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Puppy love: Can you afford a dog?

Published 9 July 2020

We think it’s a good idea to paws and think about the responsibilities and cost of owning a dog before you commit to bringing home your new fur baby.

Around the world, pet shelters and adoption centres are looking a little empty – this time, for good reason. Pets are the perfect companion in any situation, so it’s no surprise that animal adoption is higher than ever.

Already, according to a survey by Animal Medicines Australia, more than 60% of Australian households own a pet - one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. That number is now skyrocketing.

But while all that companionship and love might keep us sane, we think it’s a good idea to paws and think about the responsibilities that come with a new fur baby. And cost can be a big one.

How much can a dog cost?

It’s impossible to provide an exact figure, because every dog has different needs throughout their life. From puppy school and desexing costs, to council registration fees, the initial costs don’t end at adoption.

Research your local area for more information from councils, vets and other pet services you’ll need. But those are just the beginning.

Routine grooming requirements and costly trips to the vet when they get into your chocolate stash can really start to add up.

Here’s a rough guide so you can start planning for your pet in the long term.

How much can a dog cost? 

There are 29 million pets in Australia 

3/5 australian households own a pet and 60% of dogs owners consider their pet as a member of the family 

How much do dogs cost? Dog owners spend an average of $1475 on their pet per year 

 Food $622. Vet care $397. Health products $248. Grooming $129. Boarding $86. 

what are the benefits of having a dog? 



Improved mental health 

Better lifestyle and fitness 

What to think about when deciding on a breed 

A breed with long hair will cost you more in grooming. 

A larger dog will eat more and cost you more in dog food. 

Some breeds are more prone to health issues costing more money at the vet. 

Average lifespan of dogs 

Purebred dog average lifespan is 11.9 years 

Crossbred dog average lifespan is 13.1 years 

Remember a dog is not a short-term commitment. Even when your financial situations change, your furry friend will still need your love and support. So, consider how you can prepare for the unexpected.

Adopting a rescue pet can help keep your initial costs down and do a good deed for an animal that needs some love. But consider setting up an emergency savings fund to cover any unexpected vet bills down the track.

Ready to budget for your fur baby?

To help keep track of where your money’s going and make some room in your budget for the things you love, plan your spend with the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Program.

Start planning

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Source: Animal Medicines Australia, Pets In Australia: A National Survey of Pets and People, 2019

The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations.  You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.