How Much Does a Pit Bull Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

A Pit Bull Puppy

Owning a Pit Bull is a unique experience. Your furry friend will provide you with companionship, love, and a lot of happy moments. However, all of this comes at a cost… and a high cost, unfortunately. But how much exactly will you have to pay to finance your lovely creature?

How much does Pit Bull cost? The cost of a purebred Pit Bull puppy ranges from $500 to $1,000. It is possible to find lower price tags though, but they’re most likely scams. Apart from that, you should also be aware of the lifetime cost of the dog. This can vary a lot, but $15,000 is an appropriate estimation.

I know it may seem a bit hard at first, but with an in-depth examination, you’ll be able to estimate the costs of your Pit Bull.

I’ve researched everything an owner should have in mind. In this article, I’ll show you my discoveries to help you with this process.

The Average Cost of a Pit Bull Puppy

Apart from healthcare costs, the most obvious first-time expense is actually purchasing a Pit Bull. Thankfully, that’s one of the simplest costs to analyze as well.

I say it’s the most straightforward part because there isn’t much variation in dog prices. True, puppies’ cost may range a few hundred dollars, but that’s nothing compared to his lifetime expenses.

The acceptable price window for a Pit Bull puppy starts at $500 and goes up to $1000, approximately. This is what reputable breeders typically price their dogs. However, it’s also possible to find different amounts depending on the type of breeder.

This table illustrates the customary price ranges you’ll find for different types of breeders:

Point of PurchaseCost
AdoptionFree – $650
Puppy Mills$100 – $300
Backyard Breeders$300 – $700
Reputable Breeders$500 – $1000

Unless you opt for adopting a Pit Bull, anything below $300 should be avoided. Dogs offered for this price will likely be from puppy mills. And that’s something you definitely don’t want.

On the other hand, puppies above the maximum recommended price should also be avoided unless you’re looking for Pit Bulls from champion bloodlines.

The cost can go up to $3,500 if the Pit Bull puppy has champions in its bloodlines, which means that at least one of its parents has earned an AKC Championship title.

What you can do is contact the seller and ask them some questions. They must give you valid arguments to explain their high asking price. It would be only worth it if the breeder is highly reputable and famous among the community. And obviously, you must be able to afford it as well!

For a regular person, which I think is your case, there isn’t much need to go for something higher, honestly. Dogs listed for a high grand are commonly prepared for professional uses, such as participating in competitions. For a casual mate, you won’t need that.

One last thing you may have to consider is shipping. If you are going to buy a Pit Bull from another part of the country, you’ll likely need to pay this extra fee to bring him home.

The Costs of Adopting a Pit Bull

The most economical way of getting your dog is by adoption. Going for this method, not only will you save money but also will likely help a Pit Bull in desperate need of an owner.

Many people believe that adopting a pet is entirely free, but that’s not always the case. The first expense you’ll face is the adoption fee.

Most organizations charge future dog owners this payment to cover their costs in the care of the animals. Its cost varies a lot. The typical price is around $100 to $650, but in some cases, you may not even be charged.

The main defining factors are your location, whether you’re adopting from a private or a public organization, and the age and breed of the dog. Ultimately, every rescue group or shelter determines its own adoption fee.

At first, prices may seem a bit high, but, in most cases, they’re not. The catch is that rescue groups already pay big bucks for the basic needs of the animal.

They need to provide it with food, veterinary care, and sometimes even training and rehabilitation in the case of a severe accident in the past.

Due to that, you can take a substantial monetary advantage by adopting instead of buying your Pit Bull.

However, you must note that many dogs for adoption are not “perfect,” in contrast to when buying one. Dog breeders generally care a lot about the appearance, bloodline, and other aspects that make the dog look neat and tidy.

Shelters, on the other hand, are mostly for people wanting to do a great deed and who don’t bother too much about qualities. So it will be common to see a lot of mixed-breed pooches and significant age variations between them.

Apart from the fee, expenses for adopted dogs are basically the same as for bought ones. Although you’ll be discounted from initial veterinary costs, any healthcare needs in the future will be covered by you.

If you want to adopt a Pit Bull from a long distance, shipping fees may also be charged.

Backyard Breeders vs. Reputable Breeders

Although it isn’t ideal to buy a dog from a backyard breeder, sometimes it might not be a huge problem. Unlike puppy mills, backyard breeders generally offer proper conditions to their dogs.

The main problem is that they don’t have any official certifications or experience at all. Therefore, they don’t worry about bloodline, origins, or any other special details.

Backyard breeders are commonly people who just want to make some money by letting, in most cases, their own dogs to mate.

On the other hand, as the naming suggests, reputable breeders are those who have plenty of expertise mating pets and are widely known by the community. If you’re concerned about family history and all these other details, you should definitely opt for a reputable breeder.

Obviously, they will charge much more for their Pit Bulls. That’s why it’s vital to know exactly what kind of dog you want and whether or not a backyard breeder fits your needs.

Yearly Expenses Owning a Pit Bull Puppy

To forecast the approximate expenses of a Pit Bull’s ownership, first we must break them down on a yearly basis. It’s much simpler to analyze the data on a smaller scale.

Obviously, each case is unique, so it’s hard to predict the costs with extreme precision. But anyway, the expenses of owning a Pit Bull per year will look something like this:

ExpenseYearly Estimation
Food$500 – $1,500
Veterinary care & pet insurance$300 – $800
Spaying/neutering & other medications$200 – $400
General items & toys$200 – $500
Training, pet sitting, walking (optional)$500 – $2,000
Grooming$200 – $700
Estimated Total$1,900 – $5,900

Good, now you know how much you’ll need to spend per year on your Pit Bull. However, the first year is going to be slightly different. That’s because you should consider the first-time costs of a dog.

Depending on how you get your furry friend, they will greatly vary. If you adopt him, many veterinary bills may be included in the adoption fee. But that’s something we’re going to see with more details later.

In case you’re going to purchase the dog, the majority of vaccines and initial veterinary costs won’t likely come with him. In the first few months, expect to spend from around $150 to $600 with them.

In addition to it, you should also know that puppies must visit the vet with a higher frequency. They must go on a regular weekly basis until around 16 weeks of age.

Each meeting may cost you from around $100 to $300. However, this greatly depends on your location and how much your veterinarian wants to charge.

Food Expenses

The first thing that typically crosses owners’ minds when it comes to calculating the expenses of a pet is food. And this is going to represent the biggest fraction in your pooch’s lifetime cost.

The American Pet Products Association stated that, in 2019, $95.7 billion was spent by the US population on pets that year. Out of this amount, $36.9 billion was the price tag solely for food and treats. That’s a slice of more than 38% of the total expenses!

From this example, you can have an idea of how food is key in owning a Pit Bull.

Before starting to guess any prices, we need to analyze your options. Depending on the type of food you provide to your dog, its cost will change.

The main food choices for Pit Bulls are:

Kibble

The cheapest option for you. The capacity of lasting long and being simple to store also makes dry food the most popular pick available in the market. A 30-pound bag of dry dog food will cost you an average of $30 to $35.

Kibble helps in maintaining your dog’s teeth clean. Still, some products may also contain high amounts of preservatives, which can be bad for your furry friend’s health.

If you go for this option, seek brands that use whole food as the product’s primary ingredients.

Canned/wet food

It may be a bit more pricey, but your Pit Bull will go crazy for it. A 30-pound bag of canned/wet food is available for around $40 to $50.

Dogs find wet food delicious. Be aware that this type of food contains higher amounts of water, which reduces its nutritional value.

However, if you find a product labeled as “nutritionally complete” and you can afford it, it will be a fantastic option for your pooch.

Raw food

As the name suggests, raw meat and vegetables are the primary components of these products. They are very controversial due to concerns about diseases.

For a Pit Bull that typically weighs around 30 to 65 pounds, a commercially available raw chicken diet will cost you about $2.50 to $5 per day.

However, reputable brands offer excellent quality control and are perfectly safe for your Pit Bull to eat.

Human food

The cost of feeding human food to your Pit Bull depends on what you give them. But $5 per day is a good estimate. Although you can offer this kind of food to your furry friend sometimes, it isn’t advised to give him the foods you eat all the time.

Some of them can cause severe issues inside his body. Since your dog will eat human food inconsistently, it’s not worth it to consider it in our estimations.

The amount of food your dog eats is a crucial factor to take into consideration as well. The average adult Pit Bull consumes around 1100 calories a day.

However, your dog’s activity levels are the deciding element on this amount. Judge what you think he needs via experience, but never let him peckish!

Considering that you feed him high-quality products, expect to pay from $20 to $60 per month on food. In a full year, this translates to a price range from $250 to $700, approximately.

Veterinary Care and Pet Insurance

If you adopt your Pit Bull, it’s highly likely that he will have already undergone his first medical procedures and taken initial vaccines. However, if you are buying him, it’s vital to pay more attention to these initial costs.

Whatever your case is, you’ll still need to bring him to the veterinary many times a year throughout his life.

A dog goes through many annual checkups. You must be ready for vaccinations, titer tests, physical exams, and office fees, among other expenses. In most cases, they’re all covered by the owner.

However, pet insurance can really benefit you. Just like human healthcare insurance, these services cover a lot of medical expenses for pets.

Simple checkups can cost you from $100 to $300, while emergencies and surgical procedures prices typically go above $400.

Obviously, this amount may vary a lot depending on your location and your pooch’s veterinarian, mainly. Nonetheless, it is always going to be expensive.

That’s why insurance plans are valuable. You need to pay a monthly fee for them, but the free veterinary coverage will compensate for it in the long run. I highly recommend you going for the services offered by the American Kennel Club. Yes, the AKC has its own pet insurance plan.

The service offered by the AKC is highly customizable. The base plan covers general accidents and illnesses and starts at no more than $10 per month.

There are four possible add-ons: Exam, Hereditary, Wellness, and Final Respects. You can handpick the ones that are suitable for your dog.

To calculate the precise expenses with pet insurance, you first should get a quote with the company. The AKC, for example, offers an online tool you can use for free.

Spaying/Neutering and Other Medications

In the case you adopt your Pit Bull, there isn’t much to worry about spaying or neutering him/her. As I previously mentioned, most shelters cover some of the animal’s basic expenses, which often includes this surgery.

If that’s not the case or you are opting to buy your pooch, spaying or neutering cost will be a thing. The average fee for this procedure is around $200, but it will all depend on the facility you choose. There are also a bunch of low-cost spay/neuter programs too.

Another thing that you need to consider is your Pit Bull’s medications. Even if he doesn’t have severe health problems, his vet will probably recommend something for treating common issues, such as fleas, heartworms, and other routine sicknesses.

Remedies to treat these problems cost typically around $200 to $400 per year. Depending on your dog, you may need to seek other treatments. Consequently, prices will vary a lot.

The good part is that some pet insurance plans cover these medications! You can save hundreds of dollars yearly if you subscribe to one of these programs.

General Items and Toys

Before bringing your Pit Bull inside his new home, you need to have all of his indispensable items ready. Things like cage, bed, toys, leashes, and so on are also considerable expenses. However, most of them should be bought once in his entire life, or only if they break.

The basic things you can’t forget to purchase are:

  • Bed
  • Leads and collars
  • Toys
  • Cage and outdoor dog house

Bed

Like humans, dogs also need to sleep with comfort. That’s why you need to provide your furry friend with at least one cozy bed. Prices vary a lot, depending on the features of the product.

I recommend you to seek prices between $50 and $100. This range offers the best cost-quality ratio. If you think your dog needs more sophistication, you’ll need to pay a bit more.

Leads and collars

These are the primordial items when going out with your pooch. You must buy at least one of them. Fortunately, they’re the cheapest things you’ll need to worry about.

Collars and ID tags together won’t cost you more than $20, which is basically the same price for a good lead as well.

Toys

Expenses with toys vary a lot, depending on what your dog prefers. The cost of a single item isn’t high. Regular toys can be bought at as little as $10 on average. However, the total figure depends on the number of objects you’ll purchase to your pooch.

Some people find pet toys so cute they can’t resist buying them. If you are one of these owners, you’ll quickly see your entire house full of funny objects. And it isn’t really necessary to purchase these crazy amounts.

There are different kinds of toys. Some help with mental exercise, but others are for having fun or just for chewing. My advice is to get a few of each main type available. That will generate the right balance of toy types.

Cage and outdoor dog house

Although not essential, dog owners commonly want to buy these items. A cage can be especially useful for practicing crate training, for example. If that’s the case, expect to add around an extra $60 to your dog’s first bill.

If your intention is to confine him, you can also buy fences. They are an interesting option because they give a bit more freedom to your pet while still enclosing him.

If you want to leave him outside sometimes, you should definitely consider buying a dog house. It will provide him with shelter and comfort. Dog houses are a bit pricey. Expect to pay at least $100 for a quality kennel.

Training, Pet Sitting and Walking

I’m sure you’ll love to train and chill with your furry friend. However, there are some situations in which this is not going to be possible.

If you aren’t able to be 100% present to train or provide company to him, you’ll likely want to hire a dog trainer or a pet sitter.

Before getting into the expenses, I really advise you double-checking if you really can’t do the job. I regularly see a lot of owners that opt for hiring someone because they don’t believe in their capacity, but the reality is different.

Pit Bulls are easy-to-be-trained dogs. If you think teaching your pet basic commands is hard, try to test it first. If the training really doesn’t work, then consider hiring a professional.

The same thing applies to walking or taking care of him inside the home. If you think you’re too busy for that, analyze your routine in the first place.

To prevent your pooch from being alone, pet sitting and boarding are your options. The latter is generally the most economical. However, if you want specialized care for him, look for hiring a pet sitter. Expenses with these services commonly range from $100 to $300 yearly.

The cost for walkers and trainers depends specifically on the professional. Their expertise and location are the main factors that will determine their rate.

A single walk will cost you approximately $20. Dog trainers, on the other hand, may charge you a little more due to the expertise involved in the training process. If you opt for particular sessions, expect a rate between $30 to $40.

Grooming Expenses

Some breeds demand time-consuming and obnoxious grooming care. Thankfully, that’s not the case when it comes to Pit Bulls. This type of dog has a short coat, which is easy to brush and doesn’t accumulate much dirt.

The only thing that calls my attention is the cost of trimming nails, which may range from $10 to $25! Due to that, I highly advise you to invest in learning how to do this by yourself.

Since a Pit Bull’s nails should be trimmed once or twice a month, doing it at home will save you big bucks in the long term.

If you need professional help to cut your dog’s nails, that’s likely going to be your only expense with grooming staff. Apart from trimming, every other grooming procedure is simple to do on your own. Therefore, I guarantee you’ll rarely need another expert to help you.

Taking care of your pooch’s oral health is essential. Brush his teeth at least twice or three times a week. If you can, daily brushing would be even better.

Maintaining good brushing habits prevents many issues, such as tartar buildup, bacteria, gum disease, and bad breath. Remember that expenses with the veterinarian are higher than with adequate care. And seeing your dog bad is really not comfortable either.

Pit Bull’s anatomy and lack of fur make them dogs with a low requirement for baths. The bathing frequency can range from once every one to six months.

Everything will depend specifically on how often your pet gets dirty, which is often closely related to his levels of activity.

Due to baths, your water bill will clearly rise. However, this increase is unpredictable. Again, it all depends on many factors. These are mainly the frequency that you bathe your dog, the length of the wash, and his facility to accept the situation.

You can estimate the amount by looking at the cost of water per gallon on your city and how much water you use in a single session.

The cost of toothpaste and dog shampoo is what we need to finish with grooming expenses. On average, expect to pay around $200 to $700 yearly for them. After nail trimming, they’re going to be what you’ll mostly have to worry about.

My Final Thoughts

But after all, what are the actual lifetime expenses of a Pit Bull? As I previously mentioned, there isn’t a precise answer to that.

Nevertheless, we can try to think about rough estimations. The American Kennel Club states that a medium-sized dog that lives for 13 years would cost their owners around $15,000. This forecast seems very adequate for a Pit Bull, and I agree with it.

There are things you can predict with better accuracy than me, though. For example, you can go to your nearest pet store right now and see what the price for the food you’d buy for your pooch is.

By knowing the size of his meals, you can guess pretty accurately how much you would spend monthly.

You’ll know the prices for most stuff only by experience. However, don’t worry too much about the price tags. Expect to spend around our estimations, but always be ready to pay a few grand more just in case.

Remember: you’re dealing with dogs. They are unpredictable and are a big responsibility.

References & Citations

  • The Spruce Pets
  • American Kennel Club
  • Amazon
  • Nylabone
  • Dogster
  • Daily Dog Stuff
  • Howmuchisit.org
  • Dogtime.com
  • Petfinder
  • The Nest
  • CheatSheet

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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