Breed Tips

How Much Does a Basenji Cost in 2024?

Basenji Characteristics

  • Life expectancy: 12 – 16 years 

  • Adult weight: 25 – 30 lbs. 

  • Adult height: 20 – 22 in. 

  • Origin – Democratic Republic of Congo

The ‘barkless’ dog of Africa, Basenji is a compact, sweet, and fiercely protective dog from Congo. It gets the title of barkless because of its unusually shaped larynx which makes their bark sound more like a yodel. It comes under the Spitz umbrella.

One unusual fact about these dogs is that unlike most of the other breeds that have breeding seasons 2 or more times in a year, these dogs only have one. The second unusual fact is that they lack a distinctive odor. With the yodeling, odor, and mating season abnormalities, this breed is very much unique.

Basenji’s came from Africa and when the Europeans discovered it, they applauded it for its intelligence, courage, speed, and silence. This breed is almost 1,000 years old. Despite all of their unique characteristics, the popularity of this breed has been reducing in the US.

What is the price of a Basenji?

Let’s try to break down the price by categorizing it by initial buying/adoption costs, vaccinations, diets, and healthcare. The price can be influenced by the breeder’s reputation, health testing of parents, puppy temperament and socialization skills.

Buying: $1500 – $2000

As mentioned earlier, these dogs are rare which contribute to the higher price range for this breed. Many breeders can take advantage of this fact and ask for higher prices in a range of $1500-$2000. For some show quality dogs, the price can be as high as $4,500.

Buying a Basenji may be expensive but another option is to adopt one. There are several organizations available online that rescue and shelter dogs and some of them even specialize in Basenjis. ‘Adopt a pet’ is one such organization. You can usually adopt a Basenji for around $300 which is usually to cover the expenses of caring for the dog before adoption. This would not only be a cheaper option, but a noble one as well. It can be life-changing for you and the puppy.

Long-Term Cost of Basenji

Diets: $90-$110

High-quality kibble is recommended for athletic breeds. A good, reputable kibble could cost you around $70-$80. You can also add some human foods to the diet once in a while (not exceeding 10% of the total diet). These foods can include cottage cheese, plain cooked chicken, fruits, and vegetables. Apart from that, treats could help to form an essential part of your pet’s training routine. These could add another $20-$30 a month. 

Bed: $150-$200

Basenjis are not very big in size, but due to their active and playful nature they may be prone to conditions like hip dysplasia. A comfortable and quality bed is recommended which could cost around $150-$200.

Medical Costs: $400-$700

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.

Like all breeds, Basenjis are at risk of developing health conditions during their lifetime. These can include conditions like hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and autoimmune thyroiditis. The cost of treatment for these conditions could be

Vaccinations: $250-$300

There are certain core vaccinations that a Basenji 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 Basenji. These include parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. The cost of these vaccines can be around $130-$150.

Microchipping: $50-$70

90% of the lost pets in the U.S. are not found. This is where microchipping can help. 70-80% of microchipped pets find their way back home. The cost can vary from state to state, but the average cost is around $50. Along with a dog license, it could cost an additional 10-20 bucks.

Grooming: $100-$150

Basenjis are self-cleaning dogs, so grooming shouldn’t be much of a hassle. They would require a bath every 3-4 months to help keep their coats clean. But it’s the deworming that could add a bit of an expense here. Flea and tick inspection and cleaning at least once a month, especially during warm weather, is recommended. This could cost you around $50-$100. So the overall grooming cost may be under $150.

Miscellaneous: $80-$100

There are some expenses that a pet parent has to take care of irrespective of the breed. These items could include urine cleaner, poop scooper, poop bags, leash, collar, toys, water and food bowls, etc. These could cost you another $100 dollars depending on the quality of the things you purchase.

Lifetime Basenji Cost

If we calculate the cost of buying/adopting, maintaining, and caring for a Basenji, the overall lifetime cost could be around $15,000-$18,000. This estimate does not include the cost of medical emergencies or illnesses, should they happen to your pet.

How can Spot Pet Insurance help?

Spot accident & illness pet insurance plans offer a wide variety of coverages from microchip implantation to surgeries and prescription food and supplements prescribed to treat your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. (Prescription food and supplements used for general health or weight maintenance are not covered). For an extra cost, Spot plans offer preventive care coverage add-ons to help cover the costs of certain routine vaccinations, annual wellness exams, and other preventive care treatments. You can view the add-on preventive care coverage options. Get in touch with us to know more!


There is a reason that our ancestors worked very hard to protect this breed. It is a lovely, sweet, even-tempered, energetic, and intelligent dog breed. The costs don’t compare if you look at the love and affection that it can give to you and your family. Anyways, you can worry less about the medical costs knowing Spot plans can help cover up to 90% of your eligible vet bills for covered conditions. So go ahead and get one if you’re planning to do so!

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


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