How much does it cost to keep a dog? Tips on keeping cost low

(26 Posts)
ThresholdMum Sun 02-Jun-13 11:36:08

We are moving back to UK after time abroad and money will be tight. However 10 year old DS is (and has been) long term keen to have a dog. I've never had dogs but can see it could be good for him, even if it means I will likely need to be a backstop on taking care of it. But how much does it cost to get and keep a (small) dog? What tips would you suggest to keep it affordable? And/or what would you suggest as a first step so I can help him trial having one before we commit full time. Moving to new area, so don't yet know anyone whose dog he can sit....

OP’s posts: |
ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sun 02-Jun-13 11:43:18

It costs me approx. £40 a month. That includes food, insurance, treats, equipment/toys, kenneling etc. It doesn't include vaccines and random vet visits for ear infections/minor injuries etc. And now we have another one <weeps at lack of diamonds>

SoupDragon Sun 02-Jun-13 11:46:45

I will likely need to be a backstop on taking care of it

TBH, I think you should bank on you being responsible for the bulk of the looking after. Especially as your DS moves onto secondary school and gets more work/social stuff. Bear that in mind smile

SoupDragon Sun 02-Jun-13 11:48:08

My Disreputable Dog also costs me £40 every 8 weeks or so for grooming (he's a feathery spaniel, I have him shaved for practical reasons!) There is also the cost of flea prevention every month.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sun 02-Jun-13 11:50:40

Oh yes. Forgot grooming, flea treatment and working. Actually, I try not to think of how much it all costs. I'm sure you can do some stuff cheaper, but not much.

piratecat Sun 02-Jun-13 11:53:52

interesting thread.

My family have always had dogs, growing up, and many other animals (small holding upbringing).

I have two cats and they are pretty fussy food wise so eat decent tinned food and 'nicer' dried stuff.

I was chatting to my mum who lives abroad now and they have two dogs, and food wise they spend so little on them. I believe they feed a dry meat they you can add a little water to, and it's pence per day.

My dd would love a dog, and I wonder if we could afford one. It was so normal to have a dog when i was a kid, and i can't remember any angst about leaving them alone when we went out for the day etc...
I worry about that aspect.
Do dogs have regular annual jabs? ( i wasn't involved in this as a kid of course)

flowery Sun 02-Jun-13 11:59:51

Food
Bedding/toys/treat/collar/lead/other paraphernalia
Jabs
Worming
Flea-ing
Kennels if you have no one to take care of dog when you are away
Dog walker if you aren't at home all the time
Insurance (or money put aside for vet costs so that you don't suddenly get a bill of thousands)
Vet costs for things that wouldn't be covered by insurance, like neutering probably isn't, and obviously excess for each claim anyway
Passport if you want to take doggy abroad

um. Can't think of anything else. I dread to think how much that costs us. We pay £20 a week in doggy day care as well as all that.

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Kormachameleon Sun 02-Jun-13 12:08:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kormachameleon Sun 02-Jun-13 12:16:37

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D0oinMeCleanin Sun 02-Jun-13 12:20:59

There's the initial cost of bed, collar, leads, bowls, vet check, if you get a pup and not a rescue you need to add spaying/neutering, microchipping and vaccinating to that.

There's food - depends on the quality of food you want to give and the size of the dog. Mine cost £14 per week to to feed (so £7 each), including treats.
Insurance - again depends on the level of cover you want and breed and age of the dog. Devil Dogs is £28 pcm, he has a very comprehensive cover because of a skin condition he has. Whippy's is only £6 pcm but we'd have to pay the vet up front and reclaim the money
Flea stuff - around £20 monthly.
Worming stuff - I buy drontal online, it's £1.50 a month.
Flea spray for the house - £11 per 6 months
Doggy activities and training classes - £5 - 10 a week, depending on what we are doing and how often we go.

You may need to add grooming costs and/or clothing costs. If you go away you need to add kenneling, if you work out of the home for long days you need to add a dog walker.

The best way to get an idea of how much time a dog costs is to offer to foster for a rescue.

flowery Sun 02-Jun-13 12:23:29

Ooh yes training I forgot that, and grooming.

ThresholdMum Sun 02-Jun-13 13:27:48

Thank you all so much. I wouldn't have thought it could all add up so much, so REALLY helpful to know in advance. Wonder if I can persuade him of the joys of a goldfish....

OP’s posts: |
Kormachameleon Sun 02-Jun-13 13:35:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 02-Jun-13 13:40:45

Fish are not cheap either. I thought fish would be easy <<looks at fishtank, checks bank balance and weeps>>

Those fish are the bane of my life. I despise them, they cost a small fortune in chemicals to keep their water healthy, I am constantly worried that I'm going to accidentally kill them all. They keep breeding shock and they don't even snuggle up with me when I'm cold grin

Rats are awesome pets, relatively cheap to look after when you've bought the tank/cage and toys and very affectionate.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Jun-13 14:36:56

For bedding, go to a house clearance/charity shop and get old blankets/sheets/towels. DisreputableDog (henceforth known as SoupDoggyDogg) has multiple sets of bedding now, once I'd twigged this was the way to go. Means he has a clean set every week smile

ThresholdMum Sun 02-Jun-13 17:13:39

@Kormachamelon @DoinMeCleanin - thanks so much. We've had guinea pigs & chickens, & currently live in Africa, where rats (in the roof, in the house, all over) are the bane of my life. He really just wants a dog. Sigh. Thanks all.

OP’s posts: |
petra27 Sun 02-Jun-13 17:25:41

Its also a good idea to put a bit buy to cover unexpected kennel costs. eg if someone goes into hospital etc and you aren't going to be around to care for them, you may need to kennel them unexpectedly.

This is a bit different to kennel costs when going on holiday, when you factor in such costs in advance when making your decision on whether you can afford to go away.

DOoing pls can you tell me where you buy drontal online, £1.50 a month sounds much cheaper!

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 02-Jun-13 17:39:39

Um, I think it was petmeds, I buy per tablet. I am sure they were £1.50 per tablet.

If you like the idea of dog owning but cannot afford the expense you could always foster, the only downside being you've got to give the dog back when they find a permanent home, so would constantly have a different dogs, rather than one full time dog to build a life long bond with.

The plus side being the rescues pay for everything and of you do decide to keep one, the rescue workers themselves will sometimes offer holiday care, instead of having to pay for kenneling.

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 02-Jun-13 17:42:03

It's not petmeds, it's Here I use that many different sites for that many different pet things I lose track grin

petra27 Sun 02-Jun-13 17:44:19

Brilliant, thanks so much DOoing.
I have been paying waaay to much for this!

34DD Mon 03-Jun-13 15:52:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cathpip Mon 03-Jun-13 16:02:41

Will second about E and L insurance, 9 months for them to settle a claim, appalling!! Wormers and flea treatment is cheaper online. I have a crate and plastic dog bed with vet bed in, towels from scope etc, dog food is also cheaper online ( buy 1 bag get the second half price, from J W Titmuss, in case anyone is interested and its next day deliverysmile) dogs are not cheap, but I would not be without my two cockers, they complete our family!!

specialsubject Mon 03-Jun-13 17:05:11

is someone at home most of the day? Dogs left on their own bark, bark, bark and your neighbours will want to shoot either it or you.

ThresholdMum Mon 03-Jun-13 17:19:01

Thanks soooooo much to all. And especially specialsubject - dogs left alone bark.....

OP’s posts: |
specialsubject Mon 03-Jun-13 21:26:26

not totally clear if this is sarky or not - but I can't wait for the dog up the road to die, it is very old and barks for an hour each afternoon. Distressed dog - and pisses me off no end.

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