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Author: Greater Bank & RSPCA NSW

A Financial Guide to Owning a Dog

Want to know just how much a pupper would impact your budget? Our easy-to-use budgeting tool can show you in minutes!
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The cost of a pup is more than just the purchase price - that’s why we’ve teamed up with the RSPCA to provide an honest financial guide to owning a dog.

The Fantasy: Puppy Power

Imagine it - the kids come downstairs on Christmas morning and sitting under the tree is an adorable puppy with a big red bow around its neck. Or perhaps it’s the fiancé waking up in the morning to find you cradling their fantasy furbaby. Or maybe it’s for your retired mum or dad, and you’ve just pulled up to their house with a playful puppy trailing at your heels.

The prospect of living out such a Hollywood-style montage can push rational thought out the window when you’re standing in your local pet shop staring down into those big lovable puppy-dog eyes. However, this appealing fantasy shouldn’t mask the reality that owning and being responsible for a dog is a long-term commitment.

The Reality: Pet Ownership

The reality is any pet (but especially a puppy) is a huge commitment that should not be taken lightly. Adding a dog to the family has the potential to influence where you live, your daily routine, your finances and the regularity and budget for future vacations. This isn’t to diminish the many benefits a dog can bring to building your family, but rather to advise on responsible ownership of man’s best friend.

The Costs of Cuteness

On average a dog owner spends approximately $1,000 per year on their dog. With dogs living between 10-20 years, this can prove a substantial amount over time. What’s more, this doesn’t include some major costs such as the price for purchasing your pups and any unforeseeable vet bills. That’s why it is so important to consider the long-term commitment of owning a dog.

Responsible Pet Ownership

Now, we aren’t trying to talk you out of your new furry friend, we’re just advising a responsible approach to bringing a living creature into your home. Understand its needs and potential demands; for example:

  • Introducing a dog into your life will be disruptive to your usual routine, this is especially true when you bring in a new puppy that is not toilet trained, teething and has buckets of energy to unload. And while no dog would slip into your life seamlessly from the beginning, an older dog out of puppy years is often the more practical solution for some.
  • If you live in an apartment and can’t be home to let your dog out or perhaps your landlord wouldn’t be so pleased about your new house guest, then you may need to postpone your puppy purchase for when you are set up to meet your furry pals demands.

With approximately 40% of Hunter Region residents owning a dog* it’s no surprise that the pet industry is booming. Being on top of your finances when budgeting for your new pet is important, so check out our first-time dog owner guide below to get a better understanding of the price you’ll pay for your new pup.

* Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), 12 months to June 2017,  n = 44,038