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How much does owning a dog cost?

(56 Posts)
MeadowHay Sat 31-Dec-16 15:29:39

We are dithering about rescuing a pup, we need to make the decision quickly, one of the things worrying us is the cost. The pup is a 4 month old lurcher, roughly how much would it cost a month, as well as initial costs, anyone want to help me out??

So initial costs I've thought of:
- Collar
- Lead
- Harness possibly
- Coat - would it need more than one coat? And how many jumpers for indoors would it need as I know lurchers feel the cold?
- Crate
- Bed?
- Blanket?
- Toys - how many would they need to start with? A kong, a chew toy, a teddy, and a ball?
- Poo bags
- Something to clean up accidents with as I've read there is specific stuff you need to use to erase the smell?
- Shampoo
- Food bowl
- Water bowl + a collapsable water bowl to take out and about
- A brush
- Puppy training classes
- Third set of vaccs.
That's all I can think of. + Cost of neutering a bit later down the line.
I don't know how much any of these things cost but I can have a look at pets at home I guess.

Then ongoing costs:
- Insurance
- Food
- Treats
- Toys, and replacing bedding etc

Any estimates for me?

MeadowHay Sat 31-Dec-16 15:31:04

Ooh and it would be about £200 in donations to the rescue + transporting pup to us, maybe less but would rather estimate higher to make sure we can meet all the costs.

toptoe Sat 31-Dec-16 15:34:57

Other ongoing costs is flea/worming treatment which adds up
You might want to do additional classes after puppy training as you can teach your dog all sorts of things and keep their mind's active.

MeadowHay Sat 31-Dec-16 16:08:07

How much is flea/worming treatments? I can't find it online. I looked at our local vet's pet plan but it didn't seem good value for money if the dog is insured.

Good point about further training, as a first-time dog owner I think that would be really beneficial for myself too.

NewNNfor2017 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:15:32

As well as insurance and neutering costs, you might need to make an annual allowance to cover insurance excess payments, should the pup be injured or fall ill, and check whether the insurance requires annual dental cleaning in order to maintain insurance cover for dental care.

And factor in increases in insurance premiums as the dog gets older! We finally cancelled ours when the dogs got to 10 years + and the policy costs were over £2000 a year EACH!

MeadowHay Sat 31-Dec-16 16:21:00

Good point about the excesses' although having got a quite from Petplan they are not huge which is good.

I understand the premiums would go up as the dog ages but it is likely we will be financially better off by then so should be more able to absorb the costs.

I'm still on the fence about insurance though. I feel like it's just sod's law that if we don't insure our pup will end up with something really bad and we'll struggle but then if we insure we just get robbed and will have a healthy pup. I don't know whether maybe it's a better idea to just set up a savings account instead of paying it to an insurer? What are people's thoughts on this in general? This is also bearing in mind that if push came to shove we could borrow money from wealthier relatives so I don't think we would ever get so stuck that we couldn't source the money for treatment from somewhere.

Recentlylazy Sat 31-Dec-16 16:22:13

Agree with New make sure you factor in insurance excess. My dog had a serious spinal injury which cost £5k for surgery, drugs etc. So delighted when he came through it, but faced with £550 excess. I paid it, but bit of a tight month, make sure you stash some away, in case you ever need it. I hope you don't.

Blackfellpony Sat 31-Dec-16 16:22:56

Toys wise it's worth spending the money on quality over quantity. Kong toys are expensive but last so much longer. We don't have loads, proberbly a standard kong each, an antler and a few balls.

Training wise I think we paid around £100 for a 5 week initial course plus £45 for follow up courses but we've gone quite a few! I've also had one to one training at £30/session but my dog is naughty grin
We also do agility at £6 per week.

Flea and worm treatment is somewhere around £15/month for a large breed.

Insurance £20/month for GSD with good cover for life. Really look for a lifetime cover policy rather than a yearly one. I reccomend petplan and it's easy to get a quote. Bare in mind that sometimes a vets bill is under your excess though so you may still need to fork out for some smaller bills.

I also pay £20 per sack of dog food per month plus another £10 on tins and treats.

Recentlylazy Sat 31-Dec-16 16:27:16

Cross post but please do get insurance. My little fella was very healthy for six years and then suddenly this serious problem occurred. Vet asked if I wanted to check if my insurance covered MRI before he started to diagnose. It did but I realise he also was asking me if I could afford the treatment or I wanted the dog to be put down. He is now back to 90%. Wouldn't have been able to forgive myself if I couldn't have done this for him.

MeadowHay Sat 31-Dec-16 16:27:53

I did a quote for the pup on Petplan and it was £22-£25 a month. Why was it slightly more expensive than your GSD for a tiny lurcher pup? Lifetime cover as well but not the expensive 'ultimate' one. Is it the area we live in that affects it or something? Or the breed? Also what are you meant to put for breed if not 100% sure? Like the rescue reckons it's a greyhound cross, but that's just a guess, so am I meant to tell insurers it's a greyhound cross or just put 'large mixed breed' if I'm not certain? It is a minefield!

NewNNfor2017 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:34:17

don't know whether maybe it's a better idea to just set up a savings account instead of paying it to an insurer? What are people's thoughts on this in general?

All the people I have know do this have said they wish they'd had insurance. Several have had their dogs diagnosed with lifelong conditions which a good policy would have covered the costs of, but they ended up paying £60/£75 a month in medication, plus having to find the money to set aside into the "insurance pot".

As I said, we cancelled our elderly dogs insurance last year and started setting aside the money instead - subsequent to which both have required treatment leading to diagnosis that confirms that we'll be paying it off long after they've died sad

The other thing is that insurance covers more than just medical bills - it's also for liability, lose/ theft and even cremation costs.

Paulat2112 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:34:21

Insurance we are about £21 a month (no excess) and then the pet plan from vet is £11 a month or so and that's all flea, worming, vaccinations, kennel cough and two check ups a year. Food we feed our dog homemade food and it's about £10 a month (she is small though so would be more for a larger dog). Treats less than £5 a month. I find we can buy one toy a month and then nothing for a few months. I rate the more expensive toys too.

twocockersarebetterthanone Sat 31-Dec-16 16:36:11

Definitely get insurance and good lifetime cover at that. My pup is just over a year old and has recently had a knee op costing £2200. Insurance covered it all with only a £75 excess.

Good quality food is a must - cheap food will cause more problems in the long run - have a look at raw feeding.

Worming, flea, nail trimming etc can often be covered with a monthly plan at the vets - we pay £10.99

Blankets - you can never have enough as they need washing very often.

idontlikealdi Sat 31-Dec-16 16:38:57

Our vet plan is really good value - £12 per month I think - none of it would be covered by insurance.

NewNNfor2017 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:39:27

Why was it slightly more expensive than your GSD for a tiny lurcher pup?

Breed, age, postcode and even colour can make a difference to how much insurance is - different breeds/cross breeds are more prone to different conditions, predominantly white dogs can suffer skin and hearing problems, the chance of theft varies from area to area....you can't really compare dog to dog, the best thing is to compare as many different comparable policies for your dog as possible.

JigglyTuff Sat 31-Dec-16 16:41:46

Breed and likelihood of theft all affect premium. My dog is a pedigree and easily nicked so his insurance is £££ which I wish I'd thought about before I got him but ho hum!

I'd just say greyhound cross for now. You will need different sized coats as s/he grows - you might be able to get some from the Greyhound Trust or other dog charities. There's a lady who knits jumpers for our local Dogs Trust which are about £2. Once they're pretty much full grown you can buy stuff that's more expensive. You need a waterproof one for outdoors and a warm one too (not necessarily the same coat).

Bowls you can pick up in the poundshop as well as cheap collars/leads which will be okay for a puppy to use indoors (to get him used to lead work).

Our local puppy training is only £3 a class (Kennel Club approved) so look around for reasonable ones.

TrionicLettuce Sat 31-Dec-16 16:48:35

With regards to insurance and whether it's worth it don't underestimate just how much treatment for fairly common things can cost.

DDog1 had arthritis and heart failure for the last couple of years of his life. For most of that his meds were costing in the region of £150 a month.

DDog2 developed cataracts which needed surgery costing £5000. She's also developed IVDD as she's got older which cost around £300 for various diagnostic tests and she's on daily meds which costs about £30 a month.

DWhippet1 injured his leg in a freak accident and so far that's cost about £2000.

DWhippet3 recently broke a tooth which necessitated the rest of the tooth being removed. That cost about £300.

Dominithecat Sat 31-Dec-16 16:50:17

I sit on the fence with insurance usually, but with this last lot of pets, we have two gsd and a moggie, we thought that if the worst happened and all 3animals fell ill at the same time (known as sods law) we would be in a lot of debt if we didn't have insurance. So we got above minimum and not quite top line insurance. It comes to around £50 a month for all 3, discount cos they all with same company.
The cat got stuck in a disused pond nearby nearly died of hypothermia, not enough to claim on insurance, one dog had problems toileting, not enough to claim , one dog broken leg, claimed, got full amount that insurance pay and we had to pay too. £2000 up to now, with a x-ray still to come. It's a lot of money but would have been 4k without insurance.
Yet my last pet cost me nothing all her life right til the last 10 weeks when she had a thousand pounds spent on her before she was pts. So I still sit on the fence until I have enough stashed away to cover any possible eventuality with 3pets.

MinniesAndMickeysNeedCounting Sat 31-Dec-16 16:54:07

The insurance is worth it in my opinion, my dogs started out at around £13 a month, dog is now 11 and the premiums have gone up considerably, last renewal was in the region of £120 a month, we had to reduce our cover slightly as was too much for us. We've spent thousands on insurance but been completely worth it. Our dog is also on a prescription diet for life which is £40-50 a month.

In regards to insurance, if you decide to insure do your research because some companies after you make claims will increase your premiums so high that they're trying to force you to leave and go with another company, if you change insurers existing conditions won't usually be covered by a new company.
Sorry if you already know all this, thought it was worth mentioning.

TrustySnail Sat 31-Dec-16 16:54:24

You need insurance with a dog because you have liability for its actions - eg. if your dog ran off and caused a traffic accident, you could be held liable for all the associated costs.

Blackfellpony Sat 31-Dec-16 16:54:31

All of my quotes have been quite cheap, must be the location or occupation or something like that. I've claimed £50 every month for around 3 years so definitely worth it for me.

Second dog can't be insured due to medical problems and it does worry me that if I get a large bill I might struggle. For example if it cost £3k for a fracture or something along those lines we would not have saved enough by putting the £20 away as the dog is only 2 years old.

REW2016 Sat 31-Dec-16 17:09:50

Definitely would encourage you to get insurance - it also covers 3rd party liability if they ran into the road or something so it's broader than just vet bills. We are also with PetPlan for two Labradors and pay around £30pm each for the lifetime cover and the middle cover option. It's paid for itself with knee ops including investigation work and hydrotherapy and when the minx ate mince pies and ended up on a drip for two days in the emergency vet. The other one has allergies so will be on ongoing meds for this. You only pay the excess once a year with PetPlan if it's ongoing - really would recommend them! Remember annual booster vaccinations which I think we pay about £85 each. Food wise, £30-35 each, not including treats and we use a company called Tails which do personalised menus and we are very pleased with, much better quality and value than brands at the pet shop. We also have a dog walker which is an expensive thing to do but is a must for us. They are expensive but we wouldn't change it!

TrustySnail Sat 31-Dec-16 17:15:46

Holiday costs -

This might not apply to you, but if you're need to put your dog in kennels, you're likely to pay at least £25 per night.

If you take your dog on holiday with you, you might be charged an extra cleaning fee on top of the normal rate for accommodation.

TrustySnail Sat 31-Dec-16 17:16:32

^ if you need ...

Madbengalmum Sat 31-Dec-16 17:18:51

As much as you want, i probably spend £125 per month on food and treats alone. Then £65 on insurance etc,etc, but this is with £80 a sack dog food.

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