Can I afford a dog?

Most pet owners calculate the price of the food and add it to the cost of the dog and figure that they can afford it regardless of their budget. The reality is that very few people have any idea how much owning a dog really costs and grossly underestimate it.

Why does it matter what it costs to own a dog? After all, we love our pet and we would not put a price on their heath and happiness. The hard facts are that the cost of owning a dog is extremely important consideration for a number of often overlooked reasons. The cost of a healthy, well-bred puppy is a fraction of what it will cost to own that dog for 12 years. A poorly bred dog with bad hips, allergies, etc could end up costing you thousands more in medical bills not to mention hours of frustration and disappointment.  At the same time, if you are not going to pay for a high quality purebred, then do the animal kingdom a favour and go to your local animal rescue centre and get a mixed breed puppy that will be healthier and smarter than a poorly bred ‘purebred’.

The second reason that the cost of owning a dog is important is that it is a big investment. This dog is going to cost you a lot of money, not to mention a tremendous amount of time. If you are not fully prepared to pay for a dog’s needs and willing to spend a significant portion of your free time with the animal, then by all means do not get a dog. There are thousands of dogs put to sleep every year because the owners no longer want them or can afford them. On top of this, there are hundreds of thousands of dogs that live miserable lives devoid of exercise, interaction, socialisation and basic housing needs because people do not realise the time, commitment, or expenses involved in owning and properly caring for a dog.

The third important reason to understand what owning a dog costs is that when you realise what owning a dog costs, you will take the ownership and your responsibility much more seriously.

Below is a rough guide to costs to owning a dog:

Purchase Price – One Off

Food (Specialised puppy food), Adult food, (Specialised senior dog food)

Vaccines (Puppy Vaccines), Annual Boosters

Vet Bills




Chew Bones





Modification to your home (Fences, puppy damage to property, adapting your home for an older dog)

Flea and Tick Control


Grooming – Brushes, Shampoo, Dog Grooming Shop Fees

Dental Care

Dog Day Care – Holiday Boarding

Dog Crate, Car Restraint

Unforeseen Expenses

We love our dogs and not afraid to spend money on them, But on the more practical side we realise that there is not such thing as a ‘free’ puppy.

With this huge investment it only makes sense that we are very careful about choosing a puppy. Make sure your vet checks you puppy/dog hips, eyes, legs, disposition, and history of allergies.