How much…? Two thirds of dog owners caught out by unexpected costs

It’s a dog’s life – man’s best friend costs owners almost £15,000

Research has revealed that over two thirds (78%) of dog owners underestimated the cost of dog ownership, and have been caught out by unexpected expenses.

The study, by HouseMyDog.com, of British dog owners uncovered a worrying lack of awareness of the true cost of dog ownership, with owners admitting to spending around £1,070 per year on their pooch – that’s almost £15,000 based on a lifespan on 14 years!

On average, owners anticipated a monthly cost of no more than £35 where as in reality this cost is closer to £90 per month.

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Dog food topped the list as the biggest on-going expense, with those surveyed claiming food bills racked up to almost £240 per year. Other major expenses include vets’ bills, pet insurance, vaccinations, toys, beds, treats and kennel fees during holidays, as well as other one-off items like car dog guards which come in at around £80.

HouseMyDog works much like Airbnb, allowing dog owners to find and book local, trusted dog sitters and dog walkers.

Timothy McElroy, co-founder of HouseMyDog, said: “It’s fantastic that we are a nation of dog lovers, however we know from experience that dog ownership isn’t always as easy as you would imagine. The costs of owning a dog can quickly add up, which can be crippling for families already feeling the pinch.

“We carried out the research for raise awareness of the demands of dog ownership and encourage people to think carefully before taking on the responsibility full-time.”

HouseMyDog could be a light at the end of the tunnel for animal lovers who are unable to commit to the cost or responsibility of owning their own dog. Wannabe dog sitters need to simply upload their information onto the platform along with some pictures of their home, and they could soon be paid to play host to a dog for the weekend! What’s not to love!

The tech-first company also carried out research to find out the biggest put offs when it comes to dog ownership. The top five reasons Brits gave for not wanting a dog are:

  • Worries about restrictions on time in terms of going out, holidays etc. (61%)
  • Worries about dog making a home untidy, dog smells, etc. (40%)
  • Not having enough time to exercise it (38%)
  • Not wanting to pick up dog mess (32%)
  • Don’t want the added responsibility for another living creature (29%)

For more information please visit HouseMyDog.com.

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