The Real Cost of Owning a Dog

It can be tricky to estimate how much a new dog might affect your finances. Even more so if you haven’t owned one before! Owning a pet is often considered ‘expensive’ but what does that really mean? What will you have to budget for when welcoming your four legged friend into the family? What’s the real cost of owning a dog?

We asked the owners of The Pet Carpenter dogs to share an insight into how much they cost. We’ve calculated the numbers on both a monthly and yearly basis for you. Of course, these figures are just estimates but we hope this post shows you how the cost of owning a dog can vary depending on a wide range of factors!

The Pet Carpenter Cost of Owning a Dog

Theo is Harry’s springer spaniel cross poodle. Harry and his wife decided they needed a dog while on their honeymoon in Cornwall. Theo’s a laid back dog that loves his walks and is the perfect companion for Harry’s growing family. He’s also a pivotal part of The Pet Carpenter; you’ll often find Theo in the workshop making sure all our furniture is up to standard!

The Oakley Open Bedroom has proven to be a success with Theo, especially now he has tiny humans to contend with. The bedroom is also a great tool for teaching his children clear boundaries too. Everyone now knows that if Theo is in his bedroom, it’s time to leave him alone to nap. Harry also finds their Feeding Station the perfect way to keep Theo’s food and treats neatly tucked away.

Harry regrets purchasing soft cheap beds for Theo, as he destroys them in seconds. Thankfully The Pet Carpenter’s plush bed has stood the test of time so far – Theo was actually our original product tester! Harry has also had a hard time finding good quality pet tags that don’t wear down and fall off over Theo’s collar over time. Unfortunately the salty water and sand of Devon’s beaches doesn’t help either!

Harry recommends tailoring your pet purchases to your dog’s personality, rather than any ideal expectations you have for them. For instance, there’s little point buying cute plush toys for Theo, as he’ll destroy them in seconds. He also recommends purchasing the best version of an item you can afford at the time. This will help minimise the chance of purchase regret, as well as the need to replace poorer quality items more frequently when they break. The old saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ certainly has an element of truth.

Woody and Hen are owned by Hattie, who is The Pet Carpenter’s photographer and content creator. She adopted Woody (black) when he was 1 and Hen (ginger) when he was 4. Due to Hattie’s career as a commercial photographer for the pet industry, Woody and Hen are very lucky receive a lot of freebies. Hattie rarely has to spend money on treats for them and they have more than enough toys to keep them occupied! She generally only buys them new collars, leads and accessories when their old ones break, which helps to keep her costs down while being more intentional with her purchases.

Hattie’s best purchase by far was Woody and Hen themselves. They bring her so much joy, as well as companionship for one another. She also noticed a tremendous difference in Woody once she adopted Hen, her ex-foster dog. A rather unexpected best purchase has been their metal crates (which have since been upgraded to a Mabel Bedroom from The Pet Carpenter.) She didn’t intentionally crate train Woody but when she fostered dogs regularly she found Woody would often sneak off for some quiet time on his own in the crate.

Hattie’s worst purchases include premium pet food that made Woody lose a lot of weight. She spent a lot of time and money trying to find the ‘perfect’ food for Woody (and subsequently Hen) but has found that a low to mid range kibble brand is perfectly adequate for their needs.

Hattie highly recommends shopping secondhand for pet products, especially if you’re looking for big name brands. She’s found plenty of harnesses in perfect condition on Facebook Marketplace for a fraction of the price they’d retail at. She also recommends keeping some extra savings handy just in case your dog has to have unplanned medical procedures. If you’re able to pay for treatments outright, you’ll be able to keep your pet insurance payments as low as possible for longer.

The Pet Carpenter Cost of Owning a Dog

Gemma has had Finn since he was a puppy. Together they enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures. From long walks on Dartmoor to paddle boarding and cycling. She also saves money by grooming Finn at home. While the initial cost of brushes and tools might be expensive, it often works out to be a cheaper option over time.

Gemma says her best purchases for Finn include a dog buoyancy aid for when they go paddle boarding and sailing, as well as a glow in the dark collar for winter walks. She also recommends purchasing ex pro tennis balls, which are available in bulk via online marketplaces. They last much longer than pet shop bought tennis balls!

Gemma’s worst purchase for Finn are biscuit based treats and rawhide. Finn dislikes biscuit treats, so didn’t eat them. He much preferring sausages! When he was younger Finn choked on a rawhide treat. We also wouldn’t recommend rawhide as a treat for your dog, as it’s a byproduct of the leather industry and is full of nasty chemicals!

Beth gets a lot of personal fulfilment from her dogs. She has also used her enthusiasm for enrichment toys and canine nutrition to launch her business Enriching Paws. Consequently, she spends a lot of money on toys and accessories for Harvey and Hudson. However, she finds her work incredibly rewarding, as her enrichment tips have helped thousands of dogs up and down the country.

Beth’s best purchases includes the dog services she uses on a monthly basis. Hudson takes part in a range of canine classes, from Hoopers lessons to the Kennel Club Good Citizen Award Scheme. Harvey also takes part in fortnightly hydrotherapy sessions, which has had a soothing effect on his arthritis. Beth also says these sessions and services bring her a lot joy, as she’s met a lot of friends through attending them.

Beth’s least favourite purchases are the medical expenses! Though they are a necessary evil. Harvey has a lot of monthly medication costs due to a number of conditions. Beth highly recommends shopping around for insurance to find the best quality policy at the lowest price. She says it’s important to read the fine print though, as lots of companies add charges as pets age. Lifetime policies are favourable to annual. It’s important to check pre-existing conditions are covered!

There we have it! The Pet Carpenter’s real cost of owning a dog. How do your four legged friends compare?

For pet furniture inspiration, follow us on Instagram!

To top