How much does a dog actually cost?

Deciding to get any pet is a big commitment, even if they’re small. With this commitment can come a lot of added weekly costs and monthly bills, which can catch you by surprise if you’re not prepared.

The UK is full of pet lovers with 49% of UK adults owning one and 24% of the population having a dog. So we asked the dog owners of OpenMoney to share what the real cost of having a dog is.

Vet bills and vaccinations

What medication, vaccination and medical procedures your dog needs will depend on a multiple of things including their age, breed and what they’ve already had done.

There is no way of knowing what medical issues your dog may have as it gets older so it’s important to factor in for this.

Some vets may offer a monthly subscription fee and in return you may get worming, vaccination top ups and other services as part of the package. This could save you money in the long run and it also gives you peace of mind when it comes to taking care of your dog’s wellbeing.


It is now a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped. It can cost between £15 to £20. But if you don’t do this you could be fined up to £500!


How much you spend on food and treats for your dog will completely depend on how big your dog is and what type of food you want to buy.

Pet food can be tinned or fresh and wet or dry, and there are a variety of options on the market. You can pick up a basic 1KG bag of dry food for just under £3 at Pet’s at Home, or a 4KG bag of luxury dry food for nearly £60!

What type of treats you give your dog is up to you but this is another added cost you will need to think about.


It’s always important to get insurance for any pet you get. It might not seem like a priority when your dog is a puppy but you never know what is going to happen.

Insurance could help you cover costs if your dog is involved in an accident, needs intensive medical care or ends up developing a chronic illness when it gets older.

When it comes to picking your pet insurance make sure you think about your dog’s needs, the cheapest option may not be the best. There are so many factors that can affect the price of your pet's insurance, the coronavirus pandemic being one of the most recent to play a part, so it's important to do your research and get the right insurance for you. This recent report by GoCompare shows the affects that the pandemic has had on the cost of insurance and the breeds that are affected the most.


Some dogs love to play whilst others prefer to sleep. It might not seem like an important expense but buying your dog toys will hopefully keep them busy and away from your furniture.

But be warned, some dogs can go through toys very quickly, whether that be breaking a ball or squeaky toy.

Even the toughest of toys are no match for some dogs, so expensive high-quality toys aren’t always best. Some dogs might just want a cheap tennis ball to keep them entertained.

Obedience and daycare

Sadly not all dogs are quick to learn tricks or to be house trained so you might want to enroll them into obedience school.

The Dog’s Trust offer courses for £55 but prices can vary.

If you work during the day you might not want to leave your dog at home alone, so daycare or paying for a dog walker may be something you need to think about.


It is completely up to you how much you spend on luxury items for your dog. You might decide to keep it simple with a new bed or dog house every few years. Or you might go all out and treat them to new collars, grooming and pamper sessions. No matter what you treat your dog to, it will add to your extra monthly and yearly outgoings.

Whether you’re wanting to pamper your dog daily or just treat them every now and again there are a lot of costs to think about before getting any pet!

If you’re not sure if you can afford a dog right now, then it might be best to hold off and wait till you can give them everything they need for a happy, healthy life.

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