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:
- The Dog Itself – In 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!
- 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
- Vet Bills – In 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
- Spoiling the Dog – No 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
- Replacing Furniture / Carpets / Cleaning – Unless 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)
- Kennel Bills – And 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
- 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