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Welcoming a new pooch into your home: the upfront costs

There are a variety of ways in which people introduce a pup (young or old) into the family. But the most common routes are via adoption, rescue or purchase.
If you go by the latter, you might quickly find yourself out of pocket. The most popular dog breed in the UK, the Labrador, is always in high demand. Well-bred labrador puppies can cost anywhere from £800 to £1,500, which is an astronomical cost for many. And this price point is not too dissimilar for other popular breeds such as dachshunds and cockapoos.
Rescuing or adoption could be a better option for you and your family, as it gives a deserving dog a home and costs a lot less. What’s more, adopting from kennels usually comes with a small supply of free food to help you in those first few weeks of looking after your new pet pal.
However, whether you’re bringing home a puppy or an older rescue dog, there are some upfront costs you will not be able to avoid. Here are some of the key things you will need to pay for to ensure your furry friend gets a warm welcome:
  1. Food
  2. Crate
  3. Chew toys
  4. Dog bed (outside of the crate)
  5. Collar
  6. Leash/harness
  7. Microchip
  8. Vaccines
  9. Dental chews or dog toothbrush
  10. Any supplements your dog may need
This list isn’t exhaustive; you may also want pee pads, stain removers and more to mitigate any puppy messes. On top of this, if your dog has any medical conditions not covered by pet insurance, you may need to pay out of pocket for medicines and vet visits.
It’s difficult to estimate the cost of bringing a dog home considering the different ways in which you can do so, but it can cost anywhere between £760 to £2,290.

What about the ongoing expenses?

Once your little buddy has settled into your home, there will be more regular expenses to take into account — from food and treats to puppy training or behavioural classes. Keeping your furry friend, healthy and happy does require more than a loving home. These are some expenses you’ll find yourself making regularly throughout the years:
  1. Food and treats
  2. Flea and tick prevention
  3. Poop bags
  4. Toys (so many toys!)
  5. New collars and leads as your puppy grows
  6. Annual health check-ups
The costs here can vary hugely. The market for dog food and other products is a growing one, and there are always new things dog owners can buy for their furry friends. Some types of dog food can be extremely expensive, evidenced by the very existence of the luxury dog food section on Tesco’s website. Dogs can get through toys very quickly too as they chew them out of shape, so you may have to buy new toys every month or two.
On average, the annual cost of dog ownership will cost anywhere between £575 and £3,030. It’s up to dog owners to decide what extra luxuries they can spend on and where to hold back.
Something else to factor in is doggy daycare. If you’re a regular holiday goer, you’ll need to either pay for kennels or someone to take care of the furriest member of your family. It depends on the type of boarding you choose, but costs can run anywhere between £17 to £50 a day.

Unexpected costs to prepare for

Sadly, many pure dog breeds suffer from certain medical conditions in their old age. Whether it’s the blocked airways of pugs or the hip dysplasia that many larger breeds suffer from, many health issues can affect your dog during its lifetime.
This is where dog insurance is so important. Out-of-pocket costs can be debilitating, so taking out a comprehensive dog insurance policy is absolutely essential. It can prevent you from being put in an incredibly difficult position in which you cannot afford life-saving treatment for your furry companion.
Aside from medical conditions, there is also the risk of car accidents to consider. The average claim value for a dog being hit by a car is £1,598, which doesn’t take into account medical costs associated with the accident further down the line.

Do your research before you make the plunge

Dogs are not cheap to keep, but they don’t need to break the bank either. If you’re smart about your dog ownership, you can minimise the costs greatly. Taking in a rescue, using quality non-branded food and even buying things like second-hand crates can all help save you money.
Do your research, try and find out as much as you can about the breed you want, or how to care for rescues. Only make the final decision once you’re confident that you can provide your dog with everything it needs for a happy and healthy life.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to secure insurance for your dog. Buying insurance for your dog’s inevitable health conditions can save more than a pretty penny — it can save hundreds a year, or over a thousand in an eventful year. Get your free quote on our website today!