How much does a dog really cost?

You have set your budget, you have found your responsible breeder and have committed to your new puppy, but what other lifetime costs must you consider to ensure your puppy grows up to be a happy and healthy dog. Here at we have looked into the ongoing  costs of keeping a dog and ensuring its health and happiness.

Even  before your new puppy joins your household there are a number of costs that should be considered, from insurance and lifestyle, to food and  training - some of these must be arranged in advance of bringing home your new puppy. It is hard to put an exact value against the ongoing costs of having a dog as everything is available for different budgets.

A few items you can expect to spend big on are:

  • Beds or bedding
  • Toys for inside and outside
  • Collar and lead  
  • Periodic vaccinations and other health care
  • Food and water bowls
  • Food and treats
  • Grooming supplies Crates for travelling and sleeping

Pet Insurance and associated health costs

If you have chosen well and are getting your puppy from a responsible breeder, your new puppy will arrive in good health, but puppies need to have a round of vaccinations.  Some of these may have been already taken care of by the breeder, so it’s important you speak with them about what will be required. We advise that you schedule an appointment with your chosen vet so your puppy can receive a check-up, and arrange any other jabs that he or she may need.

Even though your puppy starts off healthy, they can sometimes have an accident or become poorly and vet bills can be rather substantial. Firstly, take a look at reputable insurance providers and decide what level of cover you need. Your vet may work directly with some insurance companies on claims so it is always worth speaking to your vet about what insurance companies they recommend. Also, speak with other dog owners that you know and find out about their experiences.

From here on, most vets recommend an annual check-up to keep your new best friend in tip top condition. Costs vary depending on chosen vet, insurance and urgency.


This is a fundamental part of your dog’s early years. It is so important that your puppy can understand basic commands to ensure his or her safety and your enjoyment with them.

We suggest beginning  with a Puppy training course – this generally lasts 6-8 weeks – where you will learn some training skills from sit, stay and basic recall - that’s getting your dog to come back to you when you want them to. Many dog trainers then offer more advanced classes to progress you and your puppy’s learning.

If you prefer you can enlist the services of a private Dog Trainer, the cost will be higher but your puppy will get individual, targeted attention.

Training costs vary depending on the choice of training and location.

Are you worried about the cost of a puppy?

We’ve created the Tailwise Consultation Call to help anyone who is searching for a new puppy - whether they be first-time puppy parents or experienced dog owners. The Tailwise Dog Parent Consultation is a 30 minute call that sets you up with the foundational knowledge and know-how for getting a puppy the most responsible way.


A huge proportion of your dog budget will be spent on food. As your puppy matures, the food preference will too. There is no need to spend a fortune on the latest brand of pet food, but you will need to ensure the food you choose is calorie and nutrient dense and serves the needs of your puppy as it grows.

There is plenty of choice available for varying budgets, which can be confusing. Your breeder knows not only the breed inside out but will also know what your puppy likes and so, this is a good starting point for advice on what to feed your puppy.

Your vet is also worth speaking to for their advice on what food your puppy should have so that they thrive.

Mental stimulation and comforts

Your puppy will need a lot of stimulation and home comforts. From blankets, to beds or toys to cold weather coats, make sure you budget for all of the extras to make your new pooch feel loved, settled and comforted.

Chew toys are a great long play option for when your attention needs to be elsewhere, balls and ropes are fantastic to keep your dog’s instincts sharp and cuddly toys are a nice extra touch to help the little one settle in. Remember to always supervise your puppy when they are playing with a toy.

Other elements that you must consider are leads, extendable leads, collars, puppy crates, food and water bowls, travel carriers (if you require). You may need to consider buying bigger collars, leads, crates etc as your puppy grows.

It may seem that there is a lot to think about when buying a puppy, and a lot of associated costs, especially initially - remember to shop around, everything is available at different budgets.  It is important that you create the right environment for your new friend to be happy and thriving in its new home.

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