Getting a dog is a huge commitment. They need a loving home, plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, a comfy bed, toys to keep them occupied…the list goes on!
When you get a dog, you legally have to meet their five welfare needs, keeping them happy and healthy throughout their life. Looking after a dog can be costly, even without any unexpected vet bills. It can be easy to overlook this in all the excitement of getting a new doggy companion but it’s important to understand the cost involved in caring for them for their entire life and meeting their welfare needs.
How much does caring for a dog really cost?
Dogs can be surprisingly expensive as there are a lot of costs that some owners may not have considered.
You should expect your dog to cost you at least £6,500 - £17,000 over their whole lifetime:
- Small dog breeds: £6,500 to £12,000
- Medium dog breeds: £8,500 to £13,000
- Large dog breeds: £7,400 to £17,000
This estimated lifetime cost is the minimum that you will need to care for your dog. It will vary according to your dog’s size, breed and how long they live. Your dog could cost you as much as £33,000 over their lifetime if you decide or need to spend more on their ongoing care!
This estimated cost doesn’t include the cost of any vet fees if your dog becomes ill, although we have included the cost of pet insurance. If your dog has an accident or develops a health problem, the cost of caring for them could increase dramatically. It’s important to be prepared for this, which is why we recommend taking out pet insurance.
We’ve given estimated minimum costs on this page as a starting point, but if you are seriously thinking of getting a dog, it’s important to sit down and work out a budget for them, considering your lifestyle and all the things your new dog may need. You can use our handy pet quiz to find out if a dog is the right pet for you.