23+ Monthly Expenses of Owning an Australian Shepherd

Written by Dr. Marcelle Landestoy, DVM

Australian Shepherd with snow

Are you looking to adopt an intelligent, loyal, energetic, and versatile dog?

The Australian shepherd is the perfect choice for anyone who can handle a tough, active, brainy, but trainable companion or herding dog.

But is it expensive to own an Australian shepherd?

It is expensive to own an Australian shepherd. Apart from the buying cost ($600 to $3000), you must consider the dog’s maintenance costs, including food, vet care, grooming, and insurance expenses. However, the cost of these expenses will depend on various factors.

This article provides a detailed guide on the cost of owning an Australian shepherd.

Read on to learn if this breed fits your lifestyle.

Food and Supplements

Australian shepherds have loads of energy. Your Aussie will always be ready for exercise despite a walk in the park, a few runs in the yard, or a hike.

Therefore, they require a high-quality diet to keep them healthy and energetic.

Food takes the lion’s share of a pet parent’s monthly budget. A dog’s food intake depends on age, weight, and activity levels.

For instance, the nutritional requirements of an Aussie puppy differ from those of an adult or senior shepherd.

Knowing how much food your Aussie needs when making a monthly budget is essential.


It’s also crucial to establish if your furry friend has special requirements such as vitamins or omega acid supplements.

Hence, when adopting an Aussie pup, request their background information to confirm if they have any allergies or food-related health conditions.

Now let’s look at Aussie age-related nutritional requirements:


An Aussie puppy’s diet profile differs from adult and senior shepherds.

Puppies require high-quality proteins for growth and development, and they need more fats for calories to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. 

According to the AFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), a pup’s diet should comprise at least 22% proteins and 8% fats.

The proteins should be highly digestible and contain low calcium levels to prevent hip dysplasia.

The best protein sources for your puppy’s food include chicken, lamb, salmon, beef, or turkey.

It’s also recommendable to include highly digestible carbs from wholemeal to balance your puppy’s diet. 

Therefore, some fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains are ideal.

Apart from energy, these foods provide dietary fiber.

Aussie puppies can feed on both dry and wet foods. However, most puppies enjoy wet food, although it’s more expensive than kibble.

Some pups may be picky eaters, while others are allergic to some foods.

Hence, observing your puppy’s reaction after introducing them to new dog food is essential. 

Most pet parents opt to buy supplements, including omega-3 and six fatty acids, multivitamins, and probiotics for their puppies.

Although they enhance good health, supplements aren’t always beneficial.

Therefore, it’s crucial to consult your vet before introducing your pup to any supplements.

Your pup’s portion size will determine your monthly food budget.

An Aussie puppy needs 1 to 2 cups of food three to four times a day. However, consider your Aussie’s age and weight since it determines their portion size.

You can check out Dog Food Advisor’s chart for the recommended feeding amounts for puppies. 

An Aussie puppy can feed on 6 cups of dog food daily. So, in a month, you’ll require 180 cups (45 lb / 20.41 kg) of dog food.

Since the average quantity of one bag of puppy food is 30 lb (13.61 kg), you’ll need approximately 1.5 bags every month. 

The average cost of one bag of puppy food is $57.98. So, you’ll spend approximately $86.97 per month to feed your pup adequately.

Moreover, you might have an additional expense of $32.50 if your puppy needs supplements.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Puppy food$55.98 – $117.96$86.97
Supplements (optional)$11 – $54$32.50
Total Average$66.98 – $171.96$119.47


Adult Aussies (over 12 -15 months old) require fewer fats (minimum of 5%) than puppies.

But, they need more high-quality proteins (minimum of 26%) to promote lean muscle growth and provide sufficient energy. 

Your dog will need a well-balanced diet for strong immunity and an energetic body.

So, you should provide an excellent balance of proteins, omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.

Moreover, it’s crucial to identify your furry friend’s preferences or any allergic reactions to some foods. 

Most Aussie adults feed on dry food containing proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

Some dog foods also have glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints.

Feeding your dog such foods will help them develop a healthy brain, joints, hips, and fur while maintaining the optimal weight.


Aussies are very energetic, and some dog parents may consider supplements to boost their dogs’ mobility.

So, they’ll most likely go for glucosamine and fish oil. Nevertheless, it’s vital to consult your vet before buying any supplements for your Aussie.

The amount of food your adult Aussie eats will depend on their age, weight, metabolism, and activity levels.

Adult shepherds are medium breeds weighing 40 – 65lb (18.14 – 29.48 kg).

Hence, their feeding portions range from 2 to 3 cups per day, and it’s best to feed them twice per day by following a fixed schedule.

Adult Aussies eat 5 cups of dog food daily (1.25lb / .57 kg) and 150 cups (37.5lb / 17 kg) in a month.

Since the average cost of a bag of adult dog food is $71.85, you’ll require 1.5 bags to feed your Aussie.

Hence, you’ll spend approximately $78.23 per month, which is slightly lower than the cost of puppy food.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Adult Dog Food$55.48 – $100.98$78.23
Supplements (optional)$11 – $54$32.50
Total Cost$66.48 – $154.98$110.73


Senior Aussies (8 -9 years old) require a specialized diet to suit their nutritional needs.

They need about 50% more high-quality proteins, fewer fats, and fewer calories than younger dogs.

Additionally, their food should contain omega-3 fatty acids to prevent progressive cognitive and joint problems.

Senior shepherds also require supplements to prevent age-related diseases.

For instance, you can supplement the fatty acids by adding EPA and DHA (700-1500mg) to their diets.

Moreover, they may require glucosamine and chondroitin to prevent joint problems such as osteoarthritis.

It’s essential not to overfeed your senior Aussie since their low activity and metabolism levels could lead to being overweight.

And, it’s preferable to feed them wet foods as they could have chewing difficulties. You may also consider warming your senior’s food to make it palatable.

Senior Aussies have a lower food intake than puppy and adult Aussies.

So, your aged Aussie can have 4 cups of dog food daily. However, their foods are relatively more expensive due to their specialized formulas.

You’ll spend approximately $104.48 every month on senior dog food only. And you might chip in about $32.50 for supplements. 

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Senior Dog Food$61.99 – $146.97$104.48
Supplements $11 – $54$32.50
Total Average$72.99 – $200.97$136.98

Grooming and Hygiene

It’s essential always to keep your Australian shepherd clean and well-groomed.

Some pet parents may opt for professional grooming services. However, to avoid extra expenses, it’s best to do the grooming yourself.

You’ll spend $45 – $70 on a professional grooming service.

Aussies require regular grooming, but several factors determine how often you groom your dog. These include:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Hair type
  • Location
  • Groomer’s expertise

Now, let’s break this down to analyze the cost of every grooming service:


Australian Shepherd walking

Australian shepherds have two coats, a thick undercoat and a stiff (coarse) top layer.

Due to their water-repellent double coats, Aussies don’t need frequent baths like other breeds. So, you can wash your dog every 2 – 3 months. 

Some Aussie parents prefer comprehensive grooming services, including baths, hair trimming, ear, and teeth cleaning.

The average cost of professional bathing (and brushing) for an Aussie is $55.

Mobile groomers charge $10 – $25, while self-service grooming in a salon will cost you $10 – $25 per session.

Alternatively, you can wash your furry friend at home. Hence, you’ll require some items, including shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes, and towels. 

ItemRange Average Cost
Shampoo$7 – $38$22.5
Conditioner$8 – $43$25.5
Combs and brushes$6 – $14$10
Towels$11 – $42$26.50
Total Cost$32 – $137$84.50

Nail Trimming

Trimming your Aussie’s nails will help keep them hygienic. Moreover, it maintains your dog’s gait and prevents injury or infections from torn nails.

Some pet parents prefer professional nail trimming, which may cost $10 – $15 per week ($50 per month).

However, it’s cheaper to clip your Aussie’s nails at home.

You’ll only need a good pair of nail clippers, a nail file, and (or) a nail grinder.

So, you’ll have a one-time expense of $55.50.

ItemRange Average Cost
Nail clippers$6 – $23$14.5
Nail file$5 – $12$8.5
Nail grinder$21 – $44$32.5
Total Average Cost$32 – $79$55.50

Hair Care and Trimming

Australian shepherds are heavy shedders. Therefore, they require weekly brushing to keep their coats soft and silky.

Moreover, you can trim your Aussie’s trousers since shaving their coats is not advisable.

Professional groomers charge $35 – $95 for bathing dogs, brushing, and trimming their fur.

So, you’ll spend an average of $65 every month on these services.

But, if you prefer doing this at home, you’ll spend about $66 (one-time cost) on a de-shedding tool, a slicker brush, and an undercoat rake.

Item Range Average Cost
Deshedding tool$5 – $43$24
Slicker Brush$3 – $39$21
Undercoat Rake$8 – $34$21
Total Cost$16 – $116$66

Dental Care

Aussies require dental care to keep their teeth clean, hygienic, and healthy.

Australian shepherds are more prone to dental problems than other breeds due to genetic factors and bad bites.

So, you can either clean your dog’s teeth at home or let a professional groomer do it.

Professional groomers have the following charges:

  • Teeth brushing: $10
  • Teeth cleaning (non-aesthesia): $100 – $300
  • Teeth cleaning (aesthesia): $500 – $1000

If you opt to brush and clean your Aussie’s teeth at home, you’ll have to invest in a good toothbrush ($5 – $15) and toothpaste ($5 – $25).

Furthermore, buying your dog dental chew toys ($5 – $18) and feeding them carrots, parsley, and coconut oil is suitable for their teeth.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll spend for professional tooth brushing and cleaning services:

Item Range Average Monthly Cost
Professional tooth brushing$10 (weekly)$40 
Professional tooth cleaning$100 – $1000$550 
Total$10 – $1000$590 

Here’s what you’ll spend if you choose to clean your dog’s teeth personally:

ItemRange Average Cost
Pet toothbrush$5 – $15$10
Dog toothpaste$5 – $25$15
Dental chew toys$5 – $18$12.50
Total $15 – $58$37.50

Veterinary Care

Every dog parent wants their pets to be healthy and energetic.

Hence, veterinary care is inevitable. Regular vet visits will help screen for and prevent illnesses that could endanger your dog’s life.

Aussies are more prone to some genetic and non-genetic disorders than other dog breeds.

These include:

  • Elbow dysplasia. This disease affects the forelimbs, leading to limping or lameness. The diagnosis and treatment of elbow dysplasia in young dogs cost $1500 – $4000.
  • Hip dysplasia. This is a common genetic joint deformity disease that can cause degenerative disease. The cost of treating hip dysplasia (via surgery) is $3500 – $7000 per hip.
  • Cataracts. This is a non-reversible, progressive eye disease that may cause blindness. The treatment cost for cataracts is $2700 – $4000.
  • Deafness. This is the partial or permanent loss of hearing due to genetic factors, infections, congenital disabilities, blocked ears, or old age. The testing cost for deafness in dogs is $300, while hearing aids cost between $150 and $700.
  • Hypothyroidism. This is an endocrine disease leading to low thyroid levels. The testing cost for hypothyroidism is $50-150, while the treatment cost is $20 – $50 (monthly).
  • Allergies. This occurs due to skin or food sensitivities. The total treatment cost for allergies is $600 – $1100.
ItemRange Average Cost
Elbow dysplasia$1500 – $4000$2750
Hip dysplasia$3500 – $7000$5250
Cataracts$2700 – $4000$3500
Deafness$450 – $1000$7250
Hypothyroidism$70 – $200$135
Allergies$600 – $1100$850


Regular checkups are vital for your Aussie, especially if they suffer from a progressive disease.

However, even if your dog is healthy, it’s advisable to visit the vet every six months.

In most veterinary clinics, the average cost for routine checkups is $50 – $250.


Pet parents spend more on vet checkups during the first year of owning Aussie puppies.

The pups may require services such as heartworm or flea and tick prevention.

These procedures may cost $64 – $320. Furthermore, most vaccinations occur during a puppy’s first year.

ItemRange Average Cost
Routine checkups $50 – $250$150
Physical examinations$45 – $55$50
Fecal exam$25 – $45$35
Heartworm and Tick prevention$64 – $320$192
Spay and Neuter$160 – $220$190
Total Cost$344 – $890$617


Adult Aussies have fewer medical requirements than puppies and seniors.

However, it would help if you take your dog for regular checkups (every six months).

Moreover, your furry friend may need frequent vet visits if they have underlying medical conditions. 

ItemRange Average Cost
Routine checkups $50 – $250$150
Physical examinations$45 – $55$50
Fecal examinations$25 – $45$35
Total Cost$120 – $350$235


Like puppies, a senior Aussie will require more vet checkups due to medical conditions in their old age.

For instance, your dog might require checkups for their joints, eyes, and ears.

Also, you may need to consult your vet regularly if your senior Aussie needs supplements.

ItemRange Average Cost
Routine checkups$50 -$250$150
Physical examinations$45 – $55$50
Fecal examinations$25 – $45$35
Geriatric screening$85 – $110$97.50
Total cost$205 – $460$332.50


Australian shepherds require vaccinations to protect them from contagious and fatal diseases.

For instance, your furry friend will need a jab against rabies as the disease also poses risks to humans.

You will have your Aussie vaccinated every three years, although this may depend on authorities.

Here are the average vaccination costs for dogs based on their ages:


An Aussie pup will require more vaccinations than adult and senior shepherds.

These will include core (3 times per year) and optional vaccinations.

The core vaccinations are at 6-8, 10-12, and 16-18 weeks. Moreover, your puppy will need a rabies jab.

ItemRangeAverage Cost (per year)
Core vaccine (6 – 8 weeks) $75 – $100$87.50
Core vaccine (10 – 12 weeks)$75 – $100$87.50
Core vaccine and Rabies (16 – 18 weeks)$90 – $120$105
Non-core vaccines (optional)$19 – $45$32
Total Cost$259 – $365$312


Your adult Aussie may require a booster vaccine annually or after three years.

But, this may also depend on several factors, including their immunity levels.

Therefore, it’s crucial to be up-to-date with the vaccination requirements in your state.

Moreover, take your furry friend to the vet for regular checkups to establish their state of health.

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Booster vaccine$18 – $25$21.50
Rabies jab$15 – 20$17.50
Total Cost$33 – $45$39.00


Due to their old age, senior dogs are susceptible to chronic conditions.

Your senior Aussie may require short-term vaccination in their first three years for diseases, including kennel cough, Lyme disease, or leptospirosis.

However, always consult your vet on the required vaccinations.

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Short-term vaccines$19 – $45$32
Rabies jab$15 – $20$17.50
Total Cost$34 – $65$49.50


Some pet parents avoid taking their dogs for veterinary visits due to the hefty consultation, treatment, and vaccination costs.

Therefore, it’s advisable to have insurance cover for your Aussie since they’re predisposed to hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia. 

Pet insurance reimburses pet parents the money spent on medical care, cushioning them from financial burdens, especially for unexpected vet visits. 

Insurance costs vary among pet insurance companies. However, a comprehensive plan is an ideal cover for your Aussie. 

Here are among the best pet insurance companies in the US:

  • PetFirst Pet insurance: Has a single cover for pet illnesses, injuries, and related treatments. The starting price for dog coverage is $150, while the fixed deductible premium is $250. Moreover, you can go for a Routine Rider Coverage for your dog’s annual vet exam, vaccination, and behavioral training, costing $125 – $575.  
  • PetAssure Insurance: Has different discounted service plans for single and multiple pets. These cover treatments related to illnesses, accidents, preventive care, and pre-existing conditions. The insurance cover has no deductible since you only have to pay the monthly premium of $11.95 (single dog), $16.95 (family plan), or $21.95 (unlimited plan).
  • Embrace Pet Insurance: Has two cover plans, accidents-only and accidents plus illness. The starting price is $145 (per year) for both policies, while the annual deductibles range from $100 to $1000. Embrace also has a Routine Care Rider that covers yearly checkups, microchipping, vaccination, and prescribed diets.
ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
PetFirst Insurance$150 (yearly)$12.50
PetAssure Insurance$143 (yearly)$11.95
Embrace Insurance$145 (yearly)$12.08
Average$143 – $150$12.18

Pet Supplies

You’ll need various supplies when you adopt an Australian shepherd for the first time.

Essential supplies will include:

  • Food and water bowls
  • A collar and leash
  • A dog first aid kit
  • A crate
  • Chewing toys

You might also buy additional items such as a dog bed, cooling pads, and specialty treats, all optional.

Necessary Items

Feeding items should be large enough to match your dog’s snout.

And safety equipment, including leashes (harnesses) and collars, should be comfortable.

The cost of these essentials will vary depending on their brand, size, and quality.

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Food and water bowls$10 – $50$30
Poop bags$5 – $46$25.50
Pee pads$5 – $39$22
Leash$4 – $25$14.50
Collar$4 – $50$27
Dog first aid kit$19 – $49$34
Chew toys$5 – $26$15.50
Crate$18 – $375$196.50
Total Cost$70 – $657$365

Optional Items

Some pet supplies are optional for a pet parent. They will make your furry friend more comfortable or entertained.

These include: 

ItemRange   Average Cost
Blankets$12 – $25$18.5
Dog beds$18 – $119$68.50
Specialty treats$10 – $40$25
Dog puzzles$13 – $25$19
Total Cost$53 – $209$131

Additional Costs

As a dog parent, you won’t evade miscellaneous costs to meet your Aussie’s everyday needs or wants.

For instance, you may need to leave your dog with someone when going on a business trip.

Hence, it’s also advisable to budget for those extra expenses.

Additional costs can include:

Dog Walker

If you’ve had a busy day at the office, you might have to hire a dog walker for your energetic Aussie. 

Dog walking costs may vary depending on the duration, the number of dogs, and the location.

But, on average, the price is $20 for a 20-minute walk.

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Dog walker$10 – $30$20

Daycare or Dog Sitting

At times, you may have to leave your dog behind. So, you could use the services of a dog sitter or daycare.

This may cost you $20 – $30 per day for a dog sitter or $40 – $280 for daycare. However, these prices greatly depend on your location.

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Daycare$40 – $280$160
Dog sitting$20 – $30$25

Dog Hotel

A dog hotel will come in handy when you want to go for a trip but can’t carry your Aussie.

These facilities meet dogs’ needs, including feeding, grooming, and entertainment.

The average costs for dog boarding are anywhere from $25 – $40 (daily), $150 (weekly), and $500 (monthly). 

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Dog hotel$25 – $40 (daily)$32.50


Aussies are easy to train since they are intelligent dogs. So, you can contact a professional trainer for $30 – $80 per class.

Alternatively, you can purchase a dog training book (video) and train your furry friend yourself.

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Training$30 – $80$55


Microchips are implants that serve as permanent identification for pets. Microchips are more efficient than name tags since they’re tamper-proof and can’t fade.

The average cost of inserting a microchip is $45 – $55. 

ItemRangeAverage Cost
Microchip$45 – $55$50

Monthly Budget of Owning an Australian Shepherd

As an Australian shepherd parent, you’ll incur several costs every month.

While you can’t control some, like food costs and medical care, you can reduce extra expenses such as grooming and entertainment.

Additionally, you’ll spend money on other expenses, including vet care and supplies.

The following table summarizes the monthly budget of an Aussie parent.

ItemRangeAverage Monthly Cost
Food and supplements$66.48 – $200.97$133.73
Bathing (professional)$55 (every two months)$27.50
Nail trimming (professional)$32 – $79$55.50
Hair care (professional)$35 – $95$65
Dental care (professional)$10 – $1000$590
Checkups$120 – $890 (every six months)$84.17
Vaccines$33 – $365 (annually)$16.58
Insurance$11.95 – $12.50$12.18
Total cost$984.66


  • American Kennel Club: Australian Shepherd
  • Association of American Feed Control Officials: AAFCO Methods For Substantiating Nutritional Adequacy of Dog and Cat Foods
  • Dog Food Advisor: Top 10 Best Puppy Foods
  • Investopedia: Best Pet Insurance Companies
  • Australian Shepherd Lovers Website
  • New England Veterinary Center & Cancer Care: Fixing Your Dog’s Hip
  • Wag Walking: Hearing Loss in Dogs
  • Mercury News: The Cost of Treating Allergies in Pets
  • VCA Hospitals Website
  • Embrace Pet Insurance Website
  • Pawlicy Website
  • HomeGuide Website

Read my post on THE MOST COMMON AILMENTS OF AUSSIES so you can plan in case your pup is affected by any of these.

Veterinary Hospital Director at UCE
Dr. Marcelle is a general veterinarian with a Small Animal Medicine Specialty | Director of the UCE School of Veterinary Medicine | Certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society

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