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19 October 2021

Costs of owning a dog in Australia today

There’s few things more exciting than bringing a new dog into the home, and having an additional four-legged member of the family will likely create a buzz in your living space that will be remembered for years to come. Of course, owning a pet brings around a whole load of new responsibilities and costs. You’ve got food, to toys, to the furniture-based liabilities (yes, count on the couch being chewed). to ensuring you have the time to give them the love and of course care they need to thrive. But if you have the means, then join the 40% of Australian households who are home to dogs!

Costs of a dog

It is fairly common knowledge that different dog breeds have different lifespans. With some small dogs living up to 20 years, the huge Dogue de Bordeaux breed has an average lifespan of only 5-8 years. All factors into account, the Australian Veterinary Association declared that pet owners spend north of $25,000 per dog on average over its lifetime (much greater than cats).

Initial starting costs

Within the first year you’re looking at (with average costs).

  • Upfront pet costs (anywhere between $500 – $10,000 from a breeder, but often much less if purchased from an adoption shelter/rescue)
  • Collar and name tag with Lead ($40 – $100)
  • Desexing ($200 – $500 depending on sex, size and breed)
  • Microchipping ($70). 
  • Grooming ($80, depending on size, breed and how often you go)
  • Preventative medical treatments like fleas/heartworm ($120-$300)
  • Food and bowls ($800 depending on breed, size and diet of your dog).
  • Vaccinations ($200)
  • Treats and toys ($60)
  • Bed/Kennel ($80-180)

It is important to note that some of the initial costs may be covered prior to adoption by the shelter (such as initial vaccinations, microchipping and preventative medical conditions).

Ongoing costs

  • Food ($622 per year)
  • Vet trips ($397)
  • Grooming ($129)
  • Necessary accessories ($100<)

These ongoing costs are the average for Australian dog owners, and may be much more or less depending, again, on the breed, size and gender of your dog, and in the case of vet costs, your luck. But based on this estimate, you are looking at $880 per year minimum for keeping your dog happy and healthy.

Yes, dog ownership may cost more than you might have thought.  But, oh the joy of bringing a pet into the family!  Can you really put a price tag on it?

References:

https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/report/pet-ownership-in-australia-2013/
https://moneysmart.gov.au/getting-a-pet
https://www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au/pet-care/pet-ownership/cost-of-pet-ownership