How much does it cost to own a pet?

Can you afford to own a dog or a cat?  Use our pet cost calculator below to create an approximate budget to help when planning to adopt or buy a pet.

We’ve included such things as dog food, pet insurance, dog beds,pet photos and general pet healthcare, and at the end you’ll receive an annual total, plus the option to receive the budget summary in your inbox.

Owning a dog can be a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it also comes with expenses. Many people don’t realise the costs that are associated with having a furry friend, and those costs can add up quickly. In this article, we will discuss the various expenses that come with owning a dog and give you an idea of what it’s going to cost you. 

⬇⬇Scroll down the page to use our pet cost calculator. ⬇⬇

Adoption & Breeder Costs

For starters, let’s talk about the initial expenses involved in getting a dog. You will need to consider the costs of adopting or purchasing the dog, which can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the breed and where you get them from. You may also need to buy a dog crate, bedding, food and water bowls, collar and leash, and toys.

Once you have your new furry friend home, there are ongoing expenses that need to be taken care of. You will need to make regular visits to the veterinarian for check-ups, vaccines, and preventative care. You should also consider spaying or neutering your dog if not already done as this is important for their overall health and well-being. In most parts of Australia this is virtually insisted on by local councils.

Pet Food

Food is another ongoing expense that is often overlooked when people first get a dog. It’s important to feed your dog a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their age, size, and breed. Depending on the size of your dog and the type of food you buy, you can expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $100 or more on food every month.

We recently wrote an article on the most nutritious and best value dog foods available in Australia.

While it may be tempting to cut corners by buying cheaper food or skipping preventative care, doing so can lead to more severe and expensive health issues down the road.


In addition to food and preventative care, you may need to spend money on grooming. Different breeds require different types and frequencies of grooming, and you may need to take your dog to a professional groomer for haircuts, nail trims, and baths.

Grooming expenses can add up quickly, costing anywhere from $30 to $100 per session depending on the services you request.

If you live in a fancy suburb or frequent a swish grooming parlour, this could cost even more.

Vets & Health

While it’s not a regular expense, emergencies can and will happen. You should be prepared for unexpected events such as accidents or illness. Emergency veterinary care can be very expensive, and it’s important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Pet insurance is an option to consider, and it can help mitigate some of the costs of unexpected veterinary expenses.

It’s important to factor in the costs of emergencies. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen unexpectedly. Being financially prepared for emergencies can save you from having to make tough decisions based solely on cost.

Doggy Daycare & Boarding

Another often-overlooked expense is doggy daycare or boarding. If you travel often or work long hours, you may need to find someone to watch your dog while you’re away. Doggy daycare or boarding can cost anywhere from $20 to $50 or more per day, which can add up quickly if you use it frequently.

Unfortunately there are currently no government subsidies for dog care as there is with childcare.

Dog Training

Training is another expense that is often overlooked. While many people think of training as a one-time expense, it’s important to continue training throughout your dog’s life. You may need to attend training classes or hire a private trainer, and these expenses can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over several thousand dollars over the course of a few years.

Toys & Treats

Toys, treats, and other miscellaneous expenses can also add up. You may need to replace toys that get destroyed or buy new ones to keep your dog entertained. Treats and chews usually disappear quickly so add them to your weekly shopping list!,

Other supplies such as poop bags, cleaning supplies, and flea and tick preventatives all need to be accounted for either daily or on an occasional basis.


Before deciding to get a dog, consider your lifestyle and whether you have the time and resources to give them the care they deserve. Dogs are a big responsibility, and you should be prepared for the time commitment that comes with owning one. If you work long hours or travel frequently, you may need to consider a dog walker or doggy daycare to make sure your dog gets the attention they need.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to save money on owning a dog. You can save money by buying food and supplies in bulk, shopping around for the best deals on preventative care, and learning to groom your dog at home. However, it’s important to never compromise your dog’s health and well-being for cost-saving measures.

Lastly, please consider adopting a dog from a shelter. This isn’t solely a cost consideration, but ensures that more of our furry friends who haven’t yet found their forever home are rewarded with a warm bed and a loving family.  

While the upfront cost of adoption may be lower than purchasing a dog from a breeder, it’s important to remember that there are still ongoing expenses that come with owning a dog. However, adopting a dog can be a rewarding experience and will provide a loving home to an animal in need.

Putting costs aside for a moment, owning a dog is a wonderful experience that brings joy and companionship to our lives, but it’s also important to budget and prepare for the costs ahead.

Whatever life stage your pet is at, your local pet photographer will have the perfect package to suit your furry friend!

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