenses 500 – 1,000 Food and water bowl, leash, collar, basket, transport box, veterinary costs for castration, vaccinations, deworming, chipping, registration, and optional courses (e.g., puppy training).
Annual expenses1,000 – 2,000 Depending on the dog’s size and your choice: food, accessories, dog tax, liability and health insurances, regular veterinary expenses for vaccinations and parasite treatments, stay in daycare centers, etc.
Monthly expensesapprox. 165 Dog food, treats, and insurance.

How much does a vet cost in Germany?

The vet prices are regulated by the German government (GOT), so they can’t charge you the amount they want.

However, veterinarians can charge up to three times of what is set as a standard rate. Hence, you might pay different prices at different vets.

A consultation without examination will cost you between 7.04 EUR (single rate) and 21.12 EUR (triple rate). For emergencies, vets can charge up to four times. You can see the full price list for vet treatments in this official document.

Here is an overview of common treatments at the vet and price range in Germany:

TreatmentSingle rateDouble rateTriple rate
Consultation & general examination13,47€26,94€40,41€
Follow-up treatment (same treatment case)10,90€21,80€32,70€
Consultation7,04€14,08€21,12€
Night in the hospital (excluding food costs and treatment)16,03€32,06€48.09€
Vaccination certificate3,85€7,70€11,50€
X-ray25,65€51,30€76,95€
Ultrasound42,34€84,68€127,02€
Injection5,77€11,54€17,31€
Blood test16,08€32,06€48,09€
Pregnancy examination (ultrasound)38,48€76,96€115,44€
Euthanizing19,24€38,48€57,72€

Costs for certificates and confirmations

If you ever travel with your dog, you most likely will need a certificate of something like a vaccination, for example. The amount of the vet bill for certificates depends on the document.

For insurance, a vaccination certificate costs between 3.85 EUR and 11.55 EUR. The veterinarian charges 25.65 EUR to 76.95 EUR for a simple certificate, while a detailed certificate costs up to 250.14 EUR.

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Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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