In very round terms, you will need about £10,000 over the lifespan of a medium-sized dog to care for him or her. It may cost as much as £30,000 depending upon the standard of care and the breed, and of course the health problems that the dog may suffer from throughout their lifetime.
But the PDSA tell me that the cost of a medium-sized dog over their lifetime is between £7000 and £11,000. I’ve averaged out to about £10,000 and made the assumption that the average lifespan of a dog will be about 10 years. It is remarkable that some dog breeds have a lifespan in single figures such as the Bulldog with a lifespan of just six years! The average domestic cat lives three times that length under good caretaking.
Anyway, the point that I am making is that you have to budget for the proper caretaking of a dog at £83 per month. Of course, that has to be taken out of your net income if you are paying tax. This might equate to about a hundred pounds per month gross, depending of course on what tax band you are in. The average take-home pay per month in the UK is about £2,300.
The average UK household spends about £270 per month on groceries. Compared to that, the cost of looking after a dog is relatively modest. However, all these “relatively modest” costs add up. And strictly speaking you have to put into the equation the cost of the dog which if he is purebred maybe up to £4,000 (exeptionally). This works out at £33 per month if you spread the cost over the lifetime of the dog.
If you are paying on your credit card without paying back the entire amount every month you are paying interest so once again the cost goes up. The cost of your dog may be up to £200 per month which is similar to the cost of a small mortgage. I wonder whether people think of it that way.
The important point to make about adopting a dog is that you should do your research beforehand and think that it is going to be a substantial cost so that you don’t face any surprises. Surprises may result in a dog being relinquished to a shelter. People do not want to do that in the interest of the dog’s welfare.
Like all pets, a person adopts a dog for life. That is the starting point and the budget should be worked out accordingly.