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Can I afford to raise a puppy?

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Are you considering buying a puppy but wondering whether you can afford it? There are lots of costs to think about when it comes to owning a dog and it is important to be fully aware of them before you take on this responsibility.

The Australian Veterinary Association estimates that the average dog owner will spend $25,000 over that dog’s lifetime.

sleeping dog surrounded by accessories

RightPaw have put together a rough guide of how much it costs to own a dog, so you can feel better prepared when you are making this decision. Every dog is different, and some dogs may have higher feeding, grooming or veterinary costs depending on their size, breed and lifestyle. Generally, large dogs tend to cost more than small dogs, but small dogs may live many years longer. A dog's average lifespan can be anywhere from 9-16 depending on the breed and their health.

Initial costs in the first year

The set-up costs in the first year of having a puppy are the most significant:

  • The price of buying the puppy from the breeder. (~$2000-5000)

  • Initial set-up with crate, beds, bowls, collar, harness & lead etc (~$200-400)

  • Vet costs eg. Puppy vaccinations (~$170-250) & parasite prevention products (~$120-300)

  • Food costs (~$600-800)

  • Grooming (~$80-150)

  • Council registration (~$23 for a desexed puppy, >$200 for dogs desexed at older age)

  • Desexing (~$200-500 depending on gender and breed)

  • Puppy School (~$250) & any ongoing training classes

  • Toys and treats (~50+)

Total estimated costs for first year: >$2000 on top of the price of the puppy

white dog in front of Christmas tree

Ongoing costs every year

  • Annual vaccinations (~$90-120) & any other veterinary expenses that may come up

  • Parasite prevention (~$120-300)

  • Food (~$600-800)

  • Pet Insurance (~300) depending on plan, breed and age

  • Grooming (~$90-200) depending on breed and coat requirements

  • Toys & treats (~$30+)

  • Day care/boarding/pet sitting costs

Total estimated costs ongoing: >$930 per year minimum


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