For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with dogs. At 5 years old I remember pestering my mum every signal day for a year about adopting a dog… and I mean literally a year. As you can imagine my mum didn’t budge on her decision and explained her reasons being that they are highly expensive and tie you down for as long as they live; which is kind of true…
Through the years whenever I spoke to dog owners no one ever mentioned the finical costs which come to having a dog only they crazy things they have done and the reward of having one. So when I purchased my dream pup Boris after so many years of waiting I decided to keep a tabs of all the costs that came along with him in the first year to help anyone who is thinking about getting a dog, but is unsure if they can afford it.
Here is the Cost of my dog so far:
Purchase cost £800
- After hunting around for over a month I found a reputable breeder (which is super important when buying a puppy) discussed the background of the parents and agreed on a price for him to have his first jabs, food and a started puppy pack.
Lead and accessories £140
- Pups grow fast so far I have bought 2 harnesses (£25 each) and 1 collar (£7) I actually got really good step in harnesses from amazon for a reasonable price and these have lasted well so far.
- My dog is a nightmare with leads and managed to chew through 2 extendable leads (£20) within the first 2 months of being with us. Currently we have a 20meter training lead (£15) and an 8 meter extendable lead (£28)
Start up supplies £163
- I kind of underestimated this cost not thinking about the fact that we would need to puppy train and also deal with teething so this figure was crazy! Bowls x4 (£7 each), Shampoo (£8), first dog bed (£18), Kongs x4 (£29), first toys (£25), Chew toys (£15)
- We also bought 2 baby gates (£20each) because Boris quickly learnt he could climb onto the kitchen counters and also loved running upstairs and causing trouble when we are not in the house.
Large Dog Bed £30
- Moving on from the start up supplies after destroying his original bed I decided to make a replacement bed bout of a double duvet which we were due to get rid of (£13) and an Ikea blanket (£5).
Vet Bills £320
- Booster Jabs are essential to making sure the pup is protected; in the dogs first year you will need to have two boosters when first brought home and then there is 6 monthly booster as well (£35each). These are important to making sure your dog stays healthy
- We also had an incident where Boris broke into our snack draw ate 2 large chocolate bars and a bag of mints. I would suggest not letting your pup do that as emergency pet bills are charged at a higher rate (£250).
- We feed wet and dry food for a bit of verity monthly this costs (£35)
- Dog treats each month include dehydrated chicken and daily dentals these are usually another (£10-20) as we buy in bulk.
Dog Walker £504
As me and J both have full time jobs and where we are out the house for many hours so we agreed it was only fair that Boris has stimulation and social time instead of being stuck indoors. Dog walking only happened twice a week for the space of 4 months, however £14 an hour for our local rate really does add up.
In total the first year of our puppy’s life cost £2,497!
With that said, it’s important to take into account for your financial situation, some of the items on the above list are not essential and could have been avoidable (emergency pet bills) and depending on your financial standing these may not be your priority. To decide if you are ready financially to own a dog you should make sure you are able to provided the the necessities, like food, vet bills and training costs.
More importantly than the financial cost is the emotional labor and time that you will be investing into your new pet. Since owning Boris we have had sleepless nights and had to turn down many social occasions in order to make sure there is care available for our dog. This sacrifice is something I am willing to make as I choose to have a dog as my dependant. I am also very lucky to a dog friendly office which means I am able to socialise after work, however if this is not an option for you having drinks after work will become very difficult as you will need to rush home to make sure your your pet gets some dinner and a walk.
At the end of the day, Boris has been worth every sacrifice I have made.