Got a pension question? Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or over the phone on 0800 011 3797

How much does it cost to keep a dog?

Published on:

We’re a nation of dog lovers, but our furry friends come with a pretty hefty price tag, with an average cost of around £21,000 over their lifetime.

But some dogs, particularly large, pedigree breeds could set you back an eye-watering £33,000. 

Average cost of buying a dog

There are far too many options to give a definitive answer, but if we break down the cost of buying a dog, you start to get an idea about how quickly prices can go up.

A dog from a registered breeder or rescue centre generally costs a tail wagging £50 to £150.  But, popular small breeds, like a pug, or hybrid such as a labradoodle, can cost about £1,000.

arrow icon

Large pedigree dogs and some rarer breeds can cost you several thousand. The most expensive dog in the world is rumoured to be a Tibetan Mastiff, which cost the owner in China about £1 million.

Average cost of dog food

You’re probably looking at around £200 to £400 a year to feed your dog, which means an average cost of dog food per month of around £25, but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.

Larger dogs might cost a lot more to feed, while smaller dogs will cost a bit less.

There is also a massive range in the cost of pet food. While there are a number of cheaper options on the market, these are often bulked out with cheaper fillers like oats.

The more expensive options should contain more meat, which is better for you dog, but you should check the ingredients to make sure you get what you’re paying for.

Average cost of dog toys and bedding

Assuming you’re not buying your dog designer jackets and its own four poster bed, there are a lot of ways to save in this area.

But even so, there are a lot of things your dog will need and there’s a good chance you will need to replace them on a regular basis.

If we’re taking a wide range, you’re probably looking at between £200 and £400 for toys, bedding, leads and the various other things your dog will need.

Average dog insurance cost

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

Research by Which? found the average cost of a lifetime policy for a dog is £472 a year.

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.

But if you want to look at a cost that’ll really get the fur flying, check out how much the vet bills can be.

Average vet bills and medical costs for your dog

Vet bills can be really expensive. Surgery for broken limbs costs on average £1,500, while more significant treatments, like chemotherapy can be as much as £5,000.

But often it’s the ongoing costs of long-term illnesses, like diabetes, which can really set you back.

Hopefully your furry friend keeps itself out of the worst kinds of scrapes, but even common problems can set you back hundreds.

Hip dysplasia, a regular issue with popular larger dogs like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Labradors, can cost £500.

Average puppy and dog vaccinations cost

The first round of jabs for your puppy will set you back about £100, but you will also need annual booster vaccinations, which cost about £50 a go.

If you want to avoid this initial cost, then many rescue shelters will have your puppy vaccinated before you’re allowed to take them home.

Average dog neutering cost or cost to spay a dog

On average, spaying or neutering your dog will cost between £60 and £180. However, larger dogs might cost quite a bit more.

Average dog teeth cleaning costs

Regularly cleaning your dog's’ teeth is vital for their overall health and can save you lots of money in the long-run.

A tube of dog toothpaste (don’t use human toothpaste. It contains fluoride and is poisonous to dogs) only costs a few quid.

A full clean and descale at the vets is probably going to set you back between £100 and £200 depending on the size of the dog, as they need to be put under an anesthetic.

But the prices really start to go up if your dog needs to start having serious dental work or teeth removed. You can easily be looking at £400 to £500 or even more.

Average dog microchipping cost

This is a cost you can’t avoid. Microchipping your dog is a legal requirement and if you don’t you can be hit with a fine of up to £500. Luckily, it’s not very expensive, with an average cost of between £15 and £20 to add your canine friend to the dog microchip database.

Average cost of flea and worming treatments for your dog.

This is going to set you back about £10 a month. Worming treatments are more expensive at £10 to £15, but only need to be done every three months, while flea treatments cost about £5 a month.

How much does a  dog walker cost?

If you’re working, you might want someone to come in a walk your dog for you during the day.

There are a large number of companies and individuals offering this service and dog walking prices can vary depending on how long they take your dog for and how much exercise they need.

A rough average price would be £10 for an hours walk, but obviously you’ll be looking at more if you’re after a day-care service.

Average dog passport cost

A pet passport for your dog is going to cost between £150 and £250, by the time you factor in the extra jabs required. But there are other things to consider.

First, you will need to have them treated for tapeworm before taking them back into the UK and this must be done no later than 24 hours before you travel.

Second, if you’re abroad, your pet insurance might not cover you.

Average cost of dog boarding kennels

Does your dog really want to go on holiday with you? Well if you decide to leave them at home, you need to be prepared to pay some hefty kennel fees.

On average, you’re probably looking at around £17 a day, plus extras for a decent boarding kennel. A live-in pet sitter is probably going to be a bit more expensive at around £25 a day, but your dog will be safe and sound in their own home.

How much does it cost to put a dog down?

When it’s time to say goodbye to your dog, you will usually be charged between £30 and £50 to have them put to sleep at the vets.

Some vets might do home visits, and this will set you back between £70 and £100.

Dog cremation costs

Cremation costs vary depending on whether or not you want the ashes back.

An individual cremation, which means you do get the ashes back, will cost between £150 and £300.

If you don’t want the ashes back, then you should only be paying about £50.

You can get a combined euthanasia and cremation service with some vets, but this will not save you much money.

Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

Calls from the UK are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

Calls from the UK are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.