The Cost of Dog Ownership in 2023

The Cost of Dog Ownership: New Dog Expenses

When you first get a dog, there can be a lot of one-time, upfront costs. It can seem daunting at first but you’re not alone. We have checklists to help you figure out essentials and what to expect in terms of cost. By budgeting ahead, you can alleviate financial anxiety and increase your confidence in being a
supportive pet owner!

How much you spend depends on whether your dog prefers the basics or if they can puppy-eye you into splurging. According to our research, the total of bringing your dog home typically ranges from £760 to £2,290 for the
first year.

First-Time Costs for a New Dog

Item From To
Adoption fees £180 £180
Spay or neuter surgery £255 £430
Microchip £22 £50
Initial vet exam and vaccinations £95 £185
Collar or harness £5 £120
Lead £5 £100
Food bowls £5 £125
Poop bags £5 £25
Crate £20 £275
Bed £15 £175
Shampoo and brush £10 £45
Stain and odor removers £5 £20
Potty pads £5 £105
Toys £5 £45
Treats £5 £75
Basic veterinary care £85 £250
Food £25 £100
Total £760 £2,290


When it comes to buying a dog, adoption fees are around £180.  Don’t forget a microchip either, which typically costs between £22 and £50 for a dog, depending on where you live.

Vet visits and vaccinations

Regardless of where your dog comes from, you’ll want to get them checked by a vet when you bring them home.

Here’s how vet visits break down in the first year:

  • The first vet visit, which covers vaccinations can cost anywhere from £95-£185.
  • Spay or neutering can cost anywhere from £255-£430. You’ll want to budget for this within the first year, if your dog isn’t spayed or neutered yet. However, if you adopt, the adoption fee may cover a spaying or neutering appointment.
  • Additional vet visits for younger dogs may include a wellness exam and parasite prevention. These can average between £85-£250 for new pet owners.

Your dog’s visit may be more than once a year too, depending on their age or health conditions they may have. Make sure youre prepared for other medical expenses your new dog may need.

New dog supplies

Next up are the essential supplies to keep your new dog comfortable at home.

Many of these dog items will vary in cost based on factors like your dog’s size, the type, and where you get it from:

  • collar/harness (£5-£120)
  • lead (£5-£100)
  • Poop bags (£5-£25)
  • food and water bowls (£5-£125)
  • crate (£20-£275)
  • bed (£15-£175)
  • toys (£5-£45)
  • treats (£5-£75)

Toys and treats are also an important part of getting your dog to create positive associations with their new home and bond with you.

The cost of keeping your home and your dog smelling great can vary as well. If you need to house-train your pup inside, puppy training pads can cost anywhere from £5-£105. You may skip the potty pads if adopting an adult dog but don’t skimp on grooming tools. Depending on your dog’s fur needs, dog shampoo and brushes can cost anywhere from £10-£45, while stain and odour removers for your carpet cost up to £20.

Like all things, initial expenses can range depending on your dogs breed and size but also your own preferences and lifestyle as a pet owner. When choosing your dog, don’t forget to do some breed-specific research and take a look at the price ranges for each expense. Maybe you’ll discover that making your own dog toys, in order to splurge on treats, is the money-saving hack for your budget planning.

The Cost of Dog Ownership: Annual Essentials

After covering the initial expenses to make your home dog-ready, keep the on-going, annual costs in mind. Our research shows that the average dog owner may spend anywhere from £575 to £3,030 per year on their dog:
that averages to £48-£252 per month.

Annual Dog Expenses

Item From To
Food £325 £1,170
Flea and tick prevention £50 £200
Poop bags £60 £290
Treats £60 £875
Toys £45 £445
Annual check up £35 £50
Total £575 £3,030

How these costs add up

These costs range vary, based on your dog’s age, breed, and lifestyle. For

Food costs, which can range widely, anywhere from £325-£1,170 per year, depending on the brand and how much your dog eats. Some dog owners opt for fresh dog food instead of dry or canned, often through a home delivery service, which can cost a bit more.

Routine vet visits, which are a must, typically run from £35-£50 each time. Puppies may need to see a vet more often in the early months to ensure they are growing healthily.

Flea and tick prevention, averaging from £50-£200 per year, is also a critical health cost to keep in mind. These treatments are priced by your pet’s weight.

By the first month or two, you’ll probably have used up your initial purchase of treats, toys, and poo bags. And you will probably find yourself regularly buying more of these, even long into your dog’s old age.
In fact, most pet owners would consider these on-going essentials! Depending on your dog’s likes and dislikes, it may be worth considering how these items fit into your annual budget:

Treats, which can be a big help in training your dog, cost the typical pet owner anywhere from £60-£875 per year.

Toy purchases, which can vary based on quality and quantity, usually land between £45-£445 per year

Poop bags cost between about £60-£290 a year for most dog owners.

The Cost of Dog Ownership: Optional Extras

Optional Dog Expenses

Item From To
Emergency vet bills £150 £305
Dental cleaning £190 £375
Wellness vet bills £80 £190
Dog boarding £35 £245
Dog walking £15 £105
Grooming £25 £80
Rental pet deposit £150 £500
Pet insurance £275 £505
Training session £30 £75
Total £800 £1,880

While these expenses may not come up for every pet owner, it’s important to keep optional or unexpected costs in mind. Optional costs are items that aren’t generally considered must-haves for your pet, but many do consider these make-or-break expenses to their pet’s wellbeing. The average range for additional dog costs land between £800-£1,880 in total.

Health costs: emergency visits and dental hygiene

Hopefully you’ll never need to make a trip to the emergency vet, but if you do, the typical visit costs between £150-£305. Teeth cleaning is another expense not every pet owner opts for, but if you decide to schedule a cleaning be
prepared to pay anywhere from £190-£375.

Dog enrichment: boarding, training, and day care

Depending on your lifestyle and schedule, you may decide to book pet care for your pup. Dog boarding averages £35 per night (for a week this comes to £245) and dog walking averages £15 per walk (for a week this comes to £105) but varies based on where you live and the dates you select. Dog training is another common additional expense and costs an average of
£30-£75 per session. Many people do at-home training themselves to save money and bond with their dog. If you want more structure, but still want an affordable option, virtual dog training is also available.

Grooming costs

If you have a breed with a coat that requires regular maintenance, like a Poodle or Havanese, this is one cost you’ll want to keep in mind: grooming. A typical dog grooming appointment costs between £25-£80 and depending on your dog’s breed, you’ll need multiple per year.

If you’d prefer not to spend money on grooming visits, consider a dog breed with a low-maintenance coat, like a Pit Bull. And who knows! You might want to get matching hairstyles!

Pet insurance

Pet insurance, which may help lower your veterinary expenses, is an optional aspect of pet ownership. Dog owners that do opt- in typically pay between £275-£505 annually.

End of Life Care Costs

Item From To
Extra supplies (ramp, potty pads) £15 £175
Euthanasia £240 £585


£160 £220
Special Foods £50 £150
Medical Costs £85 £850
Total £550 £1,980

As pet parents, it sometimes feels impossible to think about what our beloved dog’s end of life might look like, but it’s important to budget for. We have come up with some estimates in order to take the pressure off trying to figure out these costs when already facing a very difficult time.  This is perhaps the time when costs vary the most, depending on your dog’s case and your own preferences. Vet visit costs will vary, but we’ve put together an estimate for some considerations totaling between £550 and £1,980.

With Higher Costs in 2023, Here Are Some Ways to Save

With costs rising, pet parents are looking for ways to save money and we have a few ideas to get them started. First on our list: Groom your dog at home. This may seem obvious, but getting into a regular brushing and bathing routine at home instead of paying a groomer is a great way to cut costs.

Next up: Don’t try new foods and treats or new intense activities right before the weekend. Why? Well, most vets are closed on weekends which means if something happens, you’ll have to foot the bill for an expensive pet emergency vets visit.

Another money saving tip is to stop buying training treats and just use your dog’s kibble as small rewards. It’s a lot cheaper and, depending on how much you train, you can easily adjust your dog’s meals to make up for the extra nibbles. 

Does your dog love plush toys? Stop buying new and try picking some up secondhand at thrift stores, consignment stores, or online marketplaces like OfferUp. Just be sure to wash them before playtime begins!

Lastly, you can actually save money by investing in pet insurance. This usually works best if you sign up your pet right when you get them and before they grow older or develop problems.

Costs Claw Their Way Up Due to Inflation

While the national conversation on rising costs and inflation has focused on things like groceries, pet owners say that pet-related costs aren’t exempt. The majority (81%) of pet owners have witnessed the cost of pet food and treats,
toys, and even vet visits go up along with their grocery bills. Three-quarters (73%) of pet owners are concerned about these costs continuing to rise as they try to raise happy, healthy pets.

Your Dog’s Breed Could Determine How Much You Spend

Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M., shared a few insights about how breed can play into variation in veterinary costs, specifically:

“Breed factors [into the cost of dog ownership] on a number of levels,” she says. “At its very simplest, it could be about size, and size is a huge governing factor in costs. Medicines are dosed based on body weight, for example.”

She also mentioned that a dog’s demeanor can be partially determined by their breed. Are they mischievous and more likely to ingest something they shouldn’t? Are they really playful and active, potentially more likely to get injured? Ultimately, Dr. Greenstein says that accidents can happen to anyone, and every dog needs basic vet care.

How much pet owners spend, by dog breed

In our survey, pet owners reported how much they spend monthly on their dog. We took a look at 10 of the popular dog breeds to see how costs compared and discovered some surprises.

Compared to 2022, pet care costs are definitely on the rise—and it’s especially apparent for the top ten most popular breeds of the year. 

On the low end, the majority of Cockapoo, Jack Russell Terrier, mixed breed, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier parents spend less than £250 per month on their dogs. Mid-cost breeds include French Bulldogs, Border Collies, and Dachshunds, coming in at £250 – £350 per month.

Golden Retrievers take the top spot for costs in 2023, averaging pet parents a whopping £351 – £400 per month. This loving breed is a perennial favourite and a great family dog, and it appears their doting parents spare no expense when it comes to spoiling them.

Additional Resources

The 20 Best Dog Breeds for Every Type of Family and Kid

Is anything more exciting than bringing a new dog into the family? Everyone has their idea of the perfect pup. But what’s the best dog breed for your family when you have kids? Find out more with our guide to the best dog breeds for kids.

8 Easy Ways to Bond with Your New Dog

Whether you’re adopting an old dog or bringing home a puppy, how doggy parenthood goes all depends on your bond. Build the foundation to your relationship with our top tips for bonding with your dog.

Learn More About Puppy Training

New puppy parent? Puppy training can seem overwhelming when you’ve got a wiggly bundle of fur on your hands, but it comes down to a few key tips. Read our guide to essential puppy training.

Metodology: A Rover survey of 1,500 UK pet parents conducted in March 2023 via Pollfish.

Sources: RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Pets at Home, Zoo Plus, Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M.,, Park Vets, Air Tasker, Alexander Vets, Forbes, Pets 1st Vets, Steve Hoyle, Pet Plan, Many Pets.

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