What is a puppy really going to cost you?
The other day I saw a list of puppy prices, a year on year comparison. For anyone still considering a pup right now, you need to know that the price of a puppy has doubled, and in some cases trebled, compared to the same breed and time of year last year.
Covid-19 clearly has had some impact on this market, since a lot of people at home have time now to look after a dog. Let’s hope you can keep that level of care going. Dogs are social creatures and need regular contact throughout the day. It isn’t fair to leave them for more than a few hours at a time (and no, I don’t mean just seeing them for an hour lunch break in a seven hour working day five days a week).
The financial cost doesn’t start at purchase. This isn’t just a car that we then buy and MOT once a year. A dog is a living being and needs regular care and money spending on them to make sure they are safe, happy and well. Those of us with dogs can easily tell you about the Vets bills that sometimes come out of the blue. We can also tell you about the time and cost of training if you aren’t going to end up with a bigger problem further down the line.
I had one call some time ago from a lady whose young dog had wrecked their carpet. I told her my rate for helping them with the dog who was clearly needing some training and support. She said she couldn’t afford it. I appreciate that, and I also think that trainers should and do charge properly for our time, qualifications, experience. However she also told me that the puppy had cost £2400 (of which my proposed fee was a tiny fraction). She simply had not factored in the additional costs that educating the puppy would incur, and of course, repairing the carpet was going to cost her an awful lot now.
The same for insurance. Thinking that you won’t pay into a policy but that you will just add money into a pot is a risky plan. Vets are highly skilled and there is no ‘Vet NHS’ (although the PDSA may help if you’re really stuck). If you have a spare £2000-£5000 sitting around, maybe you don’t need to factor insurance in. Even so, your dog needs third party liability insurance in case they cause accident or injury.
So, a little thought for you considering getting a puppy or a rescue dog – the costs are far more once you have them, than when you start. There’s no such thing as an impulse bargain when it comes to getting a dog.