For those considering purchasing their first pooch, there is often one question on your mind…
How much does a dog actually cost?
As the famous saying goes, “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, and you need to make sure you can afford one before you make another addition to your family.
Luckily for you, we’ve outlined all the costs for you to help make your decision.
How much does a dog cost?
Even when looking for the cheapest option, a dog will probably still cost you a minimum of £250 on first purchase.
The price of a dog is usually based on its breed, and the more complicated and expensive the breeding process, the more it costs.
For a pedigree pup in the UK, the price can actually rise to as high as £1,700, and particularly rare or highly-valued canines may even cost £2,000 or more.
To work out which breed is more in your price range, consult this guide of popular dogs with a rough average of their price.
- Border Collie – £276
- Jack Russell – £289
- Beagle – £324
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier – £341
- Yorkshire Terrier – £385
- Shih Tzu – £454
- Cocker Spaniel – £533
- Golden Retriever – £670
- Labradoodle – £734
- Pug – £802
- French Bulldog – £1,148
- Chow Chow – £1,454
- Pomeranian – £1,536
- English bulldog – £1,690
The above fees are for buying from breeders. One way to not only keep the initial cost down but to also ensure that older dogs get a loving home is to adopt from a charity.
Those such as the RSPCA will charge adoption fees; these will range from around £100-£200. But this covers the cost of them being looked after for their time at the site and their rescue and goes towards the further running of the site too.
Many dogs will also be microchipped and neutered before being handed over to you, which will mean one less cost and job for you.
Setting your home up for a dog: the initial cost
Before buying a dog, you also need to consider all the other purchases you need to make once they come into your life. To set them up in your home, you need to ensure that all of their needs are being met from day one and you are well prepared.
Here is a checklist of things you could end up purchasing, especially if they are a puppy:
- Neutering or spaying procedure
- Initial vaccinations
- Monthly wormers until the dog is 6 months old
- Dog food
- Collars and Leads
- Food and water bowls
- I.D tag
- Toothbrush and paste
- Car Seats or harnesses
- Grooming equipment
As you can see, it’s an extensive list, and once again the price of this haul varies according to your breed of dog. Here is a rough average:
Large-sized dog breed starter pack: £425
Medium-sized fog breed starter pack: £390
Small-sized dog breed starter pack: £370
How much does a dog cost over time?
A dog is estimated to cost you anywhere between £6,500 – £17,000 over its whole lifetime.
Where you fall in this range is very much dependent on the breed and size of your dog, as larger breeds require more food and upkeep, whereas smaller dogs require slightly less.
Therefore those with a smaller breed can expect to pay the lower end of the scale while those with larger breeds will pay far more. Here is the average range you can expect to pay based on your chosen breed:
Large-sized breeds – £7,400 to £17,000
Medium-sized breeds – £8,500 to £13,000
Small-prized – £6,500 to £12,000
However, these estimates are based on the costs to provide the bare minimum of care for dogs over an average lifespan…
They don’t take into account dogs that live for an extended amount of time or receive extra care and goods from their owners. And more importantly, they don’t account for things like insurance, veterinary bills or even initial purchase costs.
If you’re not so frugal, it’s just as likely that your dog could end up costing you up to £33,000 over its lifetime.
Admittedly, totalling the cost of a pooch over its lifespan is always going to make for scary numbers. So you may want to consult the monthly costs below to get a clearer idea of how owning a pup will impact your day to day finances.
How much does a dog cost per month?
On average, a dog is likely to cost you at least £70 every month.
The bulk of a dog’s lifetime cost goes on its monthly welfare, but the average spend can often end up being a lot more than just a few cans of dog food a week.
Here’s a checklist of several things you may well be buying every month:
- Dog food
- Poo bags
- Insurance costs
- Worm and flea treatments
- Health checks/ vet trips
Once again, the total cost of this monthly spending varies depending on the dog breed, but at a minimum, you’re unlikely to spend less than £70:
Larger-sized breeds: A minimum of £105
Medium-sized breeds: A minimum of £80
Smaller-sized breeds: A minimum of £70
How much is pet insurance?
To help prepare for any pesky veterinary bills, it’s recommended you also purchase pet insurance for your dog.
The price of this can vary depending on your dog’s breed, but it’s more than likely it will set you back at least £150 per year if you own a pedigree dog.
Cross-breeds and mongrels to tend to be cheaper, but it is still one of the most expensive costs for dog owners.
Here is a guide to the average annual insurance premiums based on the dog breed, from most expensive to least:
- Bulldog – £560
- Boxer – £520
- French Bulldog – £510
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier – £365
- Golden Retriever – £350
- Labrador – £216
- Labradoodle – £210
- Basset Hound – £200
- Yorkshire Terrier – £196
- Shi Tzu – £195
- Jack Russell – £193
- Poodle – £185
- Italian Greyhound – £185
- German Shepherd – £185
- Beagle – £168
- Siberian Husky – £168
- Cockerpoo – £167
- Cocker Spaniel – £149
- Border Collie – £133
- Chihuahua – £124
These premiums also differ wildly based on your geographical area, as costs of vet treatments vary across the country.
Whereas in London dog owners pay an average of £31.17 per month on dog insurance, those in the West Midlands pay just an average of £18.83
Our calculations were made using figures provided from these sites: