Furry Friend Fees – The True Cost of Owning a Dog


Who doesn’t want an adorable little puppy to cuddle with on the couch every night? If you are thinking about becoming a puppy parent or already are, just remember- adorable is not always affordable!

The estimated lifetime cost of having a dog is between £16,000 and £31,000! But not to worry, we have a few tips on how to reduce this expense and create a better budget for your buddy. Here are ways to make a man’s best friend also his best spend:


  • DO consider adopting from a rescue centre
    In 2013, the RSPCA rescued and collected 245,590 animals and rehomed only 55,323. Consider giving a dog a second chance at life and save yourself money upfront.
    Estimated Saving = £50-£900
  • DON’T buy branded food.
    Buy the supermarket variety instead as they generally have the same ingredients and nutritional value but you get more value for your money.
    Estimated Annual Savings = £100
  • DO buy in bulk.
    When you do buy your pet supplies, try to buy in bulk. This includes food, flea treatments, treats, etc.
    Estimated Annual Savings = £500
  • DON’T pay for grooming services.
    You will be surprised how easy it is to groom your dog. There are also tons of free videos and resources out there to show you proper grooming techniques. At the least, you should be doing the nail clipping, brushing and tooth cleaning on your own.
    Estimated Annual Savings = £112
  • DO make homemade toys and treats.
    A empty plastic water bottle stuffed into an old sock tied on both sides or an old tennis ball with a thick rope cut through it make for great toys to keep your loved one busy. You can also try making your own homemade doggie treats. A super easy idea is freezing bites of peanut butter –quick, simple and your dog will love you for it! *May not suit all breeds or dogs with allergies
    Estimated Annual Savings = £121

It is also important to note that furry-friend fees have a lot to do with what kind of breed you have. Typically, smaller dogs are less expensive. Here are a list of the UK’s most expensive dog breeds:

  1. Labrador
  2. Boxer
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Cocker Spaniel
  6. West Highland White Terrier
  7. English Springer Spaniel
  8. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  9. Border Collie
  10. Doberman

Source: Helpucover and PDSA claims per breed statistics in 2010