Pugs are fun and loving dogs and they make excellent housepets. They may be small but despite their small sizes, they are tough and strong. Pugs weigh between 14 and 18 lbs and measure about 10-14 inches at the withers. They are available in tan, black, fawn, apricot, or silver fawn colors.
Pugs are often known as the Comedians of Dog-Dom. It is no wonder that they have been consistently ranking in the top 20 on the AKC list of most popular dog breeds. In 2018, they were 4th in the UK Kennel Club rankings.
The adorable breed is friendly, intelligent, and easy to train. They are low-maintenance dogs that do not need too much exercise and their grooming needs are also fairly moderate. All these factors make them excellent pets for busy individuals and elderly people.
The breed’s history also supports their role as companion dogs. Unlike other dog breeds that were bred for hunting, retrieving, or guarding livestock, Pugs were solely bred to be companion pets. This inherently makes them very affectionate and loyal.
All these factors have further fuelled the breed’s popularity. Resultantly, the cost of the Pug puppy in the United States is fairly high, between $500 and $1500. This depends on the breeder and the dog’s pedigree.
If you’re looking for the cost breakup of Pug ownership, then this guide is for you. We will discuss everything you need to know about Pug puppy price, its training costs, cost of feeding, and medical costs. This information will help you prepare financially for your pet. After all; buying a puppy isn’t just about paying the purchase price or adoption fees. It also entails various costs incurred over the next 10-15 years.
Here is a summary:
How Much Does a Pug Puppy Cost?
The cost of a purebred Pug puppy is between $500 and $1500 with the average or national median price being $1000.
The price of your Pug puppy will depend upon where you buy it from. Here are some factors that can affect your Pug’s price:
The breeder who keeps champion dogs charges more for their puppies; they are also selective about who they sell to. The Pug Dog Club Breeder website has a list of reputed breeders in different states of the USA. Most of these breeders have good standing and have completed at least one AKC title on their dogs. AKC puppies cost more than the pups that are bred as family pets – especially if they come from a good lineage.
Reputed Pug breeders will also make an effort in socializing their puppies and ensure they are vaccinated and dewormed. They also breed selectively to ensure that the resulting dogs are free from health issues and inherited diseases. All these factors can increase the Pug puppy’s price.
Pugs are available in different colors, some of which are in great demand. This could also increase the puppy’s prices.
Here are some estimated prices based on Pug coat colors: Apricot Pug pups are priced between $600 and $1300, fawn Pugs cost between $500 and $1500, black Pugs between $900 and $3500, white Pugs are priced between $1800 and $2500 and brindle Pugs at $3500.
The cost of adopting a Pug is much lower than the cost of buying it from a breeder. Typically you’d spend between $100 and $500 as adoption fees.
Here is a table showing the price bracket for Pug puppy:
|The minimum price of a Pug puppy||$500|
|The maximum price of a Pug puppy||$3500|
|Price bracket||$600 to $1500|
|Adoption cost of Pugs||$100 to $500|
Cost of Basic Supplies for Pugs
It is a good idea to stock up on some supplies before bringing your Pug puppy home. This way you won’t have to rush to the store when you’d rather be home helping your pet.
Food and water bowls
Your puppy will feed several times a day so it is a good idea to have at least two food bowls and one water bowl. You can choose from food-grade plastic, glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowls. Make sure the bowls are sturdy and won’t tip over. With a silicone mat underneath to catch food messes, the cost should not be more than $20 to $30.
Leash, collar, harness
Leashes, collars, ID tags, etc. are some basic supplies you’d need for your Pug when you take it out on walks. Select sturdy rope, nylon, or leather collars and leashes. The cost will be around $20.
Toys are not necessities but they can keep your Pug occupied and prevent boredom. Chew toys and teething toys also soothe the dog’s gums during teething. Ensure keeping plenty of variety in toys – balls, rope toys, frisbees, etc. Basic toys for small dogs cost about $30.
In addition to leash and collars, training tools include clicker, potty training pads, etc. You’d also need pee-eliminating cleaners or enzymatic odor eliminator sprays. These will prevent your pet from soiling indoors. Cost – $20.
Crate or kennel
Crate or a small kennel will provide your Pug with a safe place for some alone time. A collapsible crate costs between $15 and $300 depending on the type you buy. You’d also need to add a comfortable bed or a crate pad inside the kennel or crate.
Pugs don’t need too much grooming but you may want to brush your little pet every once in a while. You also need a shampoo, some pet wipes to keep the wrinkles clean, and also wrinkle cream to prevent odor, bacteria, and germs in the skin folds. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are other must-have grooming supplies. The total cost – $50 to $100.
The following table shows the approximate costs of basic supplies for Pugs:
|Food and water bowls||$20.00|
|First aid kit||$20.00|
|Dog waste bags||$10.00|
|Extras||Absorbent house-training pads||$20.00|
|Brush or comb||$10.00|
|Car dog seat belt||$10.00|
Pug Training Costs
You may not have the time and know-how for training your Pug, but train it you must. Thankfully, there are several options before you when it comes to dog training and the costlier ones are not necessarily better.
Some dog training boot camps cost between $500 and $1250 per week but many of these are coercion-based. This means that your little puppy will have to wear a training collar. A good training program will not resort to harsh training methods and neither will they force you to sign up for the entire session at once.
No two Pugs are the same: some pugs will need only 4-5 training sessions while another may require around 8-10. Therefore, it is best to start with one session with a dog trainer. The cost of these private sessions will depend on the trainer and your location. Most trainers charge between $30 and $120 per hour. The average cost of private dog training is around $100.
You also have the option of signing up your pet for group training classes or puppy obedience school. These focus on basic puppy problems like how to stop your Pug from biting. Group classes cost between $20 and $40 per session, so 8 sessions will cost around $300. Be wary of group sessions that cost just $8 per lesson. Such classes have too many dogs and your Pug will only be distracted by them.
The following table summarizes the cost of dog training in the USA:
|Group training (cost per class)||$20.00 to $40 per class|
|Private obedience school (cost per session)||$45.00 to $120|
|Dog boot camp (cost per day)||$45.00 (weekly about $500 to $1250)|
|Minimum online training program price||$99.00|
|Minimum puppy basic training cost (total)||$500.00|
|Maximum puppy basic training cost with boarding (total)||$2000.00|
|Service dog training||$120 per hour|
Pug Food Costs
The best food for your Pug puppy is the one your breeder was feeding it. Alternatively, you may discuss with your vet the right food to feed. You can choose high-quality puppy food for small breed dogs, formulated for growth. In the case of Pugs, you need to switch to adult food slightly earlier than other breeds – sometimes at 10-12 weeks. Your vet can guide you in this matter.
The cost of your Pug’s monthly food and treats depends on its age, activity level, and overall health. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Puppies grow rapidly and need plenty of food in this growth phase. Feed it at least 4 times a day. You may cut back to just 2 meals a day once your Pug is about 1 year old.
- Between 6 and 8 months, your puppy needs 1/3rd to ½ cup of dry dog food three times a day. After 12 months, switch to ½ cup of food per day divided into two meals.
- A senior pug will need different food depending on its activity level and overall health.
- A pregnant or lactating bitch will need more meals. Your vet can guide you.
You can choose to feed kibble or dry dog food, wet or canned food, or raw food. Freeze-dried food is also an option.
|Item||Monthly quantity of food for a 10-15 lb. Pug||Cost per month|
|Premium dry food||10 lb.||$30|
|Premium wet food||15 lb.||$122|
|Freeze-dried food||10 lb.||$200|
|Frozen food||18 lb.||$175|
|Raw food||10 lb.||$120|
Pug Dog Food Comparison
It is very important to consider what you feed your Pug. If in doubt, speak to your vet or the breeder. Pugs are often known to suffer from food intolerance or food allergies. They are sensitive dogs and food is often the culprit behind gastric troubles and skin issues.
Therefore, it is very important to select high-quality kibble or canned food for your tiny pet. Avoid foods with soy, synthetic preservatives like BHT, and artificial flavorings like MSG. Also, avoid foods containing by-products and grains like wheat, corn, etc.
Choose foods containing all-natural preservatives, natural flavors, and protein obtained from wholesome animal sources. If you offer grains, go for gluten-free ones. Ensure that the food is free from controversial additives. It is great if you can get human-grade and natural foods with ingredients sourced from USA or Canada. Helpful extras like chondroitin, glucosamine, and omegas will benefit your Pug’s joint health.
The following table shows some best recommended kibble-based and canned foods for this small dog:
|Name||Features||Cost per pound|
|Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food, Small Breed, Adult, Turkey||High-quality protein with oatmeal, designed to meet the nutrient needs of small dogs, Omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat, made in the USA||$2.58/lb.|
|Royal Canin Pug||Specially formulated for purebred pugs, small kibble size, helps in weight management||$5.02/lb.|
|Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws||Made in the USA with natural ingredients, provides high-quality protein||$2.08/lb.|
|Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy||Natural dog food recommended by vets supports ideal weight, keeps dogs full longer||$3.11/lb.|
Pug Medical Costs
You may want to take your puppy to the vet for its initial checkup and vaccines. This first vet visit will set the tone and schedule for all future visits as your buddy will need several vaccines over the coming weeks. This will depend on the vaccines your breeder may have already covered.
These days, vets combine initial puppy vaccines into a single DaTPP vaccine which protects dogs from diseases such as distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Additionally, some vets recommend a couple of non-core vaccines like Leptospirosis and Rabies. Depending on where you live, your dog may also need Rattle Snake and Lyme Disease vaccines. The cost of these non-core and core vaccines varies from clinic to clinic, but most cost between $45 to $120.
In the first year, your Pug will also need spaying/neutering surgery. This is very important to prevent unwanted puppies as well as certain canine cancers. Spaying surgery costs around $300 whereas neutering is around $100.
Apart from vaccinating your puppy, do speak to your vet about pest control for fleas and ticks. These are small but deadly parasites that could transmit deadly diseases that could kill your tiny dog. You’d also need to deworm your dog to eliminate worms like pinworms, hookworms, or roundworms. The cost of flea-tick prevention is about $200 per year and deworming can cost around $80 per year.
The following tables show the different medical costs for Pugs:
|Age of Pug puppy||Core vaccination/ preventive treatment||Non-core vaccination||Cost**|
|6-8 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis)||Distemper vaccine alone costs (first year) $20-$30. The total cost of vaccination is between $75 and $100|
|10-12 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis) rabies and leptospirosis||Distemper + measles combo and Giardia||Rabies vaccine in the first year $15 to $25
Distemper – $20 to $30- total between $75 and $100
|12-16 weeks||Parvo, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), leptospirosis||total between $75 and $100|
|26-52 weeks||Boosters for the above, rabies||Lyme if present in your region||total between $75 and $100. Lyme disease vaccine costs between $20-$40|
|Every 6 months||Bordetella, parainfluenza||$20-$50|
|Every 3 years||Rabies||Influenza||$20-$50|
|Every 2 weeks until 12 weeks, then monthly until 6 months||Deworming||Annual cost – $80-$200|
|Monthly after 12 weeks||Flea and tick prevention||Annual cost $40-$200|
Other Medical Costs
A single trip to the vet can cost between $40 and $100 – even if it is for a wellness checkup. Fecal exam costs around $20-$55. Complete bloodwork can set you back by $80-$100. An X-ray can cost about $200-$400. Hospitalization could require $500 to $1000 per day. Emergency surgery can cost up to $2000.
Common Diseases in Pugs
Pugs are generally hardy dogs but their squished-in facial structures make them susceptible to the brachycephalic syndrome. This could cause shortness of breath and excess panting, especially after exercise.
It is very important not to overheat your tiny dog so do try and limit exercise to the cooler parts of the day. In summers, make sure you keep your Pug cool using air conditioning. If your dog gets overheated, cool it down with a few sips of water.
Genetic eye diseases
Pugs also have bulging eyes which makes them prone to issues like keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This is also called dry eye. It is common in older Pugs and their eyes do not produce enough tears. This makes them blink excessively and also causes pain, discharge, etc.
This is a genetic condition that causes inflammation of the brain. Although it is a hereditary disease, there is no testing available for it. Also, there is no treatment.
The folded and wrinkled skin of Pugs makes them prone to numerous skin issues. Symptoms common to all skin problems include biting, chewing, licking, redness, blisters, oozing skin, odor, etc. It is very important to groom your pet’s skin folds to prevent these issues.
Pet Insurance – Does Your Pug Need It?
As seen above, pets can be expensive and you certainly would want to budget for your Pug’s medical treatment, should the need arise. Pet insurance plans can protect your fur baby by giving it the timely medical help it needs.
Many pet insurance plans cover accident, trauma, prescription medicines, hereditary issues, emergency care, alternative therapies, and more. This can provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that your pet will get the timely medical aid it requires.
Today, there are more than 15 reliable insurance companies offering pet insurance plans in the United States. They have different coverage and benefits, so please do your research well before signing the dotted line.
Some plans have complicated reimbursement procedures which could require you to pay out of pocket and get the money later. Others may have limited veterinarians and no option to visit the vet of your choice.
So, do read up all you can about the pet insurance company and do not make your decision only on the basis of the monthly cost.
The following table shows different pet insurance plans with their pros and cons and approximate monthly costs:
|Embrace||Coverage for exams, Rewards program, Great customer service
|Does not cover pre-existing conditions||Basic coverage starts from $7|
|Pet Plan||Coverage for adverse events can be customized in numerous ways
|Restrictions on older animals||Start from $20|
|Pet’s Best||Very low premiums, direct vet reimbursement||Complicated accident and illness plans||Accident only plans start at $9 per month|
|Trupanion||Great customer service, all plans have 90% coverage||No discounts, few customization options||Plans start from $29 per month,|
Additional Cost of Owning a Pug
Here are some other costs of Pug ownership:
Microchipping and registration
A microchip is a tiny device inserted just under the dog’s skin. Microchipping is a painless procedure that helps you easily locate your dog in the event it gets lost. Most vets charge $45 for the procedure which could also include registration.
Many people choose to travel with their Pugs and being small dogs, it is relatively easy to do so. However, the airfare even for a small dog like the Pug can cost up to $250 one-way. You can also board your dog at the pet hostel. The prices per night are in the range of $50 to $80. Alternatively, you can hire a pet sitter to look after your fur baby. This service can cost about $45 to $80 per hour depending on your location and the tasks involved.
Pugs do not need too much activity and exercise but that does not mean that they don’t need any. They are prone to weight gain so it is important to keep them active. If you’re busy with spare time for your buddy’s walks, it is a good idea to hire a dog walker. Most charge between $10 and $30 for a 30-minute walk.
Key Takeaways – How Much Does a Pug Cost?
To put all of the above information together in your head, we have a summary of costs for Pug ownership:
The initial cost of Pug ownership includes the cost of buying your puppy. Expect to pay between $500 and $1500 for your pet. Some specific coat colors can also cost up to $3000. Based on this, the initial cost of owning a Pug along with the cost of basic supplies, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, etc. could come to around $1000 to $3000.
The monthly cost of owning a Pug includes those costs that you’d incur on a monthly basis. These include food and treats, veterinary care, pet insurance, and grooming costs. It can also include flea and tick prevention costs. For a small dog like Pug, this comes to around $100 to $300 per month.
Based on your style of dog parenting, expect to spend anywhere between $500 and $1500 for owning a Pug, on annual basis.
Pugs live between 10-15 years. Therefore, the cost of owning a Pug over its lifetime can come to $10,000 to $15,000.
The above costs are just estimates and the actual ones will vary greatly based on your location and your style of pet parenting. We hope this guide helps you plan financially for your Pug.