Can I Afford to Own a Dog? (AD)

Can I Afford to Own a Dog? (AD)

Dog ownership is wonderful and I can reel off many reasons and benefits for bringing a dog into your family. Something important to ask yourself though is can I afford a dog? There are many costs involved, some obvious and some hidden extras. According to Post Office Research on this subject:

Pet parents spend thousands a year on well-cared-for pets, with hundreds of pounds (£417) doled out annually on pet-friendly holidays, dog walkers (£374) and special occasions such as Christmas (£171), Valentine’s Day (£151) and birthdays (£147).

It’s no surprise that 57 percent of owners say that people underestimate how expensive having a pet is, and 47 percent claim owning a dog or cat is more expensive than ever before.

Which is why it is important to do your research. Here is all that you need to know.

Why own a dog?

why own a dog

Dogs are wonderful creatures, and as a nation we adore our dogs! According to Post Office Research:

Ninety-seven percent of the 18- to 35-year-old pet owners surveyed said they love their pet as if it were their child. Seven in 10 (71 percent) say they would rather spend time with their beloved animal than their partner, and 71 percent say their pet must like a prospective partner.

Dogs are loyal, loving and always live in the moment. Humans should be more like dogs in many ways! Owning a dog comes with many physical and mental benefits- dogs are really good for getting us out in the fresh air and socialising. They are hugely calming and therapeutic , and scientifically proven to lower stress levels. So dogs really are good for our health.

Starting out:

Actually getting a dog is a cost which you can control. You may choose to buy a puppy which is the most expensive option. If you do so, consult registered reputable breeders to ensure that you are buying a pup who has been ethically born and properly cared for. Consider rescuing one of the many dogs in need from a charity of shelter which is a much cheaper option.


moving with a dog

Many owners get peace of mind by knowing that they have good quality pet insurance in place. This can guard against the worry of any accidents or illnesses where medical costs and treatments can really add up. Compare policies and make sure that you are choosing an adequate level of cover. Post Office research revealed that:

A fifth (13 percent) admit they have regretted getting a pet after seeing huge vet bills, while eight percent say the rising costs have taken a toll on their mental health. It’s no surprise that one in three (34 percent) say that giving up a ‘fur baby’ you can’t afford is the most heart-breaking thing they can imagine. Post Office has created an online hub to help people calculate the cost of owning a pet. It can be found here

Other owners choose to save monthly so that they have funds should they need them .Whichever option you choose, be prepared for these costs, particularly as your dog gets older. Your premium will signifyingly rise as your dog ages past the age of 9, so plan for this.


Finding a trusted vet is worth your time and effort. Initially your puppy will need vaccinations etc. and then annual check-ups, flea treatment, wormers and boosters need to be factored into your budget. Some vets offer a monthly membership fee which includes these costs and can save you some money.


happy dog

Choosing a healthy food for your dog is another area deserving of time and effort. Like humans, good food leads to good health in dogs so buying the best food you can afford is, for you and your dogs, of long term benefit. Whether you decide to feed raw, cold pressed, dry or wet- do your research with your specific dogs needs and lifestyle in mind. Be mindful of human foods as many are toxic to dogs, resulting in a poorly dog and expensive vets bills.

Care costs:

If you are out at work, you will need to ensure that your dog is exercised and socialised sufficiently so may incur the costs of a dog walker. Consider car costs for holidays too if you don’t intend to take your dog with you.

If your dog is of the hairy variety, you will need to factor in the cost of grooming. Regular brushing can reduce the costs and avoid your dog’s fur getting matted. Claw clipping is also a maintenance essential! Some owners do this themselves but do be careful.

The essentials:

owning a dog

You will need a well fitting collar or harness if you own a dog. It is worth investing in a good one when your dog is fully grown as it can last them years. You will need an identity tag too, showing your postcode and phone number (not your dogs name).

Depending on the breed of your dog, you may also need a coat for cold weather.

The other day to day:

You will need poo bags daily. Go for eco friendly bags if you can to avoid adding to landfill- these are not the cheapest but you may well use less of them as they are strong and large

Like humans, dogs need physical and mental stimulation so you will need to buy toys, balls etc. These do not need to be a large expense and there are many games for mental stimulation that you can set up at home to keep them happy!

Senior dogs:

senior dog

As your dog gets older, you may need to add in supplements for their health. This could be for their joints, to support digestion or for their mind. You may need to invest in extras like ramps to get in the car, rugs if you have slippery floors, and an orthopaedic bed if you have an arthritic dog. Senior dogs, like humans, need that little extra thought hand care- which also means extra expense.

Can I afford to own a dog?

We hope that this has helped you consider the costs involved in dog ownership therefore helped you answer the question ‘can I afford a dog?’. Having furry family is hugely rewarding and, we believe, absolutely worth every penny! More about the cost of owning a pet here.

Twioplusdogs were asked us to use the Post Office research in this post and it is therefore promotional.

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