What is the real cost of owning a puppy? 

Key things to consider when thinking about getting a new friend 


Welcoming a new furry member to our family is always a special moment we won’t forget. From that moment on, our home is filled with love, fluffy cuddles and perhaps a few more chewed slippers.  

But, bringing a puppy to our lives means we are also responsible for another living being who is now part of the family. As such, dogs need regular health check-ups and vaccinations, regular preventative parasitic treatment and grooming. You must ensure your new puppy has the comfort it needs, access to toys, company of humans and other dogs, regular exercise and a healthy diet.  

PDSA estimates that when you get a puppy, the initial costs including initial veterinary care are: £370 for small breeds, £395 for medium breeds and £425 for large dogs. And it is important that you don’t overlook your puppy’s lifetime costs, which are estimated per month as £50 for small dogs, £65 for medium dogs, and £80 if you own a large breed. 

Adopt or buy? 

FOUR PAWS always advocates for adoption and for giving a chance of a home to a rescued dog. But, if future owners chose buying over adoption, they might end up paying more than £2,500 for a puppy. With the current demand in the UK, prices have soared more than 100% for some breeds, especially over the lockdown periods.  

This has encouraged even more the illegal breeding of puppies. These unscrupulous breeders have meticulous ways of operating, which means you might end up buying a sick puppy coming from this trade, where suitable conditions and veterinary attention are just an illusion. New puppy owners often find themselves with high veterinary bills, not even mentioning the emotional costs they have to go through. 

Illegal puppy trade 

How would you feel if your puppy started to get sick and died not long after bringing it home, just when your family was so excited welcoming the new puppy? How do you explain this to your children who have been dreaming of the arrival of their new friend?  

This kind of traumatic experience is the real cost that many families experience when finding themselves caught by this cruel trade.  

If you suspect a dodgy dealer, seen a suspicious advert online or have been a victim of the illegal puppy trade, report it today using our new webform and help us tackle unlicenced puppy breeders.  

Animal Charity - Puppy

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about what to consider when getting a new dog and how to be a responsible pet owner

Animal Charity - Joana

Joana Fernandes

UK Investigations Consultant

Joana supports the UK investigations Team by managing illegal puppy trade cases reported to the FOUR PAWS UK. She also liaises with the Communication Team helping to raise awareness about this issue. She has over five years experience as a researcher and project assistant in wildlife conservation and animal welfare, both in the UK and internationally.   

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