Dogs are beloved companions all around the world, with the large country of Australia being no exception. With 48% of all Australian households owning a canine companion, it’s safe to say they’re the most popular pet in the region.1 But how much do dogs cost in Australia? Are there special costs to consider if getting a dog there? We’ll answer these questions and discuss the expenses potential dog owners in Australia will have to consider. In short, we can tell that most dogs will cost around $150 to $350 a month. Continue reading for details!
Bringing Home a New Dog in Australia: One-Time Costs
When getting a new dog in Australia, some costs will always be included when bringing them home. Primarily, there are one-off expenses that won’t need to be repeated or will only need re-buying once or twice across the dog’s whole lifespan. Some Australian owners will have a few more costs to consider than others, depending on the dog they wish to purchase and register.
It’s unlikely to find a dog for free in Australia unless friends or family are happy to give one away. Shelters and breeders are where most dogs are likely to be found, but dogs may be found abandoned and left to fend for themselves.
Puppies have also been dumped due to being unwanted or not being cared for. There might be dogs advertised as “free” on online forums or sales pages but be wary of these as they can sometimes be a scam.
Adoption prices in Australian shelters will vary between States and Territories. They will differ depending on whether you adopt from a smaller shelter or a well-known rehoming or rescue center. Smaller shelters often don’t have the funding or donor backing that large, country-wide organizations do, meaning their prices will fluctuate more. The age and breed of dogs adopted can also affect the price, as older dogs or mixed breeds are often cheaper than puppies or pure breeds. The costs of neutering, microchipping, vaccinating, and health checks before adoption are all factored into an individual dog’s adoption price.
Puppies bought from a breeder will vary dramatically in cost due to various factors. Many breeders who are unlicensed or carry out unethical breeding practices (“backyard breeders” or puppy mills) will sell puppies at a lower cost, but this is almost always at the expense of a puppy’s health.
Looking for a reputable breeder is more than worth it; the adoption price is higher, but the long-term health and happiness of the puppy are paramount and will save you money in the long run. Most breeds will cost from $500 to over a thousand dollars, but the most coveted species with an excellent pedigree can even run into the tens of thousands, such as Lowchens or French Bull Dogs!2
Initial Setup and Supplies
Your new puppy or dog will need a few items ready and waiting for them before they’re brought back into your home. There are many places these items can be purchased in Australia, both online and in person. The price for essential items such as beds, collars and leashes, food bowls, and the food itself can vary depending on their quality and where they’re purchased from, but you can expect to pay between $50 and $200 for all of them depending on how “luxurious” you want to go. Dogs will also need to be registered in Australia, which comes with its own costs that vary by State and Territory.
List of Dog in Australia Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$30–$80|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$10|
|Food and Water Bowls||$20–$40|
How Much Does a Dog in Australia Cost Per Month?
$150–$350+ per month
The cost of dog ownership in Australia depends on which consumables your dog needs and their breed. For example, food costs can be kept lower by buying in bulk and opting for a more generic brand, but breeds with known health issues (such as brachycephalic breeds like the Pug) can require monthly vet visits.
These will increase the overall monthly cost by a fair amount! Keeping to the same food brands and choosing monthly payments for pet insurance can help keep the monthly cost roughly the same, but new items may need to be purchased occasionally.
$50–$250 per month
The general health costs for a dog in Australia will be primarily limited to monthly parasite treatments, food costs, entertainment, and grooming. Mostly, dogs will need flea, tick, and worm treatments administered monthly for ongoing protection, but food and grooming costs can vary depending on the type of food and whether you attempt to groom your dog. Pet insurance should also be included, as this will help reduce any potential future veterinary costs.
$30–$200 per month
The food costs for your dog will vary depending on the type you buy, the quality of the food, and the amount you need. Some dry dog foods can cost as little as $30 per month if they’re generic pet store brands, and dry food generally comes in cheaper than wet dog food.
On the other end of the scale, personalized meal plans and boxes delivered to your door can cost as much as $150 a month for wet food and even more with additional treats! Health problems such as food intolerances or allergies can also influence the monthly food cost, as special foods often cost more than their generic counterparts.
$10–$70 per month
Grooming costs are usually the same each month but will vary significantly by breed. Short-haired dogs typically won’t need to visit a groomer and can be groomed at home, meaning costs associated with grooming are minimal and consist of shampoo or brushes for home use.
On the other hand, some long-haired breeds require regular grooming at home and in a grooming salon. For breeds like the poodle, grooming is essential to the dog’s welfare. This can mean grooming costs for these canines are much higher.
Medications and Vet Visits
$25–$200 per month
Generally, healthy dogs will only need to visit the vet regularly for claw clips or health checks. Older dogs and young dogs will need more visits than adult dogs, with elderly dogs often having a monthly checkup to take care of their kidneys or weight management.
Unwell dogs, such as those with diabetes, will need regular monthly or bimonthly checkups and testing. These visits can cost a great deal for those without pet insurance. For example, the cost of a dog with diabetes to visit the vet in Australia is around $190 at minimum for a single visit.
$20–$100 per month
Pet insurance prices will vary depending on the type of coverage, your dog’s breed, age, where in Australia you live, and any pre-existing conditions your dog might have. Older pets or dogs of a certain breed, such as French Bulldogs, tend to have much higher monthly premiums than younger dogs or crossbreeds, as certain breeds and old dogs are more likely to become ill than others.
$10–$55 per month
For dogs, environmental maintenance costs are always relatively low. You’ll need some items to keep things fresh and hygienic such as poop bags and scoops, but you don’t need litter or litter boxes. Some dogs will need hygiene items like puppy pads or diapers.
$20–$100 per month
Toys are very important for a dog’s quality of life since a bored dog is an unhappy dog. Bored dogs will look for chances to exhibit their natural behavior, so instead of digging in the grass or chewing a rubber bone, they’ll dig and chew at your furniture. There are many options for entertainment in Australia, ranging from agility and obedience classes to dog play dates and subscription boxes.
Monthly toy deliveries provide your dog with a new rotation of toys each time. You can save money by making up your own monthly box by searching for different toys and activities to swap out, but the subscription takes the hard work out of toy-hunting.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Dog in Australia
$150–$350+ per month
The total monthly cost of dog ownership in Australia will depend on your dog. That is because each dog’s breed, age, size, and overall health will change its monthly cost. However, the costs for each dog will generally stay the same month-to-month which can help you budget.
Other ways to ensure your dog’s monthly costs stay the same include subscription services to food and toys, wellness coverage, and pet insurance. Generally, it would be wise to budget between $150 and $350 for the cost of your dog each month.
Additional Costs to Factor In
In addition to your dog’s monthly costs, some expenses don’t fit in under the categories we explored. These might be situational costs such as emergency veterinarian visits, dog boarding if you go on vacation, or more regular costs like doggy daycare. Some additional expenses may not even occur in your dog’s lifetime, but they are still essential to factor in should they need coverage. For example, if your dog goes missing and you need to advertise for their safe return or organize their search, there will be costs involved. We hope this never happens, but you should budget for these expenses nonetheless.
Owning a Dog in Australia on a Budget
There can seem like a thousand and one things a dog needs to ensure their care, and there are many costs to consider when getting a dog in Australia. However, there are ways to save money while ensuring your dog stays as happy and healthy as possible. For example, unneutered dogs will have to be re-licensed each year in some States and Territories in Australia, so neutering them can immediately remove this cost. Insurance is vital to mention here, too, as it can save you lots of money should your dog get sick and need veterinary treatment.
Saving Money on Dog in Australia Care
Subscribing to food deliveries and buying in bulk can save on food costs, and even grooming costs can be reduced if you learn how to groom your dog at home. Shopping around to find the best deals on consumable products can also keep costs down, but prices can change at any moment. For non-consumable items such as beds or coats, buying second-hand products or borrowing them from a family member can be an excellent option to save money.
With the love and companionship dogs provide us, it’s not surprising that so many Australians have dogs as part of their families. All dogs need love, entertainment, and health care to thrive and be happy, but these costs can be predicted and lowered by budgeting and making payments as predictable as possible.
Of course, some dogs will cost more than others (large breeds vs. small breed food costs, for example), but most dogs will cost around $150 to $350 a month, totaling approximately $1,800–$4,200 a year for each year of your dog’s life.
Featured Image Credit: EverGrump, Shutterstock