The average cost of keeping a dog

The average cost of keeping a dog

author: Emily

By Emily

From vet trips to doggy treats, our furry friends can be an expensive addition to the family. So, how much are dogs really costing us?

For many of us, life isn’t complete without a canine companion. With their endless supply of love, a dog’s affection might seem priceless – but as we reveal below, a dog’s needs can soon stack up.

Whether you’ve already got a dog or you’ve got a pooch in the pipeline, we’ve taken a look at the grand total your dog could cost you over a lifetime.

Upfront costs

Before we even start looking at those everyday costs, let’s take a look at what you could expect to spend before you bring your dog home.

The price of your dog

The price of a dog can range far and wide, depending on the breed and whether you buy from a breeder or choose to adopt.

We’re taking a look at the average cost here, so let’s look at the UK’s favourite dog: a Labrador retriever. Research from PSDA revealed that a Labrador retriever could typically cost you between £300 and £500 – but you could expect to pay up to the thousands for certain pedigree breeds.


You’ll probably want to pamper your pooch when you bring them home, so you’ll want a new bed, leads and other things to keep your dog in check.

The average cost of equipment can range from £200-£400, so it’s definitely worth bearing this in mind before you head to the pound.

Spraying and neutering

On average, it’ll cost you from £60-£180 to spray or neuter your pup, though this may vary depending on the size of your dog.


Microchipping is a simple way of keeping tabs on your dog should they ever go missing. It’s a legal requirement to chip your dog, so this isn’t a cost you could avoid. Typically, it’ll cost you around £15-£25 to chip your dog.

Average costs per year

Now, let’s take a look at how much you could expect to spend on your pooch after you bring them home. Over a year, you could spend…

Dog food

Dogs are like hoovers when it comes to food. Food for your furry friend could set you back around £200-£400 per year.

What about treats? Those little extras could add up to around an additional £120 a year.

Worming and flea treatment

It’s not pleasant but it’s necessary… to worm your dog, you’re looking at spending from £40-£60 a year. And flea treatment? That’s another £60 added to your list.


Looking to insure your pet? Research by ‘Which?’ found that the average cost of a lifetime policy is £472 a year. You could save yourself some pennies by taking out a yearly policy for your dog – but the annual price could start to stack up once your dog starts getting older.

Don’t just go for the first policy you see – take a look online and use comparison sites to make sure you’re bagging the best deal.

Vet fees

If you’re not covered by insurance, you may well have to cough up some pretty hefty vet fees over the course of your dog’s life.

Surgery for broken bones could cost around £1,500, while other treatments such as chemotherapy could set you back as much as £5,000.

Boarding kennels

Say you’re jetting off and there’s no one available to take your dog in while you’re away… you might look into checking your dog into a kennel. On average, you’re looking at spending around £17 a day for a standard boarding kennel, while pet-sitters come in at around £25 a day.

Vaccinations and jabs

When you first pick up your pup, the first round of jabs comes to about £100 – however if you pick up your dog from a shelter, it’s likely that they’ll have your puppy vaccinated before you take them home. After this, you’ll need to take your dog to have yearly booster jabs which are around the £50 mark.

And the grand total is…

So with all that to pay for, let’s take a look at what you could spend over your dog’s life. PDSA found that, for a medium-sized dog, you’re looking at an average of £960 a year after initial costs.

When you factor in the average dog lifespan of 13 years, the grand total of keeping a dog comes to… drumroll please…


And with small dogs coming in at just under £11,000 and large dogs a whopping £16,380, it certainly adds up… so it’s a good job we love them!

Have you got any money-saving tips when it comes to doggy care? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Emily

By Emily

The average cost of keeping a dog The average cost of keeping a dog