The cost of owning a dog
Filed under: News
Before inviting a furry friend into your home, it is therefore a good idea to get an idea of how much you will need to spend to keep him or her.
More on wealth
The average lifetime cost of owning a dog today stands at around £16,900, according to recent research from Sainsbury's pet insurance.
This figure is based on an annual cost of £1,183. But the bad news is that looking after a dog is set to get even more expensive.
More on wealth
In fact, someone buying a new puppy today is likely to see their annual spend jump by about 20% to £1,418 within the 13 years that he or she is likely to live. And this would push the lifetime cost of owning a dog up to nearly £18,500.
If you have a hankering for a pedigree pup, meanwhile, the potential cost could be much more, with many breeds costing £1,000 or more just to buy.
To give you an idea of how the costs break down, Sainsbury's estimates that dog food accounts for just over a third of the average spend on a pet dog, while vet fees account for 15%.
If, however, you allow your dog to become obese, or contract a serious disease because you opted not to vaccinate him or her against, the cost of treatment at the vet's could be huge.
Diabetes treatment for a dog, for example, could lead to bills of close to £10,000 over its lifetime.
Helen Williams, head of Sainsbury's pet insurance said: "Looking after a pet dog properly can involve a significant financial commitment.
"Costs can escalate as pets get older as they often need extra medical care and attention; with advances in veterinary treatment and better diets many will live well beyond their average life expectancy so it's important to have good pet insurance in place to pick up what could otherwise be fairly daunting costs."
You will also need certain equipment such as a lead, bedding and perhaps a dog coat or some toys.
Other things to bear in mind include that larger dogs often cost more than smaller ones, with a Great Dane eating much more than a Jack Russell during the course of its life, and that most dog owners have to pay for kennels, or at least a dog walker, when they are away on holiday or for business.