The cost of owning a dog

Okay, so you want a dog but can you afford a dog? Often prospective pooch owners forget to consider all the associated costs of owning a dog—only to find that the outlay is more than they expected.

22 Aug 2016 By Leanne Philpott Comments

It’s fair to say that the cost of owning a dog is more than the cost of owning a cat, by about $5-$10 per week, which over a year can really add up.

Nonetheless, if you’re a true blue dog lover you’re not going to choose to have a cat as a pet just because they’re less expensive.

The key is to do the maths and make sure you know how much cash you’re going to need in your wallet to be a responsible dog owner. Plus, you’ll need to consider not just the upfront costs but the ongoing costs too.

To help give you an idea of the cost of owning a dog, we’ve compiled a list of some of the main outlays.


Initial set-up costs

The dog: This cost can vary greatly from costing you zilch up to $25,000 (according to the RSPCA)

Council registration: Ranges from $40-$150, depending whether the dog is desexed or not.

Desexing: According to the RSPCA, desexing can cost $200-$500—depending on the size, age and gender of the dog. This might seem like a big cost but if your undesexed female dog was to fall pregnant, consider the cost of microchipping a bunch of puppies. (Note: microchipping is a legal requirement and given that on average a dog will have five to six puppies, you’re looking at $300 plus.)

Microchipping: This can cost between $60-$80

Vaccinations: Just the initial puppy vaccination can range from $170-$250

Bed or kennel: Prices can start at just $15-$20 for a small pet bed rise to $200 for a designer dog bed. Dog kennels start off at approximately $100.

Collar and leash: Expect to pay anywhere in the region of $40-$100

Worming/flea treatments: According to the RSPCA, this can range from $120-$300

Food and dog bowl: This can range from $100 upwards (based on $20 for a dog bowl and buying a month’s worth of dog food at $20 a week)

This is a guide to some of the main upfront costs of owning a dog. Each cost can vary greatly and is influenced by a number of factors relating to the dog (size, breed, age) and you (your preference and likes).


Ongoing costs

Veterinary expenses: Annual health checks, vaccinations, worming and flea treatments can cost approximately $200 every year

Food: This can set you back $300-$600, depending on the size of dog and the type of food

Toys and treats: From $30 upwards.


Costs can vary greatly and there’s always going to be those annoying and totally unexpected costs. It’s important to be smart and forking out for routine vaccinations, worming, heartworm and flea treatments can help reduce the likelihood of bigger health-related vet bills.


Other costs to consider include:

  • Doggy daycare
  • Pet insurance
  • Obedience training
  • Grooming
  • Boarding fees, if you’re planning on going on holiday without your pooch.


Let's not forget though, whatever cash you spend on your dog you'll get back a trillion times over in the form of priceless puppy luurve!

22 Aug 2016 By Leanne Philpott Comments

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