How Much Does Getting a Dog Really Cost?

How Much Does Getting a Dog Really Cost

So a few weeks back we got a puppy….

It’s a well known fact that children are expensive. From expensive childcare, private schools, food and the latest fashion. Oh yeah and that’s not forgetting the bigger house that you will need to buy and the increased holiday costs from now until… forever?

Before I agreed to getting a puppy, I thought clearly about the financial implications and increased costs. So far I have considered the following:


  1. The Dog ItselfIn business speak, the dog is a ‘capital expense’. In other words, this is a one time cost that won’t have to be repeated – Unless a terrible accident occurs and you have to quickly replace it so the kids don’t know! In our case the cost of our Cocapoo was £650 – quite reasonable according to market rates. If you want a labradoodle or other pedigree breeds, expect to pay upwards of £1000!
  2. Food Like humans, dog need to be fed! While dog food is definitely not as expensive as the human equivalent, it is certainly an added cost. This cost varies considerably depending on the size of dog you get – our medium to small sized Cocapoo will eat a fraction of a what a Great Dane puts away for breakfast! – Estimated Cost – £20 p/m
  3. Vet BillsIn the UK we have a free National Health Service for healthcare which unfortunately doesn’t cater for pets. That said, I also have private health care which I have yet to utilise. Vet bills could be anything from insignificant to horrendous. While I believe in certain types of insurance, I am not prepared to take an expensive dog care policy out. Instead, I will increase my contributions towards our Emergency Fund. If you have a machine machine, tumble dryer, mobile phone, dog, coffee machine, tv etc. all insured it is VERY unlikely that you will need to claim for them all at once. Instead of paying insurance premiums I keep an emergency fund and a generic insurance policy. In regards to vet bills – I anticipate at least a check up and a routine set of injections. Estimated cost – £5 p/m
  4. Spoiling the DogNo matter what you think now, you will end up buying treats, toys and accessories for your dog. Balls, furry animals, leads, collars, bowls etc. are all necessary and often need to be replaced… and then replaced again! Supermarkets also conveniently place cute toys at aisle-ends and embedded beside the dog food. Estimated cost – £10 p/m *Average cost to represent share of larger value item purchases
  5. Replacing Furniture / Carpets / CleaningUnless you are planning to buy a house trained dog (get real) then you are going to end up cleaning up mistakes and disciplining for bad behavior. With us, so far so good – a few accidents but no furniture damage (yet)! The wooden floors that we cursed so bad for being cold in winter have instantly redeemed themselves. Estimated cost – £100 (total)
  6. Kennel BillsAnd here comes the shocker. If you have read the ‘About’ section or my ‘Bucket List’ you will quickly notice a common theme – we like to travel. Unfortunately a dog doesn’t exactly make this an easy task and abolishes the concept of a cheap break! Kennels cost anywhere from about £15 per night to about £50 depending on the type of care you are after. Similar to the choice we have between a motel or a boutique hotel – dogs also have different options! A two week break will cost anything from £210 – £700!! How crazy is that. The other option of course is to leave your dog with family or friends – an approach we will most definitely be adopting! Estimated cost – £0
  7. Grooming / Others – I have already mentioned some standard dog expenses, but for the enthusiasts you are only getting started. Haircuts, massages and therapy sessions are becoming more popular by the year! Dog training sessions and hiring a Dog walker both cost a fortune! Estimated Cost – AVOID!! **Note, I will probably end up folding to the OCCASIONAL grooming session

Have I missed anything?

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  1. What a cutie! Dogs are expensive but so worth it.

  2. there will always be more expenses but it is always worth it!

  3. Great post!

    So many people I ask about this just wave their hand and say, I don’t know, but they’re WORTH EVERY BIT! Sure, that’s a fine sentiment — and yes, we have a dog that belongs to my roommate — but just because these little guys are fun to have around doesn’t give them an excuse to have awful budgets.

    I also want to ask these people if there is any cost where it would no longer be worth it. 1,000 a month? 10,000? (My roommate says she pays an average of $600 a month)

    Other expenses off the top of my head:
    Dog walker (to let him out mid-day)
    Pills (to tend to his allergies, heart, fur)
    Needing to get a bigger apartment

  4. cate payne says:

    You could always avoid the extortionate fees for purchasing a pedigree puppy and go to the local Dogs Trust or RSPCA and for a reasonable fee give an unloved dog a home. They will also support you with Vet costs for any pre-existing conditions and your money will go to help other animals in distress instead of into the pockets of a breeder.

  5. There are a lot of hidden costs that one should plan for when having a pet. It is like adding a new member to your family and it is often a big decision to make.

  6. Ann Shirley says:

    Nice breakdown of costs! I seen that you opted out of pet insurance. This is a common choice for pet owners who feel that it is too expensive. However, it can save you tons of money in the future. Pet insurance cost is typically lower than vet bills and can be made in monthly payments of about $20 or so depending on plan.


  1. […] There’s a lot of expenses to consider before you commit to inviting Fido into the fold. If you’re looking into getting a dog, SavvyScot has some great suggestions for keeping your pet expenses to heel. […]

  2. travel insurance defence

    How Much Does Getting a Dog Really Cost?

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