Breed Tips

The True Cost of Owning a Chow Chow in 2024

Chow Chow Characteristics 

  • Life expectancy: 11 – 13 years 

  • Adult weight: 50 – 90 lbs. 

  • Adult height: 18 – 22 in. 

  • Origin – China

Bred in Northern China, Chow Chow is a spitz type of Chinese breed with a big ball of fur around its face. It is said to be one of the most ancient breeds in the world, with some citations claiming it to be over 3,000 years old. These medium-sized dogs are not very active and can be said as a cat-like dog breed. Talking about cat-like, they can even be as aloof as a cat. They’re not a huge fan of hugs and cuddles, but they’re even as clean as cats. 

When it comes to appearance, apart from the huge fur face, its purple-blue-black tongue is another noticeable feature that tends to the lips as well. The laid-back personality is not to be underestimated. It is a very muscular and sturdy breed which be very protective of the family. These distinct but attractive, active-looking also pose as very good show dogs.

What is the price of a Chow Chow? 

We will break down the price by categorizing it by initial buying/adoption costs, vaccinations, diets, healthcare, and grooming. This way, you can get an idea of the costs associated with owning a Chow Chow. According to the OVMA and Rates, here are the average costs of puppy ownership in Canada.

Buying: $1200 – $2000

If you are looking for a Chow Chow dog to buy, it could cost you around $1200-$2000, depending on the type of breeder you choose. Around 10,000 Chows are registered in the U.S. every year. Although this breed is not very rare, the cost can be higher if your Chow Chow has a champion bloodline. Their blue tongues are another reason for this breed's high price. The price also depends if you are planning to buy a black, red, fawn, or white Chow. The price of a Panda Chow, for example, can go up to around $5000.

If you find this price a little too high and are looking to buy a Chow Chow for under $500, another option for you is to adopt a Chow from a shelter or a rescue organization. There are several trusted and reputed organizations that can help you adopt a Chow at a reasonable price. The older dogs will probably be cheaper than the puppies, but you can expect the adoption cost to be around $150-$300. This fee usually covers the cost of care that most shelters generally provide before adoption.

Monthly costs for a Chow Chow

Diets: $50-$100

Chow Chows can get big, like really BIG. To support this big body, large amounts of food are required. You can expect to pay around $90-$100 per month for a big bag of high-quality, vet-recommended dog kibble and a few small bags of treats. 

Grooming: $80-$150

These Chinese dogs are heavy seasonal shedders. Even during the non-shedding season, their thick and dense double-coat will need proper grooming to help avoid fleas and ticks and to maintain their appearance. If you want to prefer to groom your dog at home, some supplies you will need include brushes, nail clippers, and dental cleaning kits for around $80-$150. If you prefer a professional grooming service, it could cost you $50-$60 per session at one session a month.

Medical Costs: $150-$200

During the first years, it is recommended you take your pet to the vet about 3-4 times annually. Vet fees can range from $100 to $300 and could include things like annual wellness exams and blood tests, among other recommended preventive care treatments. Other examinations and tests could cost you another $300-$400.

One-time costs for a Chow Chow

Initial Costs: $400-$450

You will have to equip your house with some initial items before bringing your Chow Chow. This list could include food and water bowls, a bed, a crate, leashes and collars, toys, chewies, and a harness. On average, the cost of these items is around $400-$450.

Vaccinations: $250-$300

There are certain core vaccinations that a Chow Chow would need. These include distemper, parvovirus, Adenovirus, type 1, Adenovirus, type 2, and rabies. All of these could cost you around $150-$200.

There are certain non-core vaccinations as well that are recommended by most vets for a Chow Chow. These include parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. The cost of these vaccines can be around $130-$150.

Microchipping: $60-$80

The cost can vary depending on where you live, but the average cost is around $60. Along with a dog license, it could cost an additional 10-20 bucks.

Neutering or Spaying: $200-$500

It is highly recommended you get your dog spayed or neutered to help protect them against health problems. These costs can be around $200-$500 for neutering and spaying.

Lifetime Chow Chow Price

The first year of your Chow’s life can be among the most expensive given the tests and vaccinations, which can cost around $5000. The monthly expense for these dogs can be expected to be around $200, with an estimated annual cost of $2400. Including the initial costs of buying or adoption, set-up costs, and recurring annual or one-time expenses, the lifetime cost of owning a Chow Chow can be around $25,000. This makes these dogs one of the most expensive breeds to own, and this does not include the cost of medical emergencies or illnesses should they happen to your pet.


A Chow Chow is a large-fluffy dog from China, and the cost of owning one is among the highest for all dog breeds. These dogs may require more maintenance and food than the average breed, but their lovely personalities compensate for the potentially high lifetime cost. So go get these big fur balls home!

Happy Parenting to you and Lots of Love to your Pup!

  1. “Annual Cost of Owning a Puppy,” OVMA,, n.d.

  2. “The Cost of Owning a Pet in Canada,” Rates,, n.d.

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