According to online pet retailer Vet UK, the average UK dog can cost its owner around £15,000 during its life.
But the truth is, people spend far more than that – and far more than the £17,000 it costs to feed a child up to the age of 18.
An article in the Daily Mail revealed how a mother-of-four has admitted to spending more on treats for her dog than she does on her own children.
Leanne Couch, 28, spends £10,000 a year on Lucy, her 12-year-old Maltese. The family pet has a life of luxury – from a £400 personalised wooden bed with a leopard print interior, to a wardrobe bursting with hundreds of designer clothes, leads and harnesses totalling thousands of pounds. The dog has a designer collar costing £300, a £110 necklace which she wears on special occasions, and is pampered from nose to tail every single week.
She also only eats speciality dog food from feeding bowls embossed with her name. Mrs Couch said: “I don’t like it when children are spoiled. I want my children to know the value of things so I don’t feel guilty for not buying them whatever they want whenever they want. Lucy is another matter entirely – she’s a dog and buying things for her doesn’t change her personality.”
At Christmas, Lucy has double the amount spent on her compared to the children. She usually receives a brand-new bed, a new wardrobe of designer clothes and a full spa day. Whereas Mrs Couch’s children have around £200 spent on them each at Christmas, Lucy receives £400 worth of presents.
Although this is quite extreme, even taking into consideration the average amount we spend on buying and owning a dog, the numbers stack up; If you buy a pedigree dog then your initial outlay will be around £500-£600. You’ll want to get it micro-chipped in case it gets lost so add a further £90. Many new dog owners like to train their dog properly, this can begin with the newly trendy “puppy socialisation classes” (£50 for six weeks) followed by another £50 for obedience classes.
Research found that on average, owners spent £393.48 a year on dog food – the biggest single cost. Other necessary expenditure included insurance (£243.24), vet bills and medicines (£73.33). The remaining £541.46 spent on average per pooch went on toys, professional grooming, Dog home boarding, clothing and accessories.