The Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2022

First Time Expenses for a New Dog

When you first get a dog, there can be a lot of initial expenses. It can seem daunting at first, until you realize it’s all about settling your new pup into their new life! The all up total for these one-time costs is typically between £855-£1,860, depending on whether you stick to the basics or splurge on more expensive essentials.

First-Time Costs for a New Dog

Item From To
Adoption fees £160 £200
Spay or neuter surgery £230 £600
Microchip £50 £50
Initial vet exam and vaccinations £230 £350
Collar or harness £5 £30
Leash £10 £20
Food bowls £5 £70
Poop bags £5 £10
Crate £20 £40
Bed £10 £60
Shampoo and brush £5 £30
Stain and odor removers £5 £10
Potty pads £10 £30
Toys £5 £40
Treats £5 £10
Basic veterinary care £80 £230
Pet license £20 £80
Total £855 £1,860

Cost breakdown

  • Adoption fees: The cost of adopting a dog typically range between £160 and £200, but can balloon into the thousands if you choose to buy a puppy from a breeder instead.
  • Spay/neuter: Regardless of where your pup comes from, if they aren’t yet spayed or neutered, that surgery can cost anywhere from £230-£600. However, if you adopt your dog, the adoption fee often covers a spay or neuter.
  • Vaccinations: Vaccines are especially important for puppies’ health, typically costing around £230-£350 (including an initial vet exam).
  • Pet license and microchip: Don’t forget a pet license (£20-£80) and microchip which typically costs £50 for a dog, depending on where you live.
  • Initial veterinary check-up: Make sure you’re prepared for any other medical expenses your new dog may need right away. This might include an exam and parasite prevention, which can average between £80-£230 for new pet parents.
  • Gear: From collars to poop bags, the doggy essentials to keep your new dog comfortable at home can vary widely in range. What you spend or splurge on will be a mix of your dog’s personality to what you like the best, functionally or aesthetically.
  • Grooming and hygiene: The average cost of keeping your home and your dog smelling great can vary as well, with dog shampoo and brushes ranging from £5-£30, stain and odor removers up to £10, and puppy training pads £10-£30. If you adopt an adult dog that is already potty trained, you likely won’t need to buy potty pads.

Like all things, expenses can range depending on your dog’s breed and size but also your own preferences and lifestyle as a pet parent. Before getting a dog, take a look at the price ranges for each expense and determine your budget and priorities.

How Much Does a Dog Cost Per Year

After covering the initial one-time expenses to settle your pup into your home, there are also annual costs to keep in mind. The average dog expenses, from food to toys, may be anywhere from £230-£1,740 per year (or £20-£140 per month).

Annual Dog Expenses

Item From To
Food £80 £810
Flea and tick prevention £40 £150
Poop bags £20 £130
Treats £10 £190
Toys £30 £390
Annual check up £50 £70
Total £230 £1,740

How these costs add up

Food costs can range widely—anywhere from £80 to £810 per year—depending on the brand and how much your dog eats. Some dog parents 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 are a must, costing typically £50-£70 each. Flea and tick prevention (average £40-£150) is also an important annual costs to keep in mind.

We can’t forget treats, toys, and poop bags—most pups and their parents would consider these essentials! Treats, which can be a big help in training your dog, cost the typical pet parent anywhere from £10-£190 annually. Yearly costs for toys can vary based on quality and quantity, usually landing between £30-£390. Poop bags cost about £20 to £130 a year for most dog owners.

Extra Dog Parenthood Expenses to Budget For

Additional Dog Expenses

Item From To
Emergency vet bills £120 £880
Dental cleaning £300 £400
Wellness vet bills £80 £250
Dog boarding £30 £30
Dog walking £10 £10
Grooming £20 £110
Rental pet deposit £150 £500
Pet insurance £20 £270
Training session £30 £180
Total £760 £2,630

While these expenses may not come up for every pet parent, it’s important to keep surprise costs in mind, which can average between £760-£2,630 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 cost averages between £120-£880. Teeth cleaning is another expense not every pet parent opts for, but if you decide to schedule a cleaning be prepared to pay anywhere from £300 to £400.

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 £30 per night and dog walking averages £10 per walk 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-£180 per session. Many people do at-home training themselves to save money and bond with their dog.

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 £20-£110, and depending on your dog’s breed, you’ll need multiple per year.

If you’d prefer to not spend money on grooming visits, consider a dog breed with a low-maintenance coat.

Pet deposits

Lastly, if you rent your home, you’ll likely need to put down an additional pet deposit before bringing your dog home. This expense usually adds up to about £150-£500 for the average renter.

Your Dog’s Breed Could Determine How Much You Spend

The cost of owning a dog by breed

A cost factor you may not have considered? Your dog’s breed.

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 parenthood] on a number of levels,” she said. “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 said that accidents can ultimately happen to anyone, and every dog needs basic vet care.

In a survey of dogs on Rover, their pet parents 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.

Pet parents of Chihuahuas, Cocker Spaniels, Mixed Breeds, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, French Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers and Cockapoos all claim they typically spend between £50-£99.

Our heaviest hitter on this list of popular breeds is actually the Dachshund, costing dog parents up to £150. 

Some Save Money by Adopting Dogs Instead of Having Kids

Nearly 1/4 of pet parents claim they got a dog instead of having a child, due to the lower cost.

Having kids is a big, often exciting, life-altering decision—but it isn’t cheap. So much so, that one quarter of UK pet parents delayed having a child or opted not to have one at all and brought home a dog instead due to the potential lower cost. 

When It Comes to Costs, We’re All In This Together

A dog with a globe.

While you may expect pet-related costs to vary widely depending on where you live, our research shows that isn’t necessarily the case. Suburban pet parents stand out as spending slightly less than those in rural and urban areas. If you’re spending more or less, it probably has more to do with your dog’s breed, unique needs, or your own personal tastes or lifestyle.

Additional Resources

Your Guide to the First Week With Puppy

The first week of bringing your puppy home is critical bonding time. Make sure you got everything you need for your puppy, including your training plan. Read our guide to the first week of puppyhood.

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.

Here’s What to Expect in the First Six Months

New puppy parent? The first six months can be a rollercoaster but you don’t have to be unprepared. Let us guide you through puppy blues and into puppy love. Read our month to month guide to puppy parenting.

Sources: Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, Nicole Ellis, RSPCA, Pet Shop Co UK, Pet Planet Co UK, Nimble Fins

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