I know there are a lot of personal finance gurus who say dogs are not worth having, and I’m sure they are richer than I am.
I wanted to share the costs of keeping a dog in London with people who are considering it so that they can incorporate the numbers into their budget! (And so that I have an excuse to use dog gifs).
Let me just say as a disclaimer: I love my dog so much and would never trade her for anything.
We adopted her three years ago in a time where we spent money on anything and everything, so I never actually considered what the costs would be over 10-15 years! But for us specifically infinite years because our dog will live forever.
Now, with that aside, let’s talk about how much money she sucks from my bank account.
Our dog’s stats:
Roughly 25kg, medium sized, Rottweiler mix, very quiet and calm indoors, very athletic outdoors
Loves: people, other dogs, cats, toads, cuddles, tummy rubs, getting to sit on the couch with mom and most importantly, peanut butter
Hates: the number one enemy – squirrels, being alone, when cats don’t like her back, expensive shoes (so much so that she eats them)
Cost to adopt and initial outlays
I am a very firm believer in the adopt-don’t-shop philosophy when getting a pupper. She cost $200 initially to adopt in Houston (about £155) and then another $200 to get her crate not used anymore), bed, leash, collar, bowls, toys, poo-bags, etc. right off the bat.
Battersea rehoming fees are £135-£165, so about the same!
Yes we flew her over to London from America, yes it was expensive.
Cost to feed
Per year: £150-£190
Plastic container to hold 15kg bag’s worth of food – £10 from weird corner shop in Tottenham
15kg bag which lasts about 2 months (ordered from Amazon) we get her decent food that’s grain-free cause she’s allergic, and also because the lowest level of food is honestly terrible for your dog – £25-£30
Jars of peanut butter probably about four a year – £8ish
Per year: £174
This last year was the first time we got pet insurance and I don’t think we’ll renew. It cost about £14/month and I think £20 the first month.
There were cheaper options available but they basically screwed you if your dog got cancer or something, so I picked the one that actually had value.
Per year: £10 x 3 x 45 weeks (think holidays, sick days, etc.) = £1,350 (ouch)
I have a walker come 3x per week that we found through Tailster. The other two working days I take Roxy out before work and then when my boyfriend works from home he comes to my house and hangs out with the dog.
Normal walkers in our area of London cost about £14/day (ha!), but luckily we found a uni student who’s happy with £10/day, which is the amount we paid the previous dog walker when we lived in north London.
We previously had a walker 5x per week but we were both commuting about an hour home, and my job’s hours are very very volatile so I couldn’t ever guarantee I would be back before it was dark.
Per year: £0
Our friends and my boyfriend’s family love our dog and we currently have a waiting list of people begging to take care of her when we next go away! The perks of living in a city where most people don’t have time for their own dog I guess.
We do buy whoever is caring for her a bottle of wine normally!
Per year: £80ish
Flea meds/worm treatment – probably £30 per year…we don’t give her stuff every month and we give her some Diatomaceous earth with some peanut butter every now and then
Random stuff like Christmas outfit (I know I am the worst), soap for baths, an impulse buy of a toy (guilty), other random things – £50/year
Obviously this category depends on whether or not your dog is destructive! Luckily other than a couple of select Michael Kors items, we’ve been spared.
Total cost of owning a dog in London per year: £1,792
This number doesn’t include the adoption cost or initial outlays, which would be an extra £300 or so. We also had to get her shots and stuff because she was still a puppy when we got her, so that would be a consideration as well.
Obviously if you work from home, or if you have a flexi schedule, the main cost of dog walking would’t apply!
Other factors to consider:
After we got our fluffy moneybabe, we noticed a few really positive changes to our routine.
We walk so much more. We go to the park every single weekend for a few hours each day, we meet other dog owners and spend time outside even on cold, rainy days. If we didn’t have our dog, we would be sitting inside watching parks & rec for the 20th time on any Saturday.
We get up earlier. We have to so that she can go toilet straight away.
We think of more active holidays. Not always! But, if I could spend every day equally balanced between hiking with my dog and sitting in the sun, I’d be pretty dang happy.
We have an excuse to leave parties early. I love parties and I love socialising, but sometimes I’m ready to go home, have some fries and fall fast asleep. My dog is my exit routine.
WE HAVE A FREAKIN’ DOG – it’s the best. The tail never stops wagging, she’s my biggest fan, she makes me feel better when I’m sad, she’s an excellent cuddler and she makes me laugh every single day. She also makes strangers so happy on public transport. If you’re not a dog person you probably think I’m crazy, and frankly, I am. I love dogs.
To be totally honest, having a dog in London is difficult and expensive, but I am SO glad we have her. (I know it makes me not very mustachian.)
If you’re thinking of getting a dog and have any other questions (good, bad or ugly) I would be more than happy to answer them! Comment below or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org