Getting a dog is a big decision. Not only will they demand a lot of your time, but you need to be sure that you can afford their needs. Here are some of the big costs of owning a dog, the average amount you’re likely to spend and what you can do to possibly save some money.

Food: £300 per year

The average dog goes through about £300 of dog food per year. Smaller dogs may cost less than this, while bigger breeds are likely to eat through even more money.

Food may be a necessity, but you can often cut cost by considering the brands you use and where you buy your dog food from. It’s often more affordable to buy dog food online where you can get access to more brands and bulk discount deals. It’s also possible to make some of your own dog food treats and recipes to save money.

Grooming: £240 per year

Many breeds need to have their coat regularly trimmed and cleaned, as well as getting nails clipped. When hiring a professional dog groomer, you could end up paying £240 per year.

You can however cut this cost by learning to groom your dog yourself. This is not an easy skill to learn but those dog owners that are dedicated may be willing to give it a try.

Veterinary treatment: £400 per year

Dog owners commonly spend up to £400 per year on vet bills. In the first year, some dog owners may even spend twice that amount on vaccinations and neutering.

Pet insurance can help to cover vet bills and may lower the cost overall. Brushing your dog’s teeth can also save you money getting your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned, as well as preventing tooth decay. Similarly, exercising your dog and keeping up a healthy diet can reduce the risk of health problems and save you money in vet bills.  

Toys: £100 per year

Every dog needs toys to keep them occupied. While some breeds may be happy with a couple of new toys per year, others are likely to constantly chew through toys and need replacements possibly causing you to spend as much as £100 per year.

Making your own dog toys could be a way of reducing this cost. There are many dog toys that can be made from household items like bottles and old clothes.

Other costs: £700 per year

There can be many other costs associated with a dog from worming treatment to costs of new leads and poo bags. Then there are costs such as dogsitting and dog boarding (dog boarding alone can cost up to £420 for two weeks). This can sometimes come up to as much as £700 overall.

Not all of these costs are necessary of course. You may be able to go away with your dog on holiday or get a family member to look after your dog for free while you are away for instance.

Overall cost: £1740

The average annual cost of looking after a dog comes to about £1740, which is a lot of money. However, there are ways of lowering this cost if you are dedicated. 



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