When it comes to bringing a new best friend into your home, you need to make sure you’re all clued up on the costs before you even get to choose the type of breed you’d like. Whether you’re adopting or buying from a breeder, it’s important to make sure your finances are all in order, and that you can afford the initial outlay, as well as the regular monthly costs for the years ahead.
So, how much does owning and caring for a dog really cost? Not only do they need a loving home and plenty of exercise, but they also need a healthy diet, a comfy bed, toys to keep them entertained… the list really does go on!
The initial outlay
Great! You’ve decided to bring a new addition home with you. But, have you saved enough money for everything? It’s not just the initial cost of the puppy or dog you’ll have to prepare for. You will need:
- A cosy bed
- Coat, lead, collar and dog tag
- Food and water bowls
- Car cage or restraint
- An initial course of vaccinations
- Monthly worming until the puppy is at least six months old
- Microchipping (a legal requirement which can result in a £500 fine if not done)
If you adopt a dog, they should have already had a course of vaccinations and a health check. They may also have been neutered or spayed as rescues are often trying to reduce the number of animals born into breeding farms.
The breed of dog you choose can also hike up the initial cost. If you’re choosing a more “designer” dog such as a Cockapoo, Cavapoo or other highly sought-after crossbreeds, expect to pay upwards of £2000 for your new family member! Don’t forget, if you are buying a dog from a breeder, make sure they are a member of the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme. This will ensure you don’t face any problems with your dog later on down the line.
The monthly outgoings
You’ll soon find the monthly costs associated with your pooch can quickly add up. If you’re to give your puppy or dog a good and happy life, you’ll need to plan for:
- Yearly health checks and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Food (wet or dry)
- Toys (they’ll get chewed and damaged beyond repair)
- Poo bags
- Regular flea and worming treatments
Some of these will be included in your initial outlay, but they can then become monthly purchases that will need to be kept up with throughout the whole lifetime of your best friend. Remember, an animal, regardless of whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit or hamster, relies on you for everything to keep them safe and healthy.
Bringing a pet into your home has a wealth of benefits. From improving mental health and reducing stress, to helping children understand the responsibility of caring for something, a puppy or dog can bring so much joy. But, before you buy, make sure you understand the hidden costs so you’re fully prepared.