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Why Are Pugs So Expensive? (Expected Ownership Costs)

Man’s best friend is not always his pocket’s best friend, which is clearly shown when dealing with and owning exotic dogs. Of all the different types of dogs, pugs are probably the cutest, and no doubt, very pricey.

Pugs are clownish dogs that have a very charming personality, and despite their mischief, a pug’s affection is worth the trouble. For a pug owner, a pug is priceless, but the lifelong feeding and maintenance that comes with owning a pet for the first time makes it easy for sellers to put a tag on pups.

How Much Does A Pug Cost (To Buy)?

If you want to get a healthy pug pup and from a reputable breeder, you have to be comfortable parting with between $1,500 to $3,000 or more if you are looking for a pedigree.

Many factors determine the cost of a pug, but the mean price ranges between $300 to $1,500 if you are more flexible about the pug’s age, with the most expensive one being in the stratosphere of $2,500.

Such factors that influence the pug’s cost are such as the pug’s bloodline, breeder reputation, location, coat, and color of the pug.

Despite pugs not being the most expensive dogs, they certainly aren’t cheap either. The cost of keeping a pug over a lifetime sums up to food bills, vet bills, and other necessities, which amount to roughly $18,000 to $30,000 in a span of between 12 to 15 years.

What Makes Pugs So Expensive?

Pugs are generally cute, excellent companions, and not your average day kind of pet; they are simply awesome. Pugs are usually expensive, which can be subjective when compared to other breeds of dogs.

It is possible to find a pug for less than the average cost, but you have to be ready to part with more than a few dollars if you want a healthy pug. Among the factors that determine the price of a pug and its expense compared to other breeds of dogs are; the cost and demand, geographic location and source of the pug, the pug’s age, expected health problems, and small litters, among others.


The pug cost can vary with the location of the pug and your whereabouts. This means that pugs can be expensive in some countries, but as you move from place to place in the same region, the costs differ.

As such, if you want a pug from a particular region, you have to bear the costs of pugs in that region, and you also need to consider travel costs if you’re traveling far to get your pug. However, it is cheaper to buy a nearby pug with a higher price tag than travel far for one with a lower price tag.

This, however, should be done after shopping around for different breeders and their prices and comparing them to get the best deal.

Pug coat colors

The only pug colors that are recognized by the AKC are black and fawn, but that doesn’t hinder some dog breeders from breeding other colors that are considered rarer.

The pricing of colored dogs is different, which shouldn’t really be blamed on the breeders as it is just a classic case of supply and demand. The Bridle variations of pugs are more expensive compared to other variations because they are very rare.

Pug dogs that are less common such as apricot, apricot fawn, and silver-colored ones, tend to have a higher price tag. After all, they are stylish dogs with fancy colors, and everyone wants that cuteness in the house.

Age and breed challenges

If you want to get a cheaper pug, you should probably get an old age pug and not a puppy. Old age pugs are low in demand, which makes them less costly compared to pups.

The breed of a pug also determines its cost, with additional difficulties, charges, and rearing costs. For instance, the pedigree breed is the most expensive, and it costs up to and above $5,000 in some countries.

The expenses that come with doctor’s visits, especially during pregnancy and the aftercare after conception, are why these pets’ costs are over the top.

The pedigree or bloodline of a pug also matters a lot when it comes to price variations of pugs. A pedigree pug simply means that the dog is of pure breed, and it has at least 3 generations with no crossbreeding.

Pugs with a superior lineage tend to cost more than those without one, and if the dog has an impressive list of ancestors, it commands a substantially hefty premium.

Popularity of pugs

According to The American Kennel Club, pugs are the 28th most popular breeds of dogs worldwide. Pugs have been considered a pet for rich form as they are mostly found in China and Europe royal families; thus, a pug is a royal dog.

Pugs are popular for their charm, with most people loving their entertaining look and small size, which makes it easy to carry them around. As such, pugs are exceptionally famous, and reproducers don’t hesitate to charge an excellent cost to people in need of one.

Reputable pug breeders

You can choose to buy your pug from either a reputable pug breeder or other breeders who may not be well-known.

Of course, if you want a cheaper deal, you will go with other breeders. Reputable and well-established pug breeders are considered very ethical, and their pugs will cost you a little more.

Average Yearly Costs/Expenses of a Pug Owner

With the costs of having a pup being so high, it is important to consider the average annual expenses and costs of claiming a pug. Buying a pug is one thing, but the care and expenses thereafter are what make them the upkeep pets they are.

When considering the costs of owning a pug, look at the cost of purchase or adoption, the kennel, and crates as well as the registration costs, although the registration is optional. Registering your pug with the American Kennel Club gives you access to a number of unique benefits that your pug can’t enjoy otherwise.

Pugs often experience ill effects of different medical issues as a result of their overbreeding history, something that most people don’t factor in as they are just pulled into the pug’s charm. They are famous for diverse medical problems such as joint pains, skin disease, breathing problems, and hip dysplasia.

When analyzing the yearly costs of a pug, you should consider the purchase costs, annual food and treats, vet visits and annual wellbeing checks, canine protection, canine walker and canine sitting, insect treatment, and tick collars.

When all these are factored in, the average annual expenses to claim a pug is $3,000, which is quite costly. It is thus advisable to have good pet protection for your pug because you will probably have more vet visits (for insect medicines, deworming, and annual inoculations) than doctor visits.

To give you a realistic view of the true yearly cost of owning a pug, we surveyed 10 pug dog owners about how much they spend yearly to own their pug. Each of the respondents owned pugs with no health problems (yet) and the average annual cost of these 10 pug owners is listed below:

Yearly Expenses To Own A Pug (With No Health Problems)

All amounts have been rounded to the nearest $100 for estimation purposes.

  • How much it costs to buy a Pug: $300 to $3,000 (only first year expense)
  • Pet insurance for the dog: $400
  • Dog food and treats: $600
  • Dog toys and bed: $100
  • Flea and tick treatment/supplies: $300
  • Vet costs: $300
  • Dog sitter/walker (if needed): $800

That comes out to $2,800 yearly on the low end, followed by $2,500 after that first year, or as much as $5,500 the first year and $2,500 in subsequent years.

Keep in mind that the surveyed put owners above are not paying for any health problems currently, but pugs are renowned for health issues – so those later years WILL be more expensive than expected.

If you’re still considering getting a pug as your pet, then definitely make sure that you get some great pet insurance to cover those expected health issues when they arise.

Are Pugs Really Worth the Price?

It is no doubt that pugs are among the most entertaining dogs you can find, which is why they cost as much. These dogs, despite their mischief, are very comical and charming, and so they are definitely worth the price.

Pugs are also generally very intelligent in their own way, especially because they are very instinctive, and they easily adapt. So, now that you know what to expect you can make a better decision as to if a pug is the right dog breed for you and your family.

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National Canine Research Association of America