One of the unwritten rules of being a responsible dog owner is having the financial resource to adequately care for one. In an effort to find out if the cost of owning a dog is actually increasing, we did some digging into the biggest costs associated with owning a dog.
Buying a Dog
Although getting a dog can often be a cost in itself, we discounted this from our research. Unmonitored money changing hands between breeders and owners left us questioning the reliability of existing data on these figures.
That paired with the fact that you can adopt a dog from a rescue center for next to nothing, means you don’t really need to spend anything (other than an admin fee) to get your hands on a dog.
Feeding Your Dog
One of the most frequent costs associated with owning a dog is feeding it. Dog food comes in at a variety of forms and price points, with different owners being prepared to spend different amounts on feeding their dog.
According to pet food inflation statistics buying power has definitely decreased since the year 2000, with $20 dollars then being the equivalent to $30.11 in 2019. According to Business Insider, the price of pet food was $1.74 per pound in 2011 and jumped to $2.55 per pound as of 2017. This quite a vast increase given just a 6-year gap, it provides further evidence pointing towards the price of feeding your dog becoming more expensive.
It is of course, vital that you factor in the costs associated with paying for your dog’s healthcare. This is an area that can rack up some highly significant costs and one we definitely needed to explore. Let’s start this section off with a slightly more quirky statistic from the Telegraph; 85% of vets said they or a member of their team had felt threatened by clients who were angry at the cost of treatment. We’ll say no more.
Now although plenty of people take out pet insurance, there’s some who go against it. MoneySavingExpert state that in ten years between 2007 and 2017, the average cost of pet insurance claims has increased over 50% from £386 to £757. This increase is astounding and can be highly damaging for owners who choose not to take out pet insurance, or find insurance doesn’t cover their dog’s injury.
The increase in average claim cost doesn’t just have an effect on those who don’t have pet insurance. Insurers also raise their costs of policies to account for the higher cost of claims each year.
What Can Owners Do?
Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding inflation. That said, there are a few techniques you can try out to save yourself some costs associated with owning dogs.
We’d recommend finding a food that offers good value for money, as well as the nutritional content your pet needs. Many owners go with gourmet brands because they believe the more expensive food is better. This isn’t always the case and you should do some research on cost-effective foods.
Although we mentioned insurance is rising, it’s worth keeping damage limitation in mind. Vet bills can cost five-figure sums, depending on your finances it might be more effective to insure your pets rather than ride your luck.
With costs for dogs seemingly rising, it’s vital you understand the costs of owning a dog beforehand. Do your research and spend your money wisely and there’s no reason you can’t care for your dog by giving it a great life while being cost-effective.