A dog is for life, not just for Christmas, and as a nation of dog lovers, you may well be thinking about having a furry friend join you this Christmas. But be warned! They come with a pretty hefty price tag, with an average cost of around £21,000 over their lifetime! 

The Average Cost of Buying a Healthy Puppy

It's hard to pinpoint an exact figure as there's so many variables, but as we look at the different options available you can see how the amounts can soon add up.

Over lockdown prices have soared for puppies, but that does mean that now people have returned to work more dogs have been surrendered to rehoming centres. If you are lucky enough to be accepted by the rehoming centre for adoption, it will usually set you back around £200. Generally the pup will have already been speyed/neutered and will have had all their health checks completed by the rehoming centre - saving you anywhere up to £300 depending on the size of the dog. 

As I mentioned before, the price of purebred puppies from private breeders has sky rocketed during lockdown, with the price of some I've seen matching the price of a brand new hatchback! If you want to "buy new" please make sure the breeder is licensed and has had the puppies health checked and chipped.


Average Cost of Feeding Your Dog

As a minimum budget you're probably looking at between £250 - £400 per year just to feed your dog kibble but there's lots of things to consider and factor in. 

  • Allergies - Dogs can have food allergies and intolerances like humans, which in turn makes their food more expensive. This is something to consider when looking at different dog breeds. 
  • Choices available - you need to consider the best diet for your dog. Is that going to be kibble, wet food or raw feeding. If raw feeding you could quadruple the above average cost for a large breed dog
  • Treats/toys - The costs of these soon add up and can add anywhere up to £20-£40 a month to your bill depending on what you're buying

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a complicated subject and you need to think carefully and take a lot of things into consideration.

You could save some money by just getting a one-year policy. But there’s a catch. While this might be cheaper in the early years, it will start to get much, much more expensive when your dog reaches six or seven.

By the time your dog gets to eight or nine, or even younger for some breeds, you will not be able to get any dog insurance at all. And this is just the time they’re likely to start developing health problems.


Average Vet Bills / Medical Costs

Vet bills are expensive and there's lots of things to consider

  • Speying / Neutering your dog - The average cost for this procedure alone is between £180 - £400
  • Worming / Flea Treatments - These need to be completed every 3-4 months and cost anywhere between £15-£60 each depending on your vet.
  • Accidents - Dogs are very good at injuring themselves especially the more energetic pups - a broken leg could set you back anywhere from £1000+
  • Tumours - When a dog develops some sort of growth on their body, it's really important to get it seen by a vet and if it turns out to be a tumour, the average cost of having the lump removed after the biopsy results are in can be anything up to £650+

And that's not including any aftercare treatment, medications or follow up consultations which could see you owing £100's if not £1000's on top.