Updated: Oct 12
UPDATED 12 October 2023
Owning a dog - what is the approximate financial cost?
I wrote this initial post in 2017 and have now updated it to reflect 2021 and this latest iteration reflects 2023. First you need to get a dog - this can be costly in itself. If you decide to buy a dog from an Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) Breeder - that is a registered breeder - you will get a pure bred dog and one where its lineage and genetics are monitored.
Expect to pay around $3000.00 to $4000.00 Then there are the dogs that are 'designer dogs' ie pomskys, beagliers, groodles, schnoodles etc - these are also around $3000.00 each (updated to reflect 2021 prices now which is around $6000 or more) but do not come with genetic testing etc.
You could get a dog from somewhere like the RSPCA - or other shelters/rescues.
As a guide, the RSPCA Adoption fees are as follows: Included in their fees is desexing, microchipping, vaccinations, health and behaviour checked
Dogs - $400
Puppy (under 6 months) - $440
Senior dog (10yrs+) No fee
Also worthy to note: If you get a dog "free to good home" it won't be free really. You will have to register it, maybe desex it, vaccinate it, pay to train it etc.
Do you know how much it costs to feed your dog per year?
Or how much it costs to feed, upkeep and actually own a dog?
I didn't. Really. Regarding their food, I just bought it whenever I needed and doled it out to them on a daily basis (lucky hey?). It was only when I was looking after another dog who ate the same food as mine that I worked it out as it was easier for me to prepare for three instead of her owner preparing it and me storing it.
**Disclaimer - my dogs are fed what I consider, a premium diet. It is, of course, MUCH cheaper to feed a dog of their size (around 30kg each) on supermarket canned and dry food but the health benefits of a RAW diet they eat far outweigh the unhealthy fillers, colours, preservatives that they contain.
So here's what I worked out: I buy the 15kg bag of Vets All Natural Weightloss Mix at $210.00 per bag
Each meal, each dog gets around 250g of this mix, then the same amount of protein - either kangaroo mince, pork, veal, chicken, beef or lamb. If I work it out on the kangaroo - I buy human grade - it is $12 per kilo.
So, a 15 kilo bag = 15,000 grams. Divide that by 250grams and that equals 60 meals of Vets All Natural so for the Weightloss mix - it costs $3.50 per day per dog. (I am soooo good at maths - not!)
For the meat component it costs $3.00 per day. The total cost of the meal is around $6.50 per day per dog ($13.00 for 2 dogs.) That equates to $45.50 a dog each week (2 dogs - $91.00 a week); $182.00 per month (2 dogs - $364.00) ; So per YEAR it costs $2184.00 for one dog (2 dogs - $4368.00).
Plus I get them a big bag of kibble - Meals for Mutts - 20kg - $153.00 but I only feed this to them on the weekends so two meals a week so I won't add it in to my totals because I have allowed for 7 meals above. (Great way to skew the results hey?) Add other items such as Turkey Necks, Chicken Frames, Goat Horns, Lamb Ribs, Sardines, Eggs and treats - well it would cost in excess of $800.00 per year to feed one dog that weighs approximately 30 kilos. (2 dogs - $1600)
That's a lot.
Then there are other ongoing costs of course - for example Vet costs - ie vaccinations, flea prevention. So a vet consultation is around $88. Let's work on 4 visits a year = $352.00 for one dog (2 dogs - $704)
According to Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance, vaccinations can cost the following: C3 vaccination around $100 - $150, C5 is around 100 - $150 and C7 can be $200. So, let's work on a total of $300 per dog (2 dogs - $600.00)
All in one Flea/Worming treatment for 6 months is around $97.00 (per dog) - I only use these products seasonally (read here - as needed) and in fact, I don't use an all-in-one but that is another story for another day. $194 for 2 Dogs)
Council Registration for a desexed dog (Bayside Rates) is $84.39 (we pay the most here in this council that any other in Victoria!) so by 2 that is $168.78
There are items that you need for a dog but don't purchase regularly like a bed (unless you have a destructo dog then extra bad luck for you!) - approximately $150, 2 bowls - $40, Collar and Lead - $30, Brushes/Combs - $30, Toys - $50, Winter Coat - $70
Sub total: $370.00 - let's make it an even $400.00
We also can talk a little about Pet Insurance here - I went to the Bow Wow Meow website and I got a quote for my dog. One without standard consultations and one that includes accident and illness but not routine care - $712.02 per annum with an excess of $200.00
The other is $828.82, excess of $200.00 but covers routine visits as well.
I won't go into the ins and outs of what is and isn't covered as that is not the point of this article but lets add $750.00 to the total of non-standard extras (however I HAVE my two 13 1/2 year old dogs insured - one costs over $1,592 a year and the other costs $2299. (Started off at just over $650 each in 2017!!) I have now dropped the rebate I get back from insurance to 60% per dog. Still don't pay excess.
Non Standard Extras:
Maybe you do Doggy Day Care once or twice a week? $50 per day. Let's say you just do it once a week - there are 52 weeks in the year (some weeks you may do it more and some none) so let's work on 52 weeks at $50 a week - $2,600.00
Grooming - allowing for your dog to be groomed every 6 weeks at $80 a groom - that is $640 for one dogs
FOR ONE DOG
Food - Meals: $2184.00
Food - Extras: $800.00
Vaccinations/Standard Vet Visits: $652.00
Flea/Worming All in One - $97 (6months)
Council Registration Fees - $84.39
Standard Extras - $400.00
(not adding the $750 pet insurance here as the vet costs without insurance doubles up)
Sub total yearly costs - $4217.00 - this is basically the minimum amount you pay per year per dog. Then there are extras:
Doggy Day Care (can substitute dog walker here too) - $2600.00 that's 1 day a week for a year at $50 per day
Grooming - $120 x 6 visits a year per dog - $720 Training - $85.00 (if you sign up and go to Moorabbin Dog Obedience Club)
Seat Belt Harness - $25.00
Surf Dog Robe - they need it I promise!! - $90.00
Water Bottle and Travel Bowl - $30.00
Dog Sitter (if you go away on a 10 holiday without them) - $55 per day = $550
and you know there will be a lot more extras - that cute bow tie, paying to get photos taken (mandatory in my opinion!), santa hat, reindeer ears, jumper and more!! Much more!
Sub total - $3,500.00
Far out - do we really need to allow around $7,717.00 in the first year NOT including the initial price? Desexing not included in this either. Oh my goodness.....
What are your thoughts on this? I have given myself a coronary working this all out!!!
Yes, I know - the love they give us is priceless but woah!