How Much Does a Basenji Cost? (2024 Updated)

Basenji price how much does a Basenji cost

A lot of people are curious to know how much Basenjis cost, along with the necessary expenses of raising them. Due to their relative rarity, Basenjis usually cost more compared to other dogs.

However, considering the uniqueness of this “barkless dog” and the effort that responsible Basenji breeders put into keeping this breed alive, their price range is quite appropriate. 

If you’re curious to learn the Basenji price, their annual expenses, some money-saving tips, and the best places to find Basenji puppies, all the important information you need is in this article. 

How Much Does a Basenji Puppy Cost?

How much does a Basenji puppy cost

From a reputable Basenji breeder, a Basenji puppy typically costs around $1,500 to $3,000. For a show-level Basenji, you can expect a price range of $1,800 to $4,500. The high price of show-level Basenji puppies is primarily driven by their pedigree and quality. 

Basenjis are significantly known to be contenders for the title of oldest AKC breed. This breed is also depicted in ancient Egyptian artifacts as well as ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian art.

Also known as the Congo dog from Central Africa, the demand and cost for the Basenji breed continue to soar. Unfortunately, their availability is not quite matched because of their limited number.

The Basenji lineage, the cost of canine health testing, and the limited number of Basenji puppies born each year are some of the factors that can influence the high Basenji price. 

As the popularity of the Basenji breed increases, so do their puppy prices. There has also been a growth in the number of conscientious breeders who practice proper and safe methods in producing Basenji litters.

Although it may bear a higher price, it is advisable to purchase your puppies from reputable and conscientious breeders who have ethical practices in breeding dogs. It is also recommended to adopt from your local shelter.

Beware of unethical Basenji breeders who offer puppies at low prices. These breeders most likely have immoral and unethical ways of producing litters and containing dogs which result in low selling costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Basenji From a Shelter?

Basenjis cost a lot less when you adopt from a shelter rather than when you purchase from a breeder. It would typically cost you between $200 and $500 to adopt Basenji rescues from animal shelters or other rescue groups. 

In some instances, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, medical expenses, and even microchipping are covered in the adoption fee. These are typically the expenses before or during the adoption of your Basenji.

Some shelters and rescue groups don’t even require a fee for interested Basenji adopters. Adopting from your local shelter could help you save a lot of money while contributing to a good cause at the same time. 

First-Time Expenses of Owning a Basenji

First time expenses of Basenji ownership

Owning Basenji pups can entail several expenses. Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t stop to think about the responsibility that comes with taking care of a pet. This is why other dogs end up in shelters or on the streets.

Before purchasing or adopting a Basenji puppy, it is best to be knowledgeable of all the first-time expenses that come with caring for this unique breed. 

Listed below are some of the initial expenses and essential items that will ensure the comfort and health of your new puppy:

  • Food and Treats: The first and most essential item on the list is dog food. To ensure the health and proper growth of your pup, it is best to purchase good quality dog food. You may ask the breeders or shelters about the current brand of dog food being given for ease of transition. Treats are also a good tool for effective training. You can purchase these for around $30 to $80.
  • Bowls: Good quality and long-lasting dog bowls are important and can encourage your Basenji puppy to eat and drink during its mealtime. Choose a sturdy ceramic or stainless steel bowl that won’t easily break or tip over. The price range for this item is usually around $10 to $30.
  • Toys: Since Basenjis enjoy any form of exercise and entertainment, they will need a good amount of toys in different shapes and sizes. One good option is a rope toy since this toy is usually sturdy and safe for dogs. Steer clear of rawhide and plushies, as they can rip and become choking hazards. The average price range for a chew toy is around $20 to $30.
  • Beds: After a long day filled with physical and mental activities, a comfortable bed will provide your Basenji pup with its very own space to sleep or simply relax. Purchasing a soft and good-quality dog bed can also help prevent skeletal conditions such as hip dysplasia. The cost would typically range between $30 and $200.
  • Collars and Leashes: Once you’re allowed to take your Basenji puppy on walks, you will need a sturdy yet comfortable collar and leash. Nylon collars and leashes are one of the most suitable kinds to choose from. Be sure to try out different kinds on your pup to ensure that the size is appropriate. You can expect to pay between $15 and $50 for a good-quality collar and leash.
  • Crates and Carriers: A crate can provide your Basenji pup with a room of its own. This can easily be transferred to different areas in the house and become a safe space for your pooch. Feel free to add in some blankets or crate pads to make the space even more comfortable for your pup. The cost of a small to medium crate should be around $30 to $200.
  • Grooming Essentials: Although Basenjis are small dogs with short coats, both male and female dogs under this breed require regular grooming. Invest in good-quality pet brushes and organic shampoos. Purchase an ear cleaner to ensure that your dog’s ears are always clean and a nail clipper, so their nails are always neatly trimmed. These items usually cost around $50 to $150. 
  • Initial Vet Visits: Basenjis are generally healthy dogs, but you would still need to take your puppy to the vet for its initial check-up. A licensed veterinarian typically charges $100 to $500 for basic health check-ups. It is essential to schedule regular vet visits to monitor your dog’s health and overall well-being. 
  • Initial Vaccine Shots: Your veterinarian will give you a schedule for your dog’s vaccinations during their initial check-up. All dogs need vaccines for protection from the most critical and common health issues in dogs, such as canine distemper and parvovirus. The cost of basic vaccinations usually varies from city to city, but most veterinarians typically charge between $50 and $300. 
  • Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: Although the Basenji breed has short coats, they still need protection from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites. Special shampoos, spot treatments, and sprays are tools used to prevent these infections. There are also internal parasites such as heartworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. Regular deworming, along with medication, costs between $40 and $300.
  • Neutering or Spaying: It is usually advised by veterinarians and breeders to have your pups neutered or spayed at a very young age. This is recommended, especially if you have no plans of having new Basenji litters. These procedures usually cost around $50 to $500, depending on the veterinarian.
  • Microchipping: A microchip is a tiny device that is implanted in the dog’s back and is registered at your local or national pet recovery database. This microchip contains all the relevant information about your Basenji pup and you as the dog owner. This is extremely useful in the instance that your dog ever gets lost. You would need to pay around $40 to $60 for this procedure.
  • Dog License: Aside from microchipping, investing in a dog license can also make retrieving your dog easier. A dog license contains a unique identification number that can easily be traced. You would usually need to pay a registration fee of $10 to $20.
  • Other Essentials: Cleaning materials and maintenance items such as carpet cleaners, odor neutralizers, poop scoopers, and poop bags are some supplies you would need when owning a dog. If you live in a place with cold weather, you could also purchase some pup shirts or sweaters to help keep your pup warm. These expenses would usually cost around $20 to $50.

Below is a tabulated version of all the initial expenses you would need to take note of when owning a Basenji puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost 
Food and Treats$30 – $80
Bowls$10 – $30
Toys$20 – $30
Beds$30 – $200
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$30 – $200
Grooming Essentials$50 – $150
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $50
Total Initial Cost$495 – $2,470

The number of items needed and the overall total of expenses may be overwhelming at first but don’t be dismayed, many of these essentials are one-time purchases.

Be sure to purchase good quality items to ensure that they last longer and you avoid having to purchase the same items repeatedly.

Annual Cost of Owning a Basenji

Annual cost of owning a Basenji

Aside from the initial expenses, another set of costs that you would need to budget for are the annual costs of owning a Basenji. This guide will help you budget everything for future yearly costs.

Not all dogs are the same, and your dog’s needs may change as they get older. It is best to plan for their different life stages ahead of time to be prepared for any situation you may encounter in the future.

Further, you could expect to incur veterinary expenses every year since it is important to have them checked annually. Keeping their growth and health in check is essential, especially once they’re older.

Below is a table compiling the annual expenses of owning a Basenji pup:

Type of ExpenseYearly Estimate
Food and Treats$240 – $800
Routine Veterinary Care$200 – $600
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$150 – $400
Vaccinations$100 – $250
Grooming Essentials$100 – $300
Leashes and Collars$20 – $40
Beds and Crates$100 – $400
Toys$25 – $100
Pet Insurance$500 – $600
Other Essentials$30 – $50
Yearly Total$1,465 – $3,540
Average Monthly Cost$122 – $295

The highest-priced expenses listed in the table are food, routine veterinary care, and pet insurance, all of which are very important. 

Nonetheless, putting value into each of these expenses will be rewarding in the end since it will result in your Basenji getting all the treatment and care it requires and deserves. 

I recall my former colleague, whose three-year-old male Basenji was struck with cancer. He has always mentioned how his purchase of pet insurance has saved him thousands of dollars from veterinary consultations and treatment.

Hence, some of these expenses might seem like they are additional monthly costs, but they do protect you from higher unforeseen future expenses.

Other Potential Expenses to Consider

Although you do your best to plan and affix budgets for future situations, there will still be instances where unexpected expenses can occur. These costs may sometimes be out of the planned budget.

Here is a list of five potential expenses that you may encounter when owning a Basenji pup:

  • Emergency Medical Expenses: Since Basenjis are prone to illnesses such as Fanconi syndrome, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia, it is extremely important to have a separate fund specifically for your dog’s emergency medical expenses. A budget of $1,000 to $5,000 is a good amount to set aside for emergency procedures and medication.
  • Training: Some pet owners and breeders prefer to have their dogs professionally trained to ensure quicker and more effective results. There are several obedience training programs you can enroll your Basenji in. You can select a program that best fits your schedule, budget, and, most importantly, your Basenji’s needs. Prepare to pay around $60 to $500.
  • Travel: If you prefer to bring your Basenji along when traveling, there are certain expenses to be paid. Some examples are pet passports when traveling abroad and hotel fees, which may include additional charges for accommodating pets. These costs can range from $50 to $100 for a day’s worth of travel.
  • Dog Sitting: There might come a time when you have to travel but won’t be able to bring your Basenji along. This is where a dog sitter can come in handy. Dog sitters can be hired to take care of your Basenji pup while you’re away. Their daily rate usually ranges between $15 and $30.
  • Dog Walking: The Basenji is a very active and energetic dog breed. If there are days when you are unable to walk your pup, a dog walker can be hired to take your Basenji on daily walks. Dog walkers usually offer several time durations to choose from. A 30-minute walk can cost around $30 to $45, depending on the location.

Setting aside an emergency fund for your Basenji will help keep your budget intact and help you avoid spending outside of your budget in unexpected situations.

Best Places to Find Basenji Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Places to find Basenji puppies for sale

If you have decided that the Basenji is a good fit for you, your family, and your financial capabilities, it’s time for you to start looking for the best breeders or shelters to buy or adopt a Basenji from.

Since the Basenji breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are many reputable breeders whom you can purchase your puppies from. 

Below are a few breeders and their trusted websites where you can purchase a Basenji puppy:

  • American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace – The American Kennel Club is the United States’ official organization that regulates the registration and standards of recognized dog breeds, such as the Basenji. The AKC Marketplace ensures that you are dealing only with reputable AKC-registered breeders.
  • Basenji Club of America – Breeder’s Directory – The Basenji Club of America (BCOA) is an organization with responsible breeders who encourage and promote the proper breeding of Basenjis. They also assist in the organization of local Basenji specialty clubs. 
  • Good Dog – Good Dog is a network comprised of many reputable breeders who are committed to the health and well-being of dogs. They only accept responsible and good breeders who make conscientious decisions when breeding dogs. They primarily select Basenji breeders who focus on the physical health and safety of breeding puppies.

If you would rather adopt from local shelters than purchase from breeders, below are some reputable rescue organizations where you can find the Basenji for you:

  • Basenji Rescue and Transport – Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT) was incorporated in 1999 and operates throughout the United States and Canada. With the help of a vast network of dedicated volunteers, BRAT has placed approximately 250 dogs annually in permanent and loving homes.
  • America’s Basenji & Shiba Inu Rescue – America’s Basenji & Shiba Inu Rescue focuses on saving Basenjis and Shiba Inus who have been abandoned, neglected, or left in shelters. They also provide counseling and education to dog owners regarding training and behavioral issues to prevent owners from surrendering their pups.
  • Rescue Me! – Rescue Me!, which was founded in the early 2000s, is a network that helps Basenjis, as well as other dog breeds, find good homes anywhere in the world. Their website contains one of the world’s largest and most up-to-date directories of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs in over 150 countries.

Adopting a Basenji not only helps you save more money but also gives rescued dogs another chance at a better and happier life.

Money-Saving Tips for Basenji Owners

Once you’ve taken note of all the costs of owning and caring for a Basenji puppy, you can also minimize some of the expenses without sacrificing your pup’s quality of life by following these money-saving tips:

  • Groom your Basenji at home. There are numerous videos online that can teach you the basics of how to groom your dog at home. You would need to invest in good-quality grooming tools, but the amount you will save by grooming at home instead of professional grooming elsewhere will be worth the initial investment. 
  • Invest in high-quality items. Avoid buying cheap items as they usually only last for short periods, often resulting in several repeated purchases. It is best to invest in high-quality items despite the higher price range since they last longer and can be a one-time purchase.
  • Make homemade treats. Dog food and treats are one of the largest expenses of owning a Basenji pup. Making homemade treats that are healthier and more cost-effective can benefit both your budget and your pooch. Make sure to have a list of the kinds of food canines aren’t allowed to consume to prevent any food poisoning.
  • Train your Basenji at home. Professional obedience training can be quite expensive, so training your dog at home can save you a lot of money. There are many videos on YouTube dedicated to training your canines in the comfort of your home. This can also strengthen the bond and relationship between you and your Basenji.

Apart from all the tips mentioned, try asking your local breeders or shelters for discounts and packages where you can avail of lower-priced or free items that your Basenji may need.

To give you a head start on how to train your pup at home, here is a video showing the basics of how to train an energetic dog like the Basenji:

Dog Training 101: How to Train ANY DOG the Basics

Frequently Asked Questions

Basenji dog running in a field

Are Basenjis Rare? 

Finding these purebred dogs may not be as simple as finding a reputable Basenji breeder. Female Basenjis typically come into heat only once per year, resulting in a very limited litter. 

Coming across a pure Basenji breed when purchasing or adopting can be quite rare which is why its price is typically high.

Are Basenjis High Maintenance? 

The Basenji is generally a low-maintenance breed. Its short coat won’t require extensive grooming, and its notable intelligence could easily be developed with basic at-home training.

This is also why they are considered one of the easiest dogs to have, not requiring heavy maintenance costs.

Final Thoughts

Many people enjoy making Basenji puppies as their new family members.

From their distinct personality traits to their intelligence, it is clear why the basenji price and demand continue to soar. 

Having learned the Basenji prices, first-year expenses, and other potential costs of owning this pup, caring for a Basenji will become so much easier with your well-thought budget.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the Basenji cost and your purchase or adoption experience in the comments below.

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