How much does owning a puppy really cost in the first year?
If you're paws-ing for thought before getting one, we might just have all the information you need to make the right decision...About
If you've never owned a puppy before - it's simple, they're very cute and always hungry!
Puppy food doesn’t have to be overly expensive, but it is important to choose the right diet with the right amount of natural nutrients, so your pup gets the best possible start in life
We've calculated our costs based on a puppy transitioning to adult food at 9 months. Depending on size and breed of your puppy, the transition may need to be earlier or later. This can be anything from 6-14 months, so make sure you're prepared with adult food when the time is right
Equipment & Toys
It’s crucial to be prepared with all the equipment that you will need to take care of your furry friend - and there’s plenty of it!
From the basic essentials, to grooming tools, toys and training equipment, the costs can quickly stack up.
The prices shown are an average, but bear in mind that the breed and size of your pup will factor into your cost breakdown. As will having to replace anything that’s been chewed or outgrown!
Keeping fit and healthy is important to us, but what about for our pups? Unfortunately, with no doggie NHS, it’s important that potential owners understand the financial implications of owning a young four-legged friend.
There are several health-related costs attached to owning a furry companion, ranging from pet insurance to vaccinations.
Thankfully, new laws mean that your puppy should already be microchipped if coming from a breeder - so make sure you’re given the correct paperwork to prove it.
With so many potential illnesses, you could end up with multiple visits to the vet if your pooch falls ill. As a result, more and more people are starting to take out puppy insurance to make sure they’re not suddenly facing a huge vet bill.
As with most insurance policies, you’re able to pay the annual premium in one lump sum, or in monthly installments. Understandably, the price of your puppy insurance policy can vary depending on where you live, your puppy’s breed and pedigree and the insurance company or policy you choose.
On average, the annual premium for puppy insurance is £170, which equates to around £14.20 per month.
Naturally, the cost of vet treatment can vary, depending on what needs treating and how severe it is. Emergency and out-of-hours treatments may also result in a higher charge, so that is worth bearing in mind.
However, the biggest part a vet will play in your young pup’s life is firstly to make sure they have all the vaccinations they need, such as Distemper, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis - which can be life-threatening.
Additionally, they can also help with worming and regular flea treatments, as well as neutering or spaying (if you decide to) when your pup is between six and nine months old.
Since puppy insurance will only usually cover those times that your pup gets sick unexpectedly, a lot of people also choose to invest in a pet plan too.
Pet plans can cover all the essential puppy medical costs - vaccinations, worming, fleas and more - in one, meaning it can also help save you money instead of paying for treatments individually. What’s more, most plans will include a 6-month vet check-up too, so you know that your pooch is in the best of health.
Contact your local vet to find out about the pet plans available to you. Much like pet insurance, a pet plan tends to be paid monthly - so be sure to factor in the cost if you decide to take one out.
Spaying or Neutering
(per week, per dog)
(per week, per dog)
Sometimes a second pair of hands (or paws) are needed to help take care of your pooch when they get a little older and bigger. Whether you need to drop your pet off at doggy daycare, use a professional walker or hire an obedience trainer, they all come with their own price tags.
These are the average costs for professional services (estimated at 3 days/week for daycare or dog walkers) - as you may have guessed, quality doesn’t come cheap!
Summary of Costs
|1st Year of Puppy||Average Cost|
|Equipment & Toys||£301|
|Additions||New Total Yearly Cost|
|+ Dog Walking (3/week)||£2,288|
|+ Doggy Daycare (3/week)||£5,018|
Clearly getting a puppy is a big commitment, but it’s important to remember that it’s not just the first year alone that owners have to worry about, it’s also the dog’s lifetime too - often between 10 and 13 years.
What’s more, as a dog gets older, the chance of illness gets even greater - so pet insurance and pet plans are even more essential.
Dog Average Lifetime Costs
*Average costs estimated from PDSA research into dog ownership without daycare costs.
Cost of a puppy in the first year
Cost of a child in the first year
Puppy vs Baby
According to national average statistics, the cost of raising a baby for the first year is just under £10,000, which is miles higher than raising a puppy - and far less furry!
Naturally it depends how much time you have to spare, since adding in the cost for a dog walker or pup nursery for your puppy does push the price up. However, as you would expect, it is still much cheaper to raise a puppy than a baby - and it’s not bad practice!
*All prices are an average based on similar products available across multiple brands. They are not specific to a particular size or breed.