What Is The Annual Cost of Owning a Boston Terrier?

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by Lily Ferreras


Getting a dog is a big personal commitment. It’s also a big financial commitment! Many dog owners are not aware of the long list of expenses that follow the initial cost of buying a puppy.

Boston Terriers are no different. Although their maintenance may be lower in some aspects, like grooming, you still need to pay for the essentials!

So, what is the annual cost of owning a Boston Terrier? On average, the annual cost of owning a Boston Terrier is between $1,953.15 to $4,181.99 (or $162.76 to $348.5 per month). However, how much you end up spending is a personal choice.

Let’s see how I got to this number!

The Cost of Owning a Boston Terrier

Our furry friends need a loving home, plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, a comfy bed, toys to keep them occupied, regular check-ups… and the list goes on!

The 2018 report by the PDSA, UK’s leading vet charity, found that 69% of dog owners underestimated the monthly costs, with 28% of dog owners putting it at £21 to £40, when the true cost is between £70 and £105, depending on size and breed.

Source: pdsa.org.uk (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals is a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom).

Basically, most dog owners drastically underestimated the lifetime cost of owning a doggy.

To get you into perspective…

According to PDSA’s research, you should expect your dog to cost you at least £6,500 – £17,000 ($8,400 – $22,000) over their lifetime:

  • Small dog breeds: £6,500 – £12,000 ($8,400 – $15,500) -> Here’s where Boston Terriers fall.
  • Medium dog breeds: £8,500 – £13,000 ($10,100 – $16,700).
  • Large dog breeds: £7,400 – £17,000 ($9,500 – $22,000).

Note: This is an estimation based on the minimum lifetime cost that you will need to care for your dog and provide for them. It will vary according to your dog’s size, breed and how long they live.

Your dog could cost you as much as £33,000 ($42,500) over their lifetime if you decide or need to spend more on their ongoing care. Bear in mind that this estimate doesn’t include vet fees if your dog becomes ill.

The Initial Cost of Getting a Boston Terrier

As you’ll find in How Much Do Boston Terriers Cost?, the average cost of an ordinary purebred Boston Terrier is between $1000 to $2000, and can go as high as $4500 for superior lineage Boston Terriers from a reputable breeder.

Now that you have an idea of the average cost to purchase a Boston Terrier its important to understand what the annual cost can add up to.

The Ongoing Cost of Looking After Your Boston Terrier

Once you bring your Boston pup home, she is going to require certain things – some only being a one time purchase while others purchased on a weekly or monthly basis.

You will need to pay for things such as:

  • Annual health checks and booster vaccinations.
  • Regular flea and worm treatments.
  • Pet insurance.
  • Dog food and healthy treats.
  • Water and food bowls.
  • Crate, playpen or baby gates.
  • Small toy allowance.
  • Leashes, collars, and harnesses.
  • A bed.
  • Poop bags.
  • Grooming tools.
  • Training.
  • Dog walker or sitter services.
  • Neutering or spaying (optional and one-time expense).
  • Etc.

Check the First-time Dog Owner Kit shopping list to get familiar with dog essential items prices.


What Is The Annual Cost of Owning a Boston Terrier?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) estimates that the annual costs to own a small dog will be about $1,000 per year (since they calculated a lifetime cost of $15,051 for an average life expectancy of 15 years). PDSA’s research (mentioned above) also supports this estimation.

According to the ASPCA, the first year as a dog owner can set you back to $1,314 for small dogs. That includes the cost of things like spaying or neutering, training, medical, feeds and supplies like a crate. 

After the first year, the ASPCA estimated that the expenses will go down to about $580 for small dogs. However, that number could be on the low side.

The pet-sitting website Rover.com reports that when you add up things like pet sitting, dog training, and emergency vet bills, the yearly cost could be as much as $2,858 a year. 

I decided to calculate how much I will be spending on a Boston Terrier per month and then calculate the annual cost.

As a result…

On average, the annual cost of owning a Boston Terrier is between $1,953.15 to $4,181.99, or $162.76 to $348.5 per month. In the first year, the cost is higher since you need to purchase Dog Essentials such as beds, crates, toys, bowls, etc. and get the puppy vaccines.

Here’s the break down of the cost of owning a Boston Terrier:

Dog Care ExpenseCost per year
Food and Treats  $294 to $630
Leashes, Collars and Harnesses$10 to $33
Poop Bags$42
Beds, Blankets and Clothing  $58 to $135
Toys     $60 to $240
Veterinary Care$600 to $1,100
Preventive Medicine  $100 to $300
Dog Insurance $456 to $552
Grooming$146.16 to $500
Dog Sitter, Walker and Boarding $100 to $300
Training Classes or Resources$37 to $300
Travel (car)$49.99
TOTAL$1,953.15 to $4,181.99

Note: The list above does not include emergency or other unexpected expenses such as sickness or injuries since these are difficult to predict.


The Cost Breakdown of Owning a Boston Terrier

Here’s the breakdown of your Boston Terrier’s care expenses:

Food and Treats Expenses

The cost to feed your Boston Terrier is going to depend on the quantity as well as the quality of food that you purchase. Plus, food expenses will vary based on the size, age and energy level of your pooch.

It is important to feed your Boston Terrier a high-quality dog food that is high in animal protein. Also, occasionally you can reward your pooch with healthy single ingredient dog treats.

An adult Boston Terrier’s weight varies from 4.5 to 11 kg (9.92 to 24.25 pounds) depending on her size. Generally, she will eat between 1-2 cups of food a day, depending on their size and activity level. Consult with your vet to see what’s right for your Boston.

If 4 cups equal 1 pound of food (and let’s estimate that your Boston eats 1 cup a day plus treats)…

30 cups/month = 7.5 pounds of food/month = $14.5 to $32.5 /month (a 13-pound bag of limited-ingredient dry food can last 2 months).

And don’t forget about the treats. A bag of quality and single-ingredient treats usually costs between $10 to $20 and will last a few months.

On average, your Boston Terrier’s nutrition will likely cost anywhere from $24.5 to $52.5 per month ($294 to $630 per year).

Read also: What Do Boston Terriers Eat?

Leashes, Collars and Harnesses Expenses

As you Boston Terrier grows, you will have to change her collar and harness. A leash can last you longer, depending on the use and quality of the materials.

I usually spend $13 on a good harness, $10 on a collar and $10 on a fixed-length leash. So, if you have to replace one or three of them yearly…

On average, you will expend between $10 to $33 per year.

Poop Bags Expenses

The amount of poop bags that you will need is very relative. I use 1 to 2 per day during walks since I have a garden.

Using 2 bags per day, that’s 60 bags per month. I usually pay $7 for 120 bags (2 months supply).

If I estimate 2 bags per day, the monthly cost of poop bags is $3.5 and the annual cost is $42.

Check my First-time Dog Owner Kit shopping list to see the products I buy and use as a reference to calculate my monthly and annual expenses.


Beds, Blankets and Clothing Expenses

Every dog deserves a cosy bed and if you are like me, you are likely to have two: one in the living room and another one on your dog’s safe zone, where she sleeps.

At first, I used to move the bed around the house but I found it impractical and less effective when I send my pooch to bed at night.

A durable high-quality and easy-to-clean bed will cost you $40 to $80 a year (although orthopaedic dog beds can cost up to $180). Prices vary in relation to size and quality. Plus, if you add a blanket for your Boston to burrow, that can be $8 – $20.

Finally, Boston Terriers get cold easily, so you might end up buying a dog sweater to use during those winter walks. Sweaters, fleeces and raincoats can cost between $10 to $35.

On average, you can pay between $58 to $135 a year to replace one bed, a blanket and a sweater.

Read also: How to Choose a Dog Bed – An Illustrated Guide and How to Choose a Dog Sweater – Step by Step with Pictures.

Toys Expenses

Personally, I enjoy monthly subscriptions where I get toys and treats delivered. It makes it easier to keep things exciting (monthly variety), can keep costs down (especially if you go nuts when buying stuff for your pooch) and it’s less time-consuming!

There’s a helpful guide I put together about this in my favourite toy subscription.

But regardless of how you purchase toys, these are very important to keep your Boston mentally stimulated and away from trouble (boredom leads to destructive behaviour).

Though some of us may indulge, you can probably plan on spending $60 to $240 per year, if you buy one toy per month and if estimating that a toy can cost between $5 to $20. Make sure to go for resistant materials to prevent wasting lots of money!

Read also: How to Choose a Dog Toy – An Illustrated Guide. Find recommendations for big chewers, scent game lovers, diggers… you name it!


Veterinary Care Expenses

An inescapable and important factor to note is how much vet expenses will cost.


On the one hand, preventive routine check-ups are key for good health and early diagnosis of possible illnesses or chronic diseases. I recommend twice a year check-ups when seasons change (spring and autumn).

For a twice a year preventive check-ups, the cost is at least $100 to $160 yearly (a single check-up is around $50 to $80).


On the other hand, the initial puppy vaccination costs during the first year are higher than during adulthood:

  • Puppy core vaccines:* $75 to $100. These are administered in a series of three: at 6, 12, and 16 weeks old.
  • A rabies vaccination: $15 to $20. Not always included in puppy’s core vaccinations.
  • Adult dog vaccines: $20 to $30. You might opt for a titer test to check your dog’s immune system and then vaccination booster (if necessary).

* The core vaccines include the DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza).

For vaccinations, the cost can fall between $30 and $120.

Other possible expenses include:

  • Spaying or neutering: $75 to $200 (one-time procedure).
  • Annual lab work: About $100 to $200.
  • Dental cleaning: Treatments start at $300. It can be recommended as often as once a year depending on your Boston’s oral health and if you brush her teeth!

Overall, you should budget a minimum of $600 to $1,100 per year for veterinary costs. This doesn’t include emergencies, preventive medications and supplements. Of course, vet costs will be higher if your dog develops a health problem (tests, blood work, medicines, etc.)

Insider Tip: Some years you are going to spend more than others. Your pup’s first year will be more expensive. However, as your pooch reaches her senior years, she’s likely to develop health problems and your vet bill will increase.


Here are some price references for possible emergencies.

  • Vet or emergency room visit: $80 to $2000 (surgery can be that expensive).
  • Stay in the ICU: You could be looking at $200 to $500 per day.

As with all dogs, the Boston Terrier is prone to certain health issues based on their breed.

According to Embrace Pet Insurance, the most common serious issues for the Boston Terrier and the cost to treat them are:

  • Patellar Luxation: $1,500-$3,000.
  • Craniomandibular Osteopathy: $500-$2,000.
  • Mitral Valve Disease: $500-$2,000.
  • Legg-Perthes Disease: $1,000-$3,000.
  • Cataracts: $1,500-$5,000.
  • Cushing’s Disease: $3,000-$10,000.

Note: Don’t let this list scare you, it’s just a word of caution about potential health concerns. Parental genetic testing when purchasing your pup should cross all hereditary conditions!

Read also: Dog Health: The Ultimate Guide to Wellbeing and Longevity and How to Care for a Boston Terrier in 5 Steps – Beginner’s Guide.

Preventive Medicine Expenses

Here I am mainly focusing on parasite treatments (heartworms, fleas, ticks, etc.) and supplements (highly dependent on your Boston’s specific needs).

For instance, worm treatments are around $20. Flea and tick prevention treatments cost around $30. The amount and frequency will depend on your vet’s suggestion.

Supplements like krill oil for a healthy coat or probiotics for gut health costs around $16 for two months supply.

On average, you can expend between $100 to $300 on parasite preventive treatments and one type of supplement. It really depends on your product choices and your Boston’s health.

Read also: Dog Parasite Prevention and Treatment – Worms, Fleas, Ticks and Natural Dog Supplements with Health Benefits You Must Know About blog posts.

Insurance Expenses

Dog insurance is optional but can definitely save the day when the need arises. Consider purchasing pet insurance that covers a percentage of vet expenses.

Typical coverage costs around $44 per month, the accident only policy starts at $38, and the accident and illness policy has a base rate of $46 and up.

Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Boston Terrier inherits her dad’s bad eyes or her mom’s patchy coat, you’re covered.

So, on average, you can spend between $456 to $552 a year for average insurance coverage.


Grooming Expenses

Fortunately, it is fairly easy to take care of Boston Terriers since they don’t need haircuts!

Here are the grooming tools that you are going to need:

  • Rubber brush: $9.98
  • Dog shampoo: $12.99 
  • Nail clipper: $12.99
  • Styptic powder: $7.99
  • Dog wipes: $11.99
  • Alcohol-free ear cleaner: $15.99
  • Cotton balls or pads: $6.99
  • Coconut oil: $14.98
  • Toothbrush: $7.18
  • Dog toothpaste: $9.12

For a better and more comprehensive guide, you can check what I use in my Dog Grooming Kit shopping list. 🙂

However, if you pay a visit to the groomer, you can plan on spending anywhere from $30 to $500 a year ($25 for a bath or $10 for nail clipping).

On average, you can spend between $146.16 to $258.32 on grooming tools a year. Some tools will last several years, others need ongoing shopping.

Read also: How to Groom a Boston Terrier – Basic Guide.

Dog Sitter, Walker or Boarding Expenses

There may be times that you will need to leave your Boston Terrier with a dog sitter due to vacations, emergencies or any other event that is not practical for your dog to be with you. This might happen once or twice a year unless you travel frequently.

Plus, you might decide to hire a dog walker to exercise your Boston daily (especially if you work a 9-5 job, for example).

According to Rover.com, a dog walker and sitter site, the costs can range from $15 to $35 depending on the service and where you live.

Here are some estimates:

  • Dog boarding: $35 per night.
  • House sitting: $30 per night.
  • Dog walking: $15 to $20 per walk.
  • Doggy daycare: $20 to $30 per day.
  • Drop-in visits: $15 to $20 per visit.

Note: Those are average prices that can vary depending on location.

The cost will highly depend on your needs (how often you use these services). As a guideline, you can estimate a cost of $100 to $300 a year.

Training Expenses

Attending obedience classes during the first year can cost $25 to $300 per year, depending on your Boston’s training needs. On average, group lessons range from $50-$125 for 4-8 weeks of one-hour sessions.

However, online resources like The Online Dog Trainer can be a great alternative and prices start at $37 a month (although they offer discounts for 6 months subscriptions).

You can estimate a cost of $37 to $300 per year on dog training. Remember, investing some money in the first year especially pays off for the rest of your dog’s lifetime!

Travel Expenses

When travelling with your Boston terrier, there will be expenses involved. Aside from the actual airline costs for bringing your pup, you would need a few essential items for car journeys too.

  • A travel carrier (airline-approved): $39.99
  • Car trunk or boot guards: $45.99
  • Dog seatbelts or seatbelt with safety harness: $5.99 to 10.99
  • A dog first-aid kit: $35

Check my Dog Travel Kit shopping list for references.

For car journeys, you will be looking at a cost of $40.99 a year. This will depend on what safety option you choose and how long it lasts.

Read also: How to Safely Travel With Your Dog by Car.


Tips For Saving Money On Dog Care

Dog ownership is very costly, apart from the great responsibility. So, it is understandable to seek to minimize the cost of dog ownership, especially if you are working on a budget!

Here are some tips to guarantee affordable care for your Boston Terrier:

  • Know your breed’s health risks and plan accordingly: As I mentioned in the Veterinary Care Expenses section, there are certain health conditions related to Boston Terriers. Knowing what to watch out for will make preventive care easier, in addition to giving you foresight regarding potential major expenses down the road.
  • Purchase pet insurance: Insurance is designed to protect the holder from unknown financial risks. This will help with vet bills and emergencies, depending on the coverage.
  • Invest in dog training: Prevent behaviour problems (and expensive one-on-one trainer’s fees) down the line because you didn’t give training the importance it has.
  • Borrow supplies or buy secondhand.
  • Shop online for the best prices: By comparing costs across multiple websites, you’ll be able to find the best deal. Also, signing up for a service like Amazon Prime that provides free shipping and expedited delivery might be worthwhile as well. 
  • Start a pet emergency fund: Having a financial safety net is very helpful. Also, plan for increased costs in old age.
  • Mind your Boston’s diet: A healthy and balanced diet is key in order for your pooch to live a long, healthy life.
  • Go for regular vet check-ups: Preventive care is important to spot possible health issues in advance.
  • Take daily walks: Exercise keeps your Boston Terrier’s mind and body healthy. Regular exercise has a great impact on your dog’s wellbeing, and also your wallet!
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