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What it costs to own a dog

Getting a dog, as we all know, is a huge responsibility – but it’s also a financial one, too.

It’s not just the initial adoption or purchase fee – which can range from anywhere between £50 and thousands of pounds depending on the breed and circumstances – owners must also consider a raft of other costs involved in caring for a canine companion.

People’s interest in getting a pet increased by 123 percent during the pandemic – so discount code site Picodi.com has taken a look at how much first-time pet owners can expect to spend when they welcome a new four-legged member of the family.

The research compares bare basic costs with an ‘expanded’ kit, which consists of additional products or services, or more premium quality products.

So – first things first, buying a dog.

You can either adopt a dog or buy a puppy from a breeder, with the most expensive usually coming with Kennel Club registration. The most popular puppy breeds cost around £727, Picodi says. Other mandatory expenses include dog registration or microchipping.

The expanded kit includes two services that are not obligatory but have a positive impact on the health and safety of a dog. These are neutering and obedience training, which come with a rough price tag of £252.

Every dog needs essentials, such as a collar, harness, leash, ID tag, bed, brush and two bowls: one for water and one for food. The cost of that starter kit amounts to around £146.

But many owners may also want to buy a special safety harness and belt for traveling in the car, designer clothes for rain protection, as well as a muzzle, LED collar, and the carrier, which can cost an additional £152.

Okay, you’ve bought your dog and given it an adorable name, set up their own Instagram account and taken approximately 754 photos of them sleeping in hilarious positions. Now, for the recurring expenses:

  • food
  • care and beauty
  • toys
  • veterinary care
  • licence
  • additional services.

The cost of providing a basic diet ranges from £660 for small dogs and £1,990 for bigger breeds, annually. However, if a dog owner decides to buy premium food, like wet, grainless food without chicken, the cost of such a diet may increase to £1,555 for small dogs and as much as £5,480 for large dogs.

Cyclic deworming twice a year, as well as protection from ticks and fleas, shampoo and a year’s supply of poop bags falls under the care and beauty category, with an average cost of £71.

There are also groomer costs in the ‘expanded kit’, including grooming, trimming and wash with a blow-dry. Assuming that we use these services once every two months, you would spend an additional £560 a year.

Every dog needs toys: squeaky teddy bears, knot ropes and some basic balls, setting you back about £53 per year. For those willing, there are also activity toys that are designed to develop a dog’s intelligence at an additional cost of £13.

We can’t forget about the physical health of our pet. Annual vaccination against rabies and other infectious diseases, as well as one annual vet check-up (assuming that the dog is healthy), cost around £107, according to the study.

If a dog has a problem with plaque, and the dental sticks available on the market don’t work, there may be a need for tooth cleaning at an additional £275.

In Northern Ireland, a dog licence is mandatory, and an individual dog licence valid for 12 months comes at a cost of £12.50.

The last category is additional services such as pet sitter, dog hotels, and health insurance for £803. Although these are not obligatory, they may make life easier when owners go on vacation or if your dog suddenly falls ill.

In total, the basic cost of looking after a dog, which only included necessary products and services, was found to range from £904 for small dogs to £2,234 in the case of large ones.

For those whose dogs are more accustomed to a life of luxury, dog owners would have to pay up to three times more – £3,451 for small breeds and £7,376 for large dogs, according to Picodi.



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