4 min read

Back to School: Costs to Think About For Your Pup


Between new clothes and school supplies, there's no denying back-to-school season is an expensive time of year for parents of two- and four-legged children.

Caring for Fido in the summer is much easier when your little ones are around to help. But things get a little trickier when your kids head back to school, whether it's kindergarten or college. With fewer heads around to keep an eye on Scoob, you'll no doubt have to fork out some extra cash for extra pet care this semester. Don't "furget" to factor in these back-to-school costs for your pup this year!

Doggy daycare

Average cost of doggy daycare: $860/month

If your mutt has spent their entire puppyhood surrounded by family, they may struggle when it's time to go back to school. Behavioral issues related to stress are common, with 20% to 40% of dogs suffering from separation anxiety.

To help your pup adjust, you might be considering doggy daycare. While daycare can be a "grrreat" option for busy pet parents, there's no denying it can get expensive.

The cost of doggy daycare will vary depending on where you live, but you can expect to pay $43 per day on average. That comes out to about $215 a week for 5 days of daycare, or $860 a month. That's not including additional costs for things like medication administration, early pick-up or drop-off, or perks like one-on-one playtime.

Not sure if doggy daycare is worth the investment? Consider booking a Drop-In with Wag! instead! When you book a Drop-In visit, a 5-star Pet Caregiver will stop by to check on your pets, take them for a potty break, and ensure they're comfortable. It's a much cheaper alternative to doggy daycare that lets your pupper stay on their own turf.

To learn more about which option is right for your pets, check out our guide on the difference between doggy daycare and Wag! Drop-Ins.

Person walking Jack Russell Terrier down sidewalk on sunny day

Dog walking

Average cost of dog walking services: $22/day

Physical exercise is key to a happy hound. A dog who doesn't get enough exercise may pile on the pounds, which could cause health issues later in life.

There are "pawlenty" of things you can do to keep your pup entertained while they're home alone, like providing puzzle toys or interactive games. But your pup still needs to get their steps in!

Struggling to fit your pup's daily walks around your busy school and work schedules? Ensure Bella is having a ball during the busy back-to-school season by hiring a local dog walker

Although the cost of dog walking services will vary depending on where you live, you can expect to pay $15 for a 20-minute walk to $30 for a 60-minute walk on average when you book with Wag!.

The price of daily dog walks is much more affordable than vet costs associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, which can run into the thousands. Keep your pup in good shape and invest in their health and wellbeing by booking a walker this back-to-school season!

Dog training

Average cost of dog training: Varies

Before your kids head back to school, consider working on training so your doggo is happier to spend time home alone. While training may not solve all behavioral issues related to separation anxiety and boredom, it'll certainly help.

Here are some commands to focus on:

Do you really have to pay for dog training, though? Can't you just train your pup yourself? Absolutely! But effective training requires some basic knowledge of canine psychology and proper training methods. If you're not confident in your training abilities, or if your pup is a little stubborn, it might be time to bring in the pros.

The amount you'll pay for dog training depends on the type of training you choose. Prices range from $27 on average for a 30-minute virtual session to well over $4,000 for 2 weeks at a board-and-train facility. Not to mention the cost of dog training aids and accessories, which can cost anywhere from a few bucks to over $100.

Shop around to find the right training option for your pup. And remember, if you want to save some cash for back-to-school, digital dog training sessions with Wag! start at just $27 per 30-minute lesson on average!

Person doing paperwork sitting on floor of living room with dog on lap

Pet insurance

Average cost of pet insurance: $40/month

Emergencies and expensive vet bills always seem to hit at the worst possible time. Just take Ferris, for example. This sweet Pomeranian is the fur-baby of Wag!'s growth marketing specialist, Megan Crowley. Megan waited for over a year to insure Ferris, and when she finally took out a policy with Nationwide, he was diagnosed with encephalitis just 2 days before his waiting period ended. Since then, Megan has paid more than $15,000 in vet bills, completely out of pocket!

That's why Megan encourages pet parents "not to hesitate" about getting pet insurance. After all, $40 per month is much preferable to $800 every few weeks, which is the average cost Megan pays for Ferris' treatment.

Protect your pet (and your wallet!) from expensive vet bills with pet insurance. The right policy can put up to 100% of the cost of vet bills right back in your pocket in as little as 3 days.

Not sure how to find the right policy for your pup? Use Wag!'s pet insurance comparison tool to get custom quotes from leading providers in seconds.

Looking for more ways to save money on pet care? Check out Wag! Premium for discounts on dog walking, training, vet chat, and more!

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