Pets and people

The costs of owning a dog

November 22, 2023

The numerous benefits of having a canine companion are well-documented, ranging from reduced stress and heightened happiness to improved health, thanks to those daily strolls with your furry buddy. However, for many, the expenses linked to raising, feeding, and caring for a dog have remained uncertain. Dogs require a secure, nurturing environment, along with food, water, toys, and ample exercise. Routine vet check-ups and vaccinations are also essential. All these essentials come at a cost, prompting potential dog owners to thoroughly consider the associated expenses before committing. Understanding the lifetime financial commitment required for a dog can be challenging for many.

Please note: The expenses outlined below are approximations derived from the usual costs linked to dog ownership in New Zealand. These figures will vary from country to country, individual circumstances, the dog’s lifespan, and your allocated budget for your pet, among other factors. All figures listed represent estimated annual costs in NZD and were sourced from

One-off Costs

Dog’s Purchase Price: $250-$5,000
Dog’s Home: $100-$800
Property Fencing: $0-$3,000
Spaying/Neutering: $400
Microchipping: $35-$70

Essential Annual Recurring Costs

Dog Food: $600-$1,500
Vet Consultation: $50-$80
Annual Vaccinations: $100-$200
Dog Registration Fees: $100-$200

Non-Essential Annual Recurring Costs

Pet Insurance: $200-$300 (basic insurance)
Dog Treats: $200
Toys and Chews: $100-$200
Collars, Leashes, Coats: $20-$200
Puppy Training: $200-$1000
Grooming: $50-$100/session
Daycare: $30-$50/day

Though the financial aspect of owning a dog may seem overwhelming, it’s crucial not to overlook the myriad benefits they bring. Studies highlight the positive impact of pets on both mental and physical well-being. These invaluable advantages shouldn’t be underestimated and have the potential to significantly enhance the quality of life for numerous individuals, fostering years of vitality and wellness.

By replacing certain activities, the cost of dog ownership might not be as daunting as anticipated. For instance, opting for daily walks in the park with your dog instead of an expensive gym membership, jogging to the coffee shop instead of driving, or reallocating time spent on Netflix to play with your dog can lead to substantial savings. These adjustments in expenses can effectively balance the ongoing costs associated with having a dog.


The expense of owning a dog can be substantial, emphasizing the need for thorough research into both the financial and emotional aspects involved. Before committing to a dog, it’s crucial to consider all associated expenses, ensuring financial readiness upon your furry companion’s arrival. This guide highlights the recurring and one-time costs you’re likely to encounter as a dog owner in New Zealand. Comparatively, despite the significant monetary investment, many people find that the immeasurable advantages of having a dog eclipse its financial costs, placing it in a category distinct from other life investments like children, vacations, or vehicles.

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