The Cost Of Keeping A Dog


The joy and delight of getting a new puppy or kitten is so overwhelming that most people do not think past that pleasure.  The fact is, getting a household pet and maintaining a good standard and quality of life for them, costs money.  In fact, when looking at statistics, most people underestimate what it is actually going to cost them to look after their pets. They do not think past the food that the companion animal will need.

Most expenses in households are contained in vet bills, but spoiling your pets with toys and treats and getting them groomed and minded during family holidays also chips in to raise the bill. Not even to mention if your pet gets a chronic illness and needs to be constantly medicated.

Statistic: Owner-estimated lifetime cost perception of keeping a pet dog in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2013, by cost in GBP | Statista

On average, a dog can live 12 up to 15 years and some live even longer.  During his or her lifetime, some expenses will be a once off and others will be ongoing.

Once-off expenses

  • Neutering
  • Microchip
  • Primary vaccinations

Ongoing expenses

  • Annual booster
  • Annual flea and worming treatments.
  • Vet Consultations
  • Boarding Kennels

Food

  • Pet Insurance, annually Covers accident, illness
  • Dog collars, beds, toys, treats

Initial Investment

When getting a new pet, your initial investment will be acquiring said new pet.  Make sure you buy from a reputable breeder that uses a good genetic stock to breed his animals.  Pets bred with bad genes will cost you nothing but money in the long run as they will be born with genetic diseases that will mean your dog will have chronic illness that will rack up the vet bills in years to come.  You may have to pay a little bit more initially, but as the saying goes, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.  If you are going to invest in a pure bred dog, do as much research as you can to find a breeder with impeccable reputation.

Much have been said over the years about the good health of a mutt, so if in doubt rather put the money you were willing to invest aside for pet insurance and get yourself a mix breed from the pounds.

Veterinary Services

When you get your new pet, the first thing to do is to visit the vet.  Get a thorough check up and start with the first set of vaccinations and a worm and flea treatment.  There are also additional vaccinations like kennel cough and rabies and if you are going to take your pet with you to travel, you will need a pet passport.  You can set a little bit aside each month or get pet insurance for your pets.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is a very good idea to have for your pet.  Shop around for cost, terms and conditions.  Note that most have an excess as most insurance policies do.  This means that your insurance will only cover claims that are over a certain amount, and these more than often does not cover your annual vaccinations and parasite treatments.  However if your pet gets seriously ill and needs surgery and hospitalisation, this can run up to thousands and will be covered by your pet insurance.  it usually costs only a small amount per month and can be paid by direct debit.

Preventative Treatments

Your pet will need to be worm and flea treated throughout the year to keep them healthy and from getting sick.  You will also need the odd supplement to their diet to make sure they get the necessary vitamins to keep them healthy.  These can be bought from your veterinary clinic or a reputable pet store.

Training Classes

If you want to have a well behaved pooch it is advised to invest a few bob in obedience training classes.  You could buy books or DVD’s.  You can also join puppy training classes that are done in a group setting, or get a professional trainer to give you one-to-one time.

Holidays

Any time you go away, your pet will be a concern.  If you take them with you on holidays you have to make sure your pet passport is up to date and that your holiday destination is pet friendly.  There will be a charge for your pet’s accommodation.  If you leave them at home, you will have to pay a boarding kennel or a pet sitter.  Make sure you find somewhere with a very good reputation.  Again, rather pay that little bit extra to make sure your pet is well looked after than paying a lower price at a place with no or not so good reputation.

Beds and Toys

Beds and toys are an ongoing expense as they get chewed up and needs replacement regularly.

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