The Cost of Owning a Dog

The bond between a dog and its family is very special, and that makes owning a dog incredibly rewarding. Dogs are a lifelong commitment, however, so it's vital that you do your research before making the leap into pet ownership, both on the suitability of the breed for your lifestyle and the financial considerations. New pet owners are often surprised by how much it costs to keep a dog – it adds up to more than you might think! For this reason, it's important to give real consideration to whether you can afford a dog before committing to pup parenthood.

The cost of owning a dog

If you do decide that you’re in the position to take on the care of a dog, why not consider adopting? That way, you help a shelter make room for more dogs in need of care and rehoming and provide a pet in need with a loving forever home.

How much does a dog cost?

Monthly and lifetime costs

The average cost of owning a dog comes to £1,800 a year – that could mean a commitment of anywhere from £18,000 to £27,000 to keep your pooch happy and healthy.
Broken down into a monthly cost, you can expect to pay:

  • Small dogs – £70 a month
  • Medium-sized dogs – £95 a month
  • Large dogs – £150 a month

Preparing for your pup

Before bringing your pooch home, you’ll need to buy supplies to ensure they’re comfy and ready to settle in. This includes a dog bed, lead collar and toys. You’ll also need food and water bowls, a travel carrier and/or car restraint, as well as money for their initial vaccinations and neutering.

For all their basic equipment, you can expect to pay:

  • Small dogs – £370
  • Medium-sized dogs – £395
  • Large dogs – £435

These figures don’t include microchipping. As this is a legal requirement in England and Wales for all dogs over the age of eight weeks, this is generally the responsibility of the breeder or seller, who must not sell a pup under this age. (But if you do need to microchip your dog, the average price at most vets is about £15). Nor do these figures include the cost of the puppy or dog itself, which can reach into the thousands for certain breeds.

How much it costs to own a dog?

On top of all the accessories needed to keep your canine well looked after, there are things that you’ll need to buy or pay for regularly to ensure your pup thrives. These can include toys and poo bags – which you’ll find yourself using a lot of! – as well as pet insurance. And, because you want your dog to stay healthy, there will also be worming and flea treatments to take into account as well as regular vet check-ups and booster vaccinations.

cost of dog food

How much is dog food?

Dog food will account for around a third of the amount you spend on your pooch each month. However, the exact amount you spend will depend on the quality of the brand and how much your dog eats. It’s wise not to underestimate the amount a fully grown large breed will eat every day.
For these ongoing costs, you should expect to pay:

  • Small dogs – £50 a month
  • Medium-sized dogs – £65 a month
  • Large dogs – £80 a month

And then there’s the cost of doggy extras

There are some extras that you might like to buy for your pup and you should take these into account when budgeting for your furry friend. These include things like:

  • Training classes
  • Socialisation groups
  • Pet sitters or kennels
  • Dog walkers
  • Groomers

Although you probably have insurance for your dog, you’ll usually need to contribute towards the cost of treatments such as medication or surgery if your dog becomes unwell. It’s a good idea to plan how you’ll pay the vet bills if your dog gets ill (just in case).

Dogs can live for 15 years or more, so they’re a long-term commitment and it’s essential that you’re positive you can cover the cost of everything they need, from dog sitters to vet’s bills. For everything else, you might like to check out pet accessories on Gumtree.

If you’ve made the decision to get a new dog or puppy, Gumtree’s handy guide on how to rehome safely online will give you all the information you need before finding your perfect dog-match online.