The Cost Of Owning A Dog During Lockdown
Over the last year, we have all been spending more time at home than any of us could have ever expected. But if you’re anything like the team here at Burgess Pet Care, having a dog by your side has been a welcome source of companionship throughout this difficult period.
It’s no surprise that dog ownership has soared during lockdown. With more time to spend dedicated to your canine friend, it certainly feels like the perfect opportunity for anyone who has been considering buying or rescuing a dog. But owning a dog often comes with a lot of hidden costs that some pet owners are not prepared for.
Do you know how much bringing a dog home could cost? We’ve broken down the most common costs of our four-legged friends.
Who’s top dog? The most popular puppies purchased during lockdown
Throughout 2020 and into 2021, puppy purchases have increased. The price of these pups varies, depending on their breed and pedigree. While you can expect to pay £240 to rehome a puppy from the Dogs Trust, bringing a Golden Retriever puppy home can cost over £4000.
Using data from sellers on Pets4Homes and combining it with the average cost per listings throughout 2020, here are the ten most popular breeds purchased during lockdown:
Cocker Spaniels have been the most popular breed of dog purchased since lockdown began. The Miniature Dachshund comes in second, with the Springer Spaniel, French Bulldog and Cockapoo making up the rest of the top five.
Did you know?
The cost of buying certain breeds of dog has increased. Not only does buying a new pup come with a long-term commitment, but initial costs have more than doubled in price since 2019 - meaning that many of these dogs come with a very hefty price tag.
With puppies being in incredibly high demand across the country, breeders have been increasing the price of their litters ready to sell this spring. Remember to thoroughly research a breeder before purchasing a puppy. Selecting a breeder from the Kennel Club Assured breeder list is a good idea and be cautious when buying over the internet or local newspapers as these advertisements may come from a puppy farm. Alternatively, you could consider adopting your new four-legged friend. There are plenty of rescue centres up and down the country including:
Whether you choose to buy from a breeder or adopt, it is vital to remember the initial price is just one of many costs that come with being a new puppy owner.
How much is that puppy in the window? The most common extra costs that come with buying a new puppy
As all pet owners will know, the initial price to bring your furry companion home is just the beginning. However, some of the hidden costs can come as a shock. You’ve got the dog bed and the toys lined up, but some new dog owners might be taken by surprise by the additional costs of looking after your new dog’s health.
Common puppy health care costs:
These are the most common healthcare costs, as sourced from Money Supermarket’s guide to average vet bills and information from the Royal Veterinary College on dog vaccines. This list is not exhaustive, and for full details of the health needs of your pet it always best to speak to your vet.
Our in-house Vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, has also shared her thoughts on why Brits need to keep up with these treatments:
“As with all healthcare, prevention is always better than cure. Taking your dog for regular check-ups can help to spot any signs of ill health early. Vaccinations are vital, as is regular flea and worming treatments. Dental care is especially important in dogs and there are things you can do at home to support healthy teeth and gums. For example, regular brushing with a dog-friendly toothbrush and paste can help to reduce the risks of dental disease later in life.
Puppies generally receive their primary course of vaccinations when they are eight to ten weeks old. They normally have two or three injections, a couple of weeks apart. After this, they’ll need a booster every year. It is absolutely vital that you take your dog for all their vaccinations throughout their life to protect them from diseases such as parainfluenza and canine parvovirus.
You need to treat your dog for worms at least every three months. However, the exact frequency depends on your dog’s lifestyle. It’s best to seek the advice of your veterinary practice to find out the right routine for your dog. Standard worming treatment does not cover treatment for lungworm, so make sure your dog’s worming routine includes protection for lungworm.”
If you’re planning to take your dog abroad, they will need additional protection. The rabies vaccine is vital, and with the changing Pet Passport scheme, you will also now need certain health certificates before leaving the country.
Did you know?
It is a legal requirement that you get your dog microchipped. In April 2016, new legislation stated that all dogs must be microchipped and registered by the time that they are eight weeks old. In England, you can be fined up to £500 if your dog is not microchipped.
Microchipping is a quick and simple procedure that won’t hurt your dog but will help to keep them safe if they should ever go missing. Speak to your vet for further information.
Are you covered? The importance of pet insurance
Pet insurance is a cost you cannot afford to ignore. Investing in a good quality insurance plan is vital. Most thorough plans will cover the majority of accidents or illnesses, so by keeping up to date with your pet insurance you can help to bring down the cost of potential vet bills.
According to Go Compare, for a medium size, 7-year-old dog with no pre-existing conditions, monthly insurance costs can range from £12 up to £97. The cost of cover depends on a number of factors, including age, pedigree and size, but it is worth considering the following limits:
- The excess
- Per condition and annual policy limits
- Time limited policies: Is the cover lifetime, or time limited?
- Is this an accident only, or accident and illness policy?
Remember to always read the small print because your insurance may:
- Exclude the normal costs of pet ownership (e.g. fleas treatments, check-ups, worming, vaccines, and neutering).
- Exclude pre-existing conditions (there are specialist insurance policies available for pets with pre-existing conditions).
- Exclude costs associated with pregnancy or giving birth.
- Exclude costs of dental treatment not associated with illness or injury.
- Exclude costs associated with behavioural problems that could have been prevented by usual puppy training.
The average cost of the most common dog treatments not covered by insurance, sourced from Animal Friends is shown below:
Do you have a dog-friendly home? Other essentials for your new puppy
Investing in pet insurance, keeping up to date with vaccinations and taking all the right precautions to keep your dog healthy is absolutely vital. However, before bringing your dog home, whether they’re a puppy or an older dog, it’s important to be prepared with all of the essentials to help them settle in quickly. A good environment with the right enrichment is not only important for their physical health, but also for their emotional well-being. According to the average costs of the most popular items on Fetch and Amazon, these essentials can cost up to £290.93, but are crucial in keeping your pup safe and comfortable in your house.
Our must-buy list of essentials for new dog owners (average costs on Fetch and Amazon):
- Dog Bed - £5.90-£49.99
- Food Bowl -£3.99- £35
- Water Bowl- £1.49- £39.99
- Dog Lead/Harness -£6-£43.99
- Collar & ID Tag - £6-£29.99
- Toys - £3- £18
- Dog Bags - £0.99-£2.99
- Stair Gate - £11.99 - £46.00
- Puppy Pads - £3.79- £13.99
- Grooming equipment - £7.19-£10.99 (dog comb £7.99, nail clippers £10.99, and shampoo £7.19)
Other items to consider for your new pooch:
- Travel Bowls -£3.94-£6.99
- Travel Carriers - £25.99 - £115.99
- Winter Coat (important for short-haired breeds) -£15-£45
- Puzzle Bowl-£3.90- £14.99
- Crate -£19.99- £69.99
- Puppy Pen - £17.99- £72.95
Other home and welfare costs
- Dog Grooming and Nail Clipping - £25-60.
- Dog Walker - £15-25 per walk.
- Dog Training - Average puppy class £155 (One-to-one training at home can cost £395 per session).
- Dog Sitting - Average £14 per hour/overnight stay £30 (food is typically not included and needs to be provided by the owner).
Our in-house Vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, adds:
“Looking after our pet’s physical wellbeing is extremely important. But the emotional wellbeing of our dogs is also key to a good quality of life. Behavioural issues in dogs can often stem from other problems. Boredom, a lack of exercise or insufficient training can cause poor behaviour that is hard to manage.
Investing both time and money in suitable training can bring a multitude of benefits, both for you and your dog as they grow in confidence and learn what is expected of them. On the other hand, walking is often free! Take the time to find out how much exercise your dog’s breed needs and commit to taking them out every day. We all want a happy and healthy dog and taking care of both your dog’s emotional and physical health will help you achieve this.”
Is it dinner time yet? Feeding your new pup
The amount of food your new puppy needs will vary depending on their weight and age. Puppies need more food as they grow, so you will need to monitor your dog’s weight as they get older. It is good practice to keep an eye on their weight as well as their body condition throughout their life to help prevent them from becoming overweight.
The amount of food you give your puppy will also vary depending on the type of food they have. All of our dog food comes with instructions on the back of the packs to help make this easy to calculate. It’s absolutely vital that you monitor your puppy’s weight so that you can track exactly how much food they need. If you ever have concerns about your dog’s body condition or weight, then you should get in touch with your local vet.
Burgess Pet Care’s in-house Veterinarian, Dr Suzanne Moyes, summarises why it’s so important to consider every aspect of your new pet’s health and wellbeing:
“Animals make excellent companions, and our pets often become part of the family very quickly. The happiness and fulfilment they can bring, from the smallest Dwarf hamsters to the largest Great Danes, is something many of us across the country can relate to.
We all want to give our pets the best life we can, and this is why investing in their health is so important. Often the key to a happy pet is a healthy pet. Our pet’s health and wellbeing are linked to their diet, environment, and emotional health.
Although investing in your pet’s infrastructure will certainly help to keep them healthy, we can’t plan for everything. Therefore, it is essential that you register your pet with your local vet, get them insured and attend regular check-ups to help find any health problems early. Our pets are a long-term investment but investing in the essentials of a good quality diet, the right environment and emotional enrichment can also bring long-term happiness for both your pet and for you.”
Get in touch with Burgess Pet Care today
Want to find out more about how to care for your new puppy? Get in touch with Burgess Pet Care today to speak to a member of our dedicated team of animal experts.
And if you're looking for pet food you can trust, why not give our range a try? With deliveries available across the UK - to areas including Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London - your pets can have a diet that helps to meet their daily needs and is full of healthy and beneficial ingredients. Get those food bowls filled today by browsing our selection or calling us on 01405 862241 for more information.