How much does it cost to keep a dog?
5th December 2013
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A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. But how much does it cost to keep a dog?


The cost of buying a dog


How much does it cost to buy a dog? The sky’s the limit, with pedigrees costing hundreds of pounds direct from a breeder.

But if you give a loving home to a rescue dog, whether it’s a pedigree or a pick ‘n’ mix, it costs a lot less. You usually have to pay for their spaying, injections and micro-chipping, but that’s it.

If you buy from a breeder, you might need to arrange and pay for all this yourself.


Dog food costs

Yes, you can buy cheap dog food. But the higher the real meat content, the better it is for your pet. Just like us, good quality food and a sensible diet makes dogs healthier.

These days dog foods without preservatives, colouring and other nasties are very popular, and usually have a price tag to match.

As a general rule, you get what you pay for, but dogs need to eat less top quality food than cheap food, so it balances out.   

  • A Coombs Pet Shop: Portland Road, Hove and Brighton
  • Ecovet:‎
  • Denes Natural Pet Care, 2 Osmond Rd, Hove
  • Snaffles Cuisine:
  • K9Capers, 155-157 Portland Rd, Hove:


Dog accessories

Obviously you need a bed for your dog, and toys. But you don’t have to shell out a fortune on posh gear.

Dogs will sleep just as well on a lovely, soft blanket or in a suitable cardboard box as they do in a shop-bought bed, although really big dogs like Great Danes need proper support for their weight or they’ll get sores.

You can also make your own doggie toys, but make sure you avoid plastics because poisonous chemicals can leach out when they chew it.  

  • Barkleys Dog Emporium:


Dog grooming


There are lots of excellent dog beauty parlours in Brighton and Hove, testament to how much we love our pooches.

You can also buy your own grooming tools and wash your dog in the bath just as easily. There’s masses of great advice online about how to do it properly and safely.  

  • Dapper Dogs, 43 Longridge Avenue, Saltdean
  • Bloomingtail’s Brighton, Brighton Square
  • Pet,Pet,Pet, 5 West Way, Brighton
  • Doggy Fashion, 23 George St, Hove



Brighton and Hove pet shops and dog food shops


Any good pet shop will be able to give you good advice about everything from dog diets to beds, toys, flea and tick preparations and more.

Coombes is probably the city’s oldest, at 19-21 Baker St, just off the London Road.

There’s also a Pets Corner store up at the Garden Centre at the top of Elm Grove, next to the racecourse.  



Vet fees for dogs


Vets are expensive. Can you afford to pay if your dog gets really poorly, and can you cover the cost of regular essential injections and inoculations? I

It’s really important to factor all this in before you decide to get a dog.

There are lots of great vets in the city – Google the one closest to you, and visit them to see what they say about the potential veterinary costs.   



Insurance fees


Pet insurance is a must if you’re worried you might not be able to afford treatment if something goes wrong. But it comes in different flavours.

Very few pet insurance policies provide cover for long-term illnesses, so check first before you buy.

PetPlan covers pets for life, not just a few months, so if your pet gets something like diabetes it should pay the cost of treatment for the rest of their lives.  





How often do you go on holiday? Many British holiday homes are dog friendly these days, but if not you need to plan ahead for when you’re away and can’t take your best friend along.

We have several kennels in the area, and you might want to visit them in advance so you know which will suit your pocket and your pet best.

  • Home from Home:
  • Animals at Home (host families):‎
  • Kingscote kennels and cattery:
  • Saltdean Boarding Kennels:‎


Dog walking services

All you need to do is visit Sheepcote Valley any day of the week and you’ll see dog walkers taking bunches of happy dogs on walkies while their owners are busy.

If you can’t do it yourself, you’ll need to find someone kind and reliable to walk your dog at least twice a day, and keep them company.

Dogs are useless at being on their own, it makes them miserable and stressed, so you need to factor in the cost of daily entertainment.

  • Furry friends:
  • Paw Prints:
  • Johnny Walkabout: ‎


Dog photography services

Say cheese! Plenty of dog owners like to record their pet’s progress and life, and there are photographers in the city more than happy to help.

If you want great quality snaps of your pet, try one of these:  


  • Phase Photographic Studio - Recommended on thebestof.
  • Martin Phelps:
  • Brighton Dog Photography:
  • Brighton Pet Photography:


Dog funerals


When your darling doggie shuffles off this mortal coil, you might want to arrange a ceremony and have a place to visit.


  • Raystede pet Crematorium:‎
  • Brighton Pet Crematorium:



More information on owning a dog


The RSPCA website is packed with excellent information about dog ownership.

(Thanks to for the lovely dog image)


About the Author

Kate N

Member since: 5th July 2012

I'm Kate Naylor, a Brighton and Hove-based freelance copywriter with more than twenty years' direct marketing experience.

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