Budgeting for a dog

Budgeting for a dog

There’s plenty of reasons to have a beloved pooch in your life – slobbery kisses to come home to, a forever loyal companion, and a great excuse to get active. Studies have even shown canine company lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of heart attack, strengthens immunity and reduces allergies. He might be a man’s best friend, but dogs can get expensive! Before picking out your new fur-ever friend, get a handle of all the relevant costs so your budget doesn’t go to the dogs.  

Purchase price 

First things first, buying your future fur baby can be a decent investment. If you’re a first-time dog owner, you might be surprised at how much a puppy costs these days, depending on the breed. The classic family labrador can cost around $1000 while a French Bulldog puppy will set you back around $4,000. You can of course consider an older dog, mixed breed, or SPCA dog which will be a fraction of the price (and just as love-able) 

Dog Food

A dog’s life in 2019 isn’t so bad – in fact, there’s plenty of gourmet food options for dogs. Grain-free and raw meat diets are popular, or you could opt for good old supermarket dog roll or kibble. Keep in mind you can’t always predict any special dietary needs – the odd pooch needs certain foods for allergies, most common in purebreeds. How much your dog needs depends a lot on their size, and activity levels. A young, active Great Dane will eat like a horse (probably more). 


While your pooch might not need a designer raincoat or an array of bandanas, they will need a few basics. A comfy bed, lead and collar, food and water bowl are a must. Don’t forget the doggy-doo bags. You will also want some tasty chew toys (to save your own belongings from a chew monster) and training treats. Crate training can be a lifesaver with an exuberant puppy. Since they’re often used just for puppyhood, you can often pick up a second hand crate for a bargain.

Vet costs

Fixed vet costs for puppies include vaccinations (they’ll require several in the first couple of years) and neutering. Beyond that, it’s impossible to predict exactly how much your vet bills will rack up. It could be a good idea to invest in pet insurance to cover you for the unexpected. Or if you’re stuck with a vet bill that’s pulling on your heart and purse strings, a personal loan from The Lending People might be able to help. 

Doggy day care

If your dog will be home alone all day, you might consider doggy day care. Your dog will get well socialised, have a blast, and you’ll bring home a content, tired pooch. It can also help save your house from destruction zone. A bored puppy will be seeking ways to burn all that energy – and might take it out on your new shoes or freshly planted garden. If doggy day care isn’t for you, another option is to hire a regular dog walker to break up their day with a good run around.