Dogs make wonderful companions, and all dog owners will agree that being a pet parent enriches our lives and make us happier and healthier.

Bringing a new dog into the family is a major decision and the costs involved with owning a pet are considerable. Healthy animals require quality food, vaccinations, annual check-ups, desexing surgery, heartworm prevention, intestinal worm prevention, tick and flea prevention, bathing and grooming, bedding/housing, leads/collars etc, training and that’s just the basics.


So, how much will your pet cost you over its lifetime? In the first year of your pup’s life, there will be a lot of initial expenses to cover.


Purchase price – This cost can be anything from $0 to $6500 depending on where you get your pet from and what breed they are. Rescue dogs on average cost $250 to $300, whilst top bred French Bulldogs can cost over $6000.

First year vet expenses – These expenses will include microchipping, vaccinations, desexing, heartworm preventative, intestinal worming and flea and tick control. On average, costs will be $1000 plus for preventative veterinary care in the first year of your pups life.

Accessories – These expenses generally include bedding, leads and collars, bowls for food and water, grooming supplies and toys etc. On average, costs will be $500 plus in the first year whilst your puppy grows.

Food – Feeding good quality food is important. This cost will vary considerably depending on the size and breed of your pup. On average, feeding a good quality dry food for the first year of your pup’s life will cost over $500.

Other expenses – Other expenses may include council registration, puppy preschool, further obedience training, grooming etc. On average, we expect these services to initially cost $400 plus.


Ongoing expenses

The RSPCA estimates that the cost of caring for our furry family members costs approximately $1500 per year for basic care such as food, preventative health care, grooming etc. When we factor in the extra unexpected veterinary care that may be needed if your pet gets sick or injured, this annual cost will be much higher.


The cost of owning Maggie for her entire life

Maggie is a beautiful 8 year old 30kg black Labrador owned by our Practice Manager, Jane. Here’s an estimate of how much she will cost over her entire life:

The first year

Item Cost (approx.)
Purchase Cost $1500
Initial Course of Vaccinations $450
Intestinal Worming $95
Heartworm preventative $200
Microchipping $68
Desexing $390
Flea & Tick Control $310
Food $950
Accessories $650
Other Expenses $550
Total Estimated Cost in First Year $5163

Average Annual Costs

Item Cost (approx.)
Vet care – includes vaccinations, annual health check, worming, heartworm preventative, flea & tick control $782
Food $1250
Accessories $200
Dental Care – Bi Annual Scale and Polish $425 ($850 per procedure)
Total Estimated Cost per year $2657

Using the above figures, the total estimated lifetime cost for “Maggie” would be $37047, and that’s just for her basic needs.   Jane says she is more than worth it, and is grateful for Pet Insurance for those unexpected veterinary expenses and Cairns Veterinary Clinic’s Platinum Paws Club which helps make Maggie’s preventative health care more affordable.

At Cairns Veterinary Clinic you can enjoy a range of benefits and discounts to help you keep your pet healthy by joining our platinum paws club.

Simply have your pet’s vaccinations at either of our clinics and your pet will be rewarded with a free 12 month membership to our exclusive club, and you will be able to access some great benefits to make your pet’s healthcare more affordable.

For more information about our platinum paws club, see our website or call us on 4032 9999

Cairns Veterinary Clinic is proud to have been caring for Cairns furry family members since 1966. With 2 convenient locations, Pease Street, Manoora and Norman Street, Gordonvale, our clinics are staffed by a great team of hard working and dedicated veterinary professionals who treat your pets as if they are their own.   With a vet available 24/7 365 days per year, we are always here when you need us. Contact our friendly staff for all your pet’s healthcare needs.