How Much Does a Basenji Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

How Much Does a Basenji Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

Many people are interested to know how much a Basenji costs. But it’s not just the puppy price that you need to be aware of as owning this breed incurs a lot of necessary expenses.

The Basenji is well-admired for being the “barkless dog.” But do their non-barking tendencies make them expensive? Does their upkeep require a considerable amount of money?

To set your finances smoothly, I rounded up all the information about Basenji costs. Keep reading to learn everything about this dog’s expenses from puppyhood to adulthood.

The Average Cost of a Basenji Puppy

Average cost of a Basenji puppy

A Basenji puppy typically costs between $1,200 and $2,000 from a reputable breeder. However, show-quality Basenji puppies can be priced as high as $4,500. Other factors such as location, breeder’s reputation, color, and special markings can affect this dog’s price tag.

As you can see, getting a Basenji puppy requires a hefty sum of money. 

Since a lot goes into breeding these purebred dogs, you should expect them to be a bit more expensive than other dog breeds. Only a few litters of Basenji pups are produced each year, adding to its price factor.

Their rarity and unique brand as the “barkless dog” also contributes to their high price range. Showcasing a highly desirable trait makes them more sought-after.

If you’re curious to know why a lot of people are falling in love with the Basenji, watch the video below:

Deep conversation with a basenji

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Basenji Puppy

The Basenji’s price can be pretty intimidating for most people wanting to get this breed. 

I’ve mentioned a few factors that can affect the Basenji’s price, but in this section, I will go in-depth to help you understand why this dog falls in the expensive dog category.

To know what Basenji breeders consider when setting the price for their puppies, refer to the list of factors below:

  • Bloodline: If a Basenji puppy comes from a lineage of champion dogs, it will inherit the best traits of its parents. You can register this pup for various conformation events and competitions. Of course, dogs with superior bloodlines are expected to have a higher price tag than ordinary companion dogs.
  • Age: Getting a Basenji puppy is more expensive than buying an adult dog. You can even save more money by purchasing a senior dog. However, you will miss the joy of raising one as a small puppy.
  • Breeder’s Reputation: Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder comes with a higher price. Since they have years of experience with breeding dogs, it’s normal to expect a more expensive price tag for a Basenji. These responsible Basenji breeders work tirelessly to improve their dog’s bloodline and provide the everyday needs of their breeding stock.
  • Color and Appearance: The coat color and appearance of a Basenji also affect its final price. The rarer the color, the more expensive the dog is. If they have special markings and patterns, they are also priced higher.
  • Health Guarantees: Reputable breeders will most likely provide a health guarantee for any congenital disabilities that the puppy may have. Some even offer guarantees for temperament or behavior. This adds up to the price of your Basenji puppy.
  • Registration Papers: The cost for kennel club registration is often included in the final Basenji puppy price. Most Basenjis are registered in the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC). Basenji breeders may offer limited or lifetime registration.
  • Training and Socialization: Before being given to its new owners, a puppy should be given basic obedience training by a Basenji breeder. A good breeder also lets their puppies interact with their family members so that they can adapt to a home setting easily. 

Other secondary factors like location and shipping also affect the Basenji’s price. That’s why it’s important to compare prices from different breeders to know which fits your preference and budget.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Basenji From a Rescue?

Adopting a Basenji from animal shelters or rescue organizations will cost you between $200 and $500. In most cases, the adoption fee covers all medical expenses, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and microchipping costs. 

Some Basenji rescues don’t even require a fee for interested adopters. If you’re interested to know how you can acquire a Basenji without spending a dime, check out our 13 recommended ways to adopt a puppy for free

Aside from contributing to a good cause, you can save a lot of money by adopting a Basenji puppy or adult dog. If you wish to be successful in your application, follow some tips listed in our ultimate dog adoption guide.

READ NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to Dog Adoption: Process, What to Ask and Tips to Get Approved

Initial Cost of Basenji Ownership

Five Basenji puppies in a basket

Before reaching out to Basenji breeders to purchase a puppy, you need to be aware of the initial expenses that come with owning one of these dogs. These items will ensure that your pup will instantly feel at home.

To help you complete your shopping list, I made a complete list of the initial expenses of owning a Basenji puppy. This guide also includes the price range for each expense to help you with early budgeting.

Here are some of the essential items needed by your Basenji puppy:

  • Food and Treats: The first item on this list is, of course, the most essential — dog food. Usually, high-quality kibble can be bought for around $60 to $80. For effective training sessions, you also need to give your Basenji some puppy treats. You can get them for around $50 to $80.
  • Food and Water Bowls: To ensure that your Basenji puppy is eating the right amount of food, you should purchase a long-lasting feeding bowl. Some food bowls also come with a water container. These typically cost around $10 to $25.
  • Bed: Even small dogs like Basenjis need a comfortable bed. This can prevent skeletal conditions such as hip dysplasia. You will need to pay around $30 to $150 for a good-quality bed.
  • Crate: Whenever you need to leave your dog alone for a trip, you should keep them in a crate. This will serve as their safe space while you’re gone. A small crate usually costs around $30 to $200.
  • Leash and Collar: Like any other dog, you need to take your Basenji on walks every day. Make sure to pick a high-quality leash and collar that will last for a couple of years. You can expect to pay between $15 and $50 for these items.
  • Toys: To promote teeth and jaw development, you should invest in chew toys of all shapes and sizes. These will also keep them mentally stimulated. The average price range for chew toys is $20 to $30.
  • Grooming Essentials: Despite having short coats, Basenjis still require regular grooming. To keep their coats healthy and shiny, you should buy a good-quality hairbrush and an organic shampoo. These can be bought along with nail trimmers, de-shedding tools, and ear cleaners for around $30 to $150.
  • Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medication: Basenjis have short coats but that doesn’t mean that they are less susceptible to skin parasites. Aside from fleas and ticks, you also need to deal with roundworms, tapeworms, and heartworms. The cost of deworming, flea and tick medication usually sums up to $50 to $200.
  • Initial Vet Visits: As your Basenji develops from puppyhood to adulthood, you need to visit the vet more frequently. A licensed veterinarian usually performs a basic health check-up to see if your dog is growing normally. Vet fees usually range from $100 to $300.
  • Initial Vaccine Shots: Basenji puppies need to complete several vaccinations before reaching a year old. Although most breeders shoulder the cost of the first set, you need to shoulder the succeeding ones. You should prepare around $75 to $200 for the cost of initial vaccine shots.
  • Neutering or Spaying: A few breeders give breeding rights to future Basenji owners. If you’re not planning on having new litters, you should neuter or spay your dog at a very young age. The procedure is usually priced around $50 to $500.
  • Dog License: In case your dog gets lost, it can easily be found if you invest in a dog license. This contains a unique identification number that can easily be traced. The registration fee typically costs between $10 and $20.
  • Microchip: Aside from a dog license, you should also have your Basenji implanted with a microchip. This contains important information about your pet such as its breed and your contact information. You need to pay around $40 to $60 for this procedure.
  • Miscellaneous Supplies: Other items such as a urine cleaner, poop scooper, and poop bags should be bought for dealing with your pet’s dirty business. Sometimes, you may even need to give a pet deposit fee to your landlord. In general, these expenses may amount to $15 to $30.

Here’s a tabulated version of all the initial expenses required by a Basenji puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$50 – $80
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $25
Bed$30 – $150
Crate$30 – $200
Leash and Collar$15 – $50
Toys$20 – $30
Grooming Essentials$30 – $150
Deworming, Flea and Tick Medications$50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots$75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Dog License$10 – $20
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$525 – $1,995

The initial cost of owning a Basenji puppy is usually the most expensive. However, some of them are only one-time purchases that your dog will use throughout its lifetime.

To prevent yourself from overspending, you should search for discounts at your local pet stores or even use coupons. 

Annual Cost of Owning a Basenji

Adult Basenji sitting on couch indoors

As expected, a Basenji’s expenses don’t end once you’ve taken it home. It’s a lifetime commitment that comes with financial responsibility. 

Each year, you should expect to spend a lot on vet check-ups and other health-related expenses. It’s very critical for them to grow and develop into healthy adult pups and eventually senior dogs.

The table below summarizes the first-year expenses of owning a Basenji:

Type of ExpenseYearly Estimate
Food and Treats$240 – $720
Toys$25 – $100
Beds and Crates$60 – $360
Leashes and Collars$20 – $30
Grooming$100 – $250
Deworming, Flea and Tick Medications$150 – $250
Routine Veterinary Care$200 – $400
Pet Insurance$500 – $600
Vaccinations$80 – $250
Miscellaneous Supplies$30 – $50
Yearly Total$1,405 – $3,010
Average Monthly Cost$117 – $251

When computing the yearly budget for your Basenji, you need to consider the cost of professional grooming services. 

When grooming your dog at home, you need to have the proper equipment. Hairbrushes, De-shedding, nail trimmers, and other tools typically cost around $100 to $250.

As your Basenji gets older, you need to take more frequent trips to the vet. Regular veterinary care will ensure that your dog’s health is in tip-top condition. Veterinary expenses can reach around $200 to $400 every year.

Aside from veterinary costs, you also need to shell out money for pet insurance. This is one of the most important expenditures you will spend for your Basenji, especially as they age and get more prone to illnesses. 

The annual cost for pet insurance ranges from $500 to $600.

The computed annual expenses can be daunting to think about, but it’s actually quite reasonable. The average monthly cost is also calculated for quick reference and easier budgeting.

Other Potential Expenses

As a pet owner, it’s impossible to avoid extra expenses outside of the estimated initial and ongoing costs.

When these needs arise, you should have your emergency fund ready. While some of these expenses are optional, others are pretty much required.

Below is a list of potential expenses you may encounter while raising a Basenji pup:

  • Dog Daycare: There are situations where you need to be away from your furry friend. During business trips and vacations, you should entrust your dog in the hands of a dog daycare center. You may spend around $20 to $30 per day for this service.
  • Walking Services: As energetic dogs, Basenjis need a good amount of physical activity every day. If you don’t have the time to do this daily, you can hire a dog walker to keep your dog physically active. They will typically charge you around $15 to $25 for a 30-minute session.
  • Kennel Club Registration: If you want your Basenji to become the star of the show ring, you should register it to kennel clubs such as AKC and UKC. For around $90 to $150, your dog can join various dog events and competitions. You can also have proper documentation of your dog’s lineage.
  • Grooming Services: Grooming your pooch at home can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. Taking your pup to a professional groomer can ensure that their coats will be cleaned, well-trimmed, and risk-free of skin issues. Grooming fees will often run you around $60 to $80.
  • Medical Treatment: As your dog ages, it becomes more vulnerable to various health issues such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and Fanconi syndrome. If your Basenji experiences any of these conditions, you need to allocate around $1,000 to $5,000 for vet bills.

If your current lifestyle permits, you don’t necessarily need to spend on the expenses mentioned above. 

If you prioritize your dog’s health, you won’t also need to spend money on emergency medical treatment. This means you can invest more in your Basenji’s overall welfare.

Places to Find Basenji Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Six Basenji puppies for sale and adoption

The Basenji breed might not be like a Golden Retriever in terms of popularity, but their unique traits make these dogs easily stand out. Luckily, you won’t have to dig through the internet to find a reliable place to buy one.

The list of breeders below specializes in producing top-quality Basenji puppies:

  • Bantu Basenjis – This is an AKC Breeder of Merit breeder that strives to breed Basenjis that carry the distinct physical attributes of the breed. As conscientious breeders, they conduct different health tests to ensure that they are qualified for conformation rings and obedience competitions. They’ve been serving numerous families in Oregon since 2004.
  • Tanza Basenjis – This Basenji breeder has produced several AKC Champion dogs since it started in 1991. Regardless of whether the puppies are used for performance events or house companions, they make sure that each of them is healthy and with good temperaments.
  • Suddanly Basenjis – Located in central North Carolina, this breeder has been producing, training, and showing Basenjis since 1984. Their breeding program focuses on health and behavior, as well as conformation and performance capability. 

If you prefer to adopt than shop, you can send an application to the following Basenji rescue groups:

  • Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRaT) – Ever since starting its operation in 1999, BRaT has been dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming Basenjis from unsafe shelters, abusive situations, and voluntary surrenders. They ensure that their rescued dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and tested for common diseases before being adopted.
  • The Medfly Brigade Basenji Rescue – This California-based rescue provides permanent homes to Basenji purebreds and mixes. Their available pups for adoption can be seen on their website, as well as their contact information. Photos of adopted Basenjis with their newfound owners are also posted.
  • America’s Basenji & Shiba Inu Rescue – This is a foster-based rescue that covers Midwest and Mid-South states. Aside from strays, they accept elderly Basenjis that need immediate medical assistance. They also provide behavioral rehabilitation to prepare the dogs for a home setting.

Not all dog lovers are lucky enough to adopt a Basenji from rescue organizations. To secure your new pup, you should read our ultimate dog adoption guide for successful application tips.

READ NEXT: 13 Ways to Find Free Puppies in Your Area for Adoption (2023)

Money-Saving Tips for Basenji Owners

A pet expenses guide is not complete without some money-saving tips. Basenjis cost really high for most people, so it’s only imperative to know some ways to own this dog without hurting your bank account.

To help keep your expenses to a minimum, here are some practical tips for Basenji owners:

  • Try homemade or DIY alternatives. Instead of spending tons of money on treats and toys, you can find recipes and DIY tutorials online to make them. You can also replace your dog’s diet with a homemade or raw food diet as a practical and healthier alternative.
  • Invest in high-quality products. Buying cheap products may seem economical, but it actually rips you off more than purchasing pricey but high-quality products. By doing this, you won’t have to replace your dog’s items frequently. 
  • Keep your dog in the best shape. One of the best ways to save money is by maintaining your Basenji in the best health condition. Having a healthy dog means fewer trips to the vet and, thus, fewer expenses.
  • Groom your Basenji at home. If you have a knack for grooming dogs, you should take advantage of grooming your dog at home. If you’re still a newbie, I recommend watching YouTube tutorials on properly cleaning and grooming a Basenji pup.

The tips I mentioned barely scratched the surface of what you can do to avoid huge expenses. You can ask fellow Basenji owners by joining online forums or social media groups.

Final Thoughts

The Basenji dog breed will suit your needs for a quiet yet sharp family pet. Just like with other dogs, owning this one-of-a-kind pup incurs a lot of expenses starting from the moment of purchase until they reach their senior years.

Basenjis can be one of the easiest dogs to own because of their high trainability, intelligence, and affectionate personality. They are also considered low-maintenance dogs.

Aside from the financial responsibility, you should also embrace the commitment that comes along with being a fur parent. Once you form a bond with your Basenji, you won’t regret every penny you spent raising this dog.

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