Getting a new pet is a wondrous occasion for a family of any size, something that practically every household can agree with. This is borne out by the statistics, which show that 62% of UK households already own at least one pet.
Dogs are a clear favourite across these households, being a furry embodiment of joy and love, and the perfect companion – whether for a child growing up or for someone in need of a little more company at home. But getting a dog means paying for one, and paying for a dog can be a little more complex than it might seem at first glance.
Puppies are for life, not just for Christmas! As such, getting a pup for your home is a significant investment, not just in time but in money, from the initial costs to the ongoing ones. Many opt to start saving parallel to life or retirement savings, with a regular saver account purpose-made to collect pet-bound money each month. But where would this money go, and what would you need to consider before collecting your dream pooch?
Initial Adoption Costs
There are, of course, the initial adoption costs associated with acquiring a new puppy. These prices differ hugely depending on where you source your dog from. A local rescue shelter might have a small administration fee for you to pay in order to adopt, while a private breeding programme could easily run you up into the thousands – or tens of thousands. Price fluctuations are also heavily dependent on breed, in certain scenarios.
Healthcare and Insurance
The up-front cost of ‘buying’ your dog is only part of the initial costs you need to consider, though. There is also healthcare and insurance – both longer-term costs that can also bring an additional lump sum to the start of your pet journey. If your new puppy is a rescue, it would benefit from a check-up with a vet, which could throw up some costly treatments depending on its condition.
Insurance, meanwhile, is not a legal requirement as with something like car ownership (unless the dog is dangerous), but is an incredibly useful expense in that it can shield you from the impact of emergency expenses later on.
Training is not an essential cost but is important to prepare for in the event that it does become necessary.
Your new pup might not respond well to commands, or your rescue might have prior trauma preventing it from bedding in well; formal training with a professional trainer can be costly, but well worth it.
Training classes usually consist of 6-8 week long courses that are led by a qualified trainer and aims to teach your furry friend obedience in various settings such as in public settings or at home. Training sessions will often cover essential behaviours consisting of house-breaking, socialisation, and problem-solving such as dealing with aggression towards strangers, or misbehaviour.
Supplies and Extras
Finally, there are the supplies and extras that form the ongoing costs of keeping a dog. There is, of course, the furniture a dog needs for comfort: water and food bowls, and a dog bed at the very least. Then there’s the food, the toys, the leashes, the blankets… Accoutrements that can run a pretty penny if not accounted for!
So there you have it! Bringing home a new furry friend can be an exciting addition to your family however, can be a substantial financial investment. It’s important to be aware of the financial obligations that come with bringing up a pup, making sure that your home is well-equipped and prepared to provide a loving home for your special companion.