General Dog

5 Unexpected Costs of Owning a Dog

The average cost of buying and owning a puppy for 12 months is around $2,600, according to a 2018 report by Variable factors, such as the breed and size of the dog, have an obvious influence over how accurate that figure is likely to be.

First-year costs are significant due to the need to buy essential items such as bedding, bowls, and leads. That’s before you even take into consideration the cost of the actual puppy, which the same report estimates to be over $700 on average.

Working out how much a dog will cost you over the course of their lifetime gets slightly more difficult. Estimates range from anywhere between $27,000-42,000. In other words, it’s expensive.

While you can pre-plan a budget that takes into consideration veterinary and food costs, expensive surprises will always crop up along the way. We’ve come up with five things that we think you’re unlikely to think of:

  1. Grooming

Certain breeds require more pampering than others. A poodle, for example, will need their thick and curly coat snipped back around once a month. Choosing to go to a dog groomer to get this done is an expensive choice, with fees ranging up to $75.


You can pick up a range of cheap pet supplies online that will allow you to carry out all your dog’s grooming needs from the comfort of your living room.

  1. Damage to Your Home

Man’s best friend can be destructive, with ripped carpets, chewed sofas, and dug up flowerbeds among some of their most common offences. These patterns of behaviour are particularly prevalent in pets that are left home alone for long periods of time.

Chihuahuas are, according to one financial comparison site, the worst offenders, causing over a $1,000 worth of damage to a property over the course of their lifetime.


Burn through your dog’s excess energy by taking them on regular walks. If you work during the day, take your dog for some exercise before heading to the office.

You can try to keep your pooch mentally stimulated in your absence by leaving them occupied with puzzle feeders, chew sticks, and cuddly toys.

  1. Toys

Dogs and chewing go hand in hand, so any toys you buy them are unlikely to last long. Much like toddlers, they also lose interest in their toys the more they play with them. As a result, a large chunk of your yearly pet budget will likely go towards new toys to keep your dog entertained.


Keep a box or chest filled with your dog’s toys. Regularly rotate which ones you keep out to stop him or her from losing interest.

  1. Fleeing and Worming

When it comes to your pet’s health, prevention is better than cure. One example of this fleeing and worming, which you should carry out on your pet once a month to prevent them from falling seriously ill.


Washing your pet’s bedding on a hot heat regularly will kill any lurking flea eggs. You should also vacuum your home to help get rid of any fleas living in your carpets.

  1. Kennels

Unless you’ve got an endless budget, overseas vacations and owning a pet aren’t generally a good mix. Kennels are usually the solution for most dog owners looking to get away, but this can be expensive, with some charging up to $50 per day for bed and board.


Ask friends or family if they’d be willing to look after your dog while you’re away. If they say no, it might be time to start looking at vacations that don’t involve travelling overseas.

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David Beart

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