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Realistic costs for owning a dog...

(51 Posts)
Amley Tue 23-Jan-18 20:28:13

The whole family (DH, DS 8, DD 12 and me) really want to get a dog this year. It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a very long time (years!) but I’m a very strong believer that you should only get a dog when the time is right and go into it with your eyes fully open (too many dogs sadly get put up for rehoming). We haven’t yet fully decided on a puppy or rehoming a dog yet but having researched many breads we are pretty certain a Springer Spaniel is right for our family (yes we are aware they are very energetic!). I would love to hear from others regarding costs so there are no nasty surprises. I know we’d need insurance, food, grooming etc. Can anyone give me a better breakdown? Thanks.

mustbemad17 Tue 23-Jan-18 20:35:27

Good pet insurance - with third party liability too!

Food - a decent one will cost more but shitty food can have a detrimental effect on a dog much the same as it can on humans.
Also think about treats and/or chews, kong type things to prevent boredom.

Basics; lead/collar/tag/harness/coat if necessary. Food/water bowls. Dog bed. Crate if crate training (always recommended). Grooming tools. Towels.

House insurance in case you get a chewer/destructive shitbag 😂

You will have different costs depending on if you get a pup; vaccinations, microchip, spey/neuter when old enough. If rescued this should be done!

Flea/wormer as required. Vaccinations topped up when required.

Toys!

My biggest expense each month was my dog's food as she was on a specialist medicated diet. That was £23 a month.

mustbemad17 Tue 23-Jan-18 20:36:51

Ooh also think about whether you will do proper grooming yourself or use a professional groomer - my mum has cockers who go to a groomer every 6 weeks so that is a regular expense for her.

Training classes (especially important for a pup)

mustbemad17 Tue 23-Jan-18 20:41:57

Sorry, keep having things jump at me!

Kennel or boarding costs if you go on holiday & have nobody to watch your dog. Kennels will have an impact on what vaccinations you have because most insist on KC as well as up to date vacc's

If you travel & want to take the dog with, a passport would be something to consider - not sure how Brexit will affect that tho!!

Also have to think about travel; have you got a car that can fit a dog guard, or will you need a crate/car harness?

BiteyShark Tue 23-Jan-18 20:42:35

Get a rough quote for a life insurance policy as costs vary for breed, age and location. Remember you will still need to pay excess or costs under the excess amount for illnesses and accidents.

Look at your nearest vets and see how much they charge for vaccinations. Most also have plans where you pay monthly which cover worming/flea treatments etc.

Use allaboutdogfood.co.uk to input size of dog and type of food to get an estimate of how much a good quality food will cost per day but remember to add on treats.

If you plan to go away on holiday without the dog investigate how much local kennels or pet sitters in your area charge.

Factor in dog walkers costs if needed.

Look up cost of training courses if you plan to do them.

Investigate costs of beds, leads, harnesses, toys, chews etc.

Look up groomers costs locally.

Shmithecat Tue 23-Jan-18 20:43:41

Are either you or your dh home all or most of the day?

bigsighall Tue 23-Jan-18 20:45:50

Therapy.... springers are bloody hard work.

JaneEyre70 Tue 23-Jan-18 20:47:09

I've got a cocker spaniel (4) and he's fairly low maintenance money wise. His annual boosters cost around £40, insurance £10 a month and good quality food is around £50 a month. He never goes to the groomers, he has an easy coat to maintain and I've learned loads from YouTube videos.... I refuse to spend £40 every 6 weeks for something I can do myself. We didn't do puppy classes, again YouTube is invaluable and I've joined several forums/FB groups that have been so helpful. We probably spend around £300 a year at the vets too as spaniels are very loopy - we've had ripped dew claws, thorns in feet/tail, grass seeds in ear/paws etc and it's often under the insurance threshold but any big bills get covered.

BiteyShark Tue 23-Jan-18 20:48:17

Other one of costs such as baby gates, play pens, crates, car crate/guard/harness.

Dog brushes for general grooming, cleaners for toileting accidents in the house, nail clippers, poo bags. Lots of things like that add up.

Praisebe Tue 23-Jan-18 20:50:30

Personal experience is
His food £100 for two 13kg sacks
His vet bills £100-200 per 6 months
Flea and worming £40 every 3 months
Microchips are about £10
Toys and treats £20 monthly ( he chews a lot!!)
It's an expensive venture but well worth it just like having kids

NewBrian Tue 23-Jan-18 21:01:02

Springer spaniel owner here. Insurance used to be cheap, about £25 a month iirc. I spend £30 a month on food, £10 a month for flea and worm stuff and vaccinations and £8 a month on medication. She didn’t cost a penny in vet fees till recently and she’s 11.

missbattenburg Tue 23-Jan-18 21:04:33

Springer here. He costs me:

£60-80 pm in food (raw, costs vary as I mix it up a bit and sometimes buy more expensive mixes etc)

£30 pm insurance because I went with one that starts higher than most but does not go up if you claim or as the dog goes older; a friend of mine pays almost £100 for two 10yr old springers as the costs just keep going up

As a puppy he cost me £100 for his first round of vaccines, flea and worm treatment etc. I expect this to be around £5/10 pm from now on.

Puppy classes were £70 for six.

I expect to get a walker in when I return to work (someone will be with him all day but cannot walk him) so that's £10 per day or almost £200 pm.

Grooming has been cheap so far as he's just had puppy baths to get him used to it. I expect it to be £40-50 every month or so when he has a full coat.

The car guard was around £175, plus a few extras like a tether and vet bed to go in the boot makes it closer to £200 to get the car sorted. I bought a travel box for when he was a puppy (£50) which he grew out of very quickly. If I hadn't been able to reuse it for our JRTs then it would have been a real shame.

He has ruined the garden (grass has taken a real hammering) so there will be the cost of making that good again in the spring.

He chewed someone else's shoes so there was £50 to replace them grin

What gets really expensive, if you are not careful, is all the stuff you buy a puppy that he doesn't like/use or grows out of. Crates, travel boxes, beds, toys, collars, leads, harnesses, bowls etc. Careful planning and not getting carried away buying new things for a puppy if you can repurpose something or borrow from a friend.

bluemosquito Tue 23-Jan-18 21:05:53

Different end of the spectrum
Initial cost including dog £1500
Vet bills 18000 ( insurance paid out 12, me the rest)
Ongoing costs £45 food, £80 insurance, £15 per club, per month
Other things. Loads of washing muddy stuff so that costs
KC assures breeder, tons of research. I have a Friday afternoon dog.

So £££££. Wouldn’t have done it if I’d have known.

Ylvamoon Tue 23-Jan-18 21:06:43

... Sorry I didn't have much to add except if you are in the UK, your puppy / dog must be chipped by 8 weeks... It's an requirement by law - stay away from any dog offered without a chip!

summerlovingliz Tue 23-Jan-18 21:14:00

Lots of great advice.. we took the plunge and went fir a Springer- she is 5 months old now and we love it! We went for pet plan for the first year which includes 1st visits and flea, worming treatment for a yr. this seemed to work out to be cost effective.

Kursk Tue 23-Jan-18 21:14:59

We have 3 huskies. Have had them for 5 years. I can say they cost us that much A rough breakdown for all 3 would be:

Food £30 a month
Flea treatment £100 a year
Annual vet visits £200
£10 a month for Toys and treats

We do all the training and grooming ourselves. No need fro crates as we think they are cruel.

Amley Tue 23-Jan-18 21:20:20

Wow thanks so much everyone! Just to reassure, we are responsible and there would be someone at home every day (personally I think it’s unfair to get a dog and leave it shut in all day alone). Really helpful - appreciate all the advice. Lots I hadn’t thought of. x

mustbemad17 Tue 23-Jan-18 21:26:01

Re crates even if you aren't planning to use one in your house it is worthwhile getting your dog used to one. Sadly have had incidents with my fosters whereby they need to be crated & it can cause major panic in a dog unused to being confined

foofooyeah Tue 23-Jan-18 22:38:40

Definitely the cost of a dog sitter when going away is high: £25 a night where I live. Certainly makes holidays more £££.

Also new shoes for when the dog chews yours up!

Sofabitch Tue 23-Jan-18 22:47:51

£30 to feed 3 huskys! What are you feeding them?

I seem to spend loads ! Im suckered in by treats and toys ;)

Lots of one off costs and regular things like flea/worm/vaccines and food/insurance. I think my basic costs are about £100 a month plus extras that i dont need but like toget.

Dog walkers/sitters are expensive we thought we'd never need one and then my daughter ended back in hospital. So emergency expensive care required.

Oh and i had to buy myself and the kids new outdoor boots and waterproofs.

rightsaidfrederickII Tue 23-Jan-18 23:16:23

Also the random dog walking accessories like
- poo bags
- Dog coat - £25 equafleece
- Ball launcher (good quality) - £10
- Pair of chuck it ultra balls - £7 (cheaper than tennis balls in the long run)
- Walking boots for you, good coat etc
- Extra hot water to wash the dog if it's a dirt magnet like PestDog (in fairness we don't use any shampoo and he doesn't get professionally groomed)
- Collar / lead / harness and replacements periodically
- Light up collar for night time walkies - £10

Oh, and public embarrassment caused by your dog's antics... Priceless. For everything else, there's MasterCard wink

SpiderCid Wed 24-Jan-18 08:27:04

I have a 13 month old medium sized cross-breed (15kg)
She costs me about -
Good quality dry food - £30 a month
Dentersticks - £4 a month
Treats - £10 a month
Petplan Insurance - £29 a month

Then theres the one off costs
First set of Vaccinations/worming - £60 (its almost been a year now so I need to get her boosters and imagine it will be about the same)
Spayed - £140
Varies toys,
Beds,
Food / Water bowls,
Car equipment,
Shes gone through 3 harness as shes gotten bigger,
Dog lead,
It would also cost me about £60-£70 to get her groomed, so I ended buying 4 different blushes for different purposes so i can keep her coat clean and tidy myself.

Eryri1981 Wed 24-Jan-18 09:21:39

Cross Breed (Bedlington Terrier X Working Cocker Spaniel) Approx. 12kg now he's an adult. Cost £350 to buy him.

Good quality dry dog food, just over £20 per month (Mille Wolfheart)

Vet care plan (all vaccinations, worming, tick & flea, plus discounts, and nail cutting, free nurse consultations) £13.50 per month (very cost effective for first year due to 20% discount neutering, will pay again this year, and decide after that if it is worth it long term.

Non life-time insurance approx. £6 per month (will be more for a pedigree). £99 excess which I had to pay out once this year (toadstool eating puppy!!!)

Treats, mostly cheese from weekly shop, but a few rawhide chews, whimzees vegetable dental chews (bulk buy on ebay), and mixed kibble for treats from various free offers (still going through what I accumulated when he was a pup).

Bedding, now that we have worked out that dog beds are expensive and get immediately destroyed in order for him to pull stuffing out, and have switch completely to faux fur blankets, bedding has got so much cheaper.

Harnesses ruffwear second hand off ebay, he is quite skinny so still just fits an XS and smaller sizes are easy to pick up cheaply as puppies outgrow them. Lead - old climbing rope.

Toys, he is fairly destructive, not sure what I have spent on toys, but did pick up a couple of bundles of dog toys second hand off ebay when he was tiny that have done him well.

If we were proud of our cars he would have costs us an absolute fortune in damage over the last year, but since we only paid £1000 for mine and £450 for DH car we are not too bothered, still had to replace a few seatbelts along the way....the little shit!!!

Thewolfsjustapuppy Wed 24-Jan-18 13:57:17

Training classes (agility and obedience) cost me £45 a month but I love them even if we no longer need them.
Skipjacks fish chews £34 / kg inc postage. Pricey but then again my pups have never had such shiny white teeth as since I started dishing them out every couple of days.
Training treats - I buy platinum kibble and use it as training treats, my dogs LOVE it and I chop it up really small so 5kg lasts a good few months about £20 for 5kg
Dog food - raw complete about £35 per dog per month
Insurance- I went for a fixed for life policy at £30 per month each. It is expensive but it means I never flinch about taking them to the vet. Policy has always paid out after the £69 excess.
Coats and harness s - about £70 per dog

Fun, devotion, exercise, love, company all priceless and worth every penny I spend on my amazingly perfect terriers

Kursk Wed 24-Jan-18 14:02:03

£30 to feed 3 huskys! What are you feeding them?

The cheapest dry food we can find O’Roy I think. I go to the butcher as ask him for free meat scraps that he was otherwise throwing away. So I top off the dry food with the raw junk meat.

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