Life is best enjoyed with dogs. It’s just a fact. But making the jump from dog lover to dog owner is something that needs careful thought and financial planning. Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge.

Not all lifestyles are financially compatible with dogs

Think carefully about whether your lifestyle is compatible with dog ownership. Do you travel and like spontaneity? Well, dogs generally don’t, taking them across international boundaries is a nightmare and kennel costs can be surprisingly expensive.

The moment that pooch crosses the threshold of your home, your life changes. From the structure of your day to how long you can stay away from home or even go on holiday, all your decisions need to factor in your four-legged friend.

  • Dog hotel cost: €40-50 per day
  • Dog walker cost: €10-20 per walk 
  • Cost to take dog on plane: €100 for small dog in cabin, much more for a large dog in the hold



Dogs are the best companions ever. But what many people forget is that companionship doesn’t come for free. Buying your dog is the most obvious cost, with most costing around €1000 and the most fashionable breeds costing considerably more. But the expenses don’t stop there.

The first year of life for your dog is an expensive one. They need a whole host of vaccinations, ad-hoc treatment for illness and might need neutering. All of these costs add up each month, so make sure you are prepared.

Your dog will also need high quality food. This often means raw meat. Besides smelling absolutely disgusting, it is also expensive as they usually need around 2-3% of their body weight per day. If you buy in bulk online, you can often find more affordable options.

  • Initial cost of a dog: €1000+
  • Vet costs in first year: €100 per month
  • Food: Small dogs from €25 per month, medium dogs from €45 per month and large dogs from €80.

Do your paperwork and be responsible

Owning a dog also comes with other less obvious costs. From legally required insurance to fines you could face from not clearing up after your dog, make sure you take these into account before you make your final decision:

  • Health insurance - Dogs need insurance, which usually costs around €200 per year and often doesn’t cover everything.
  • Liability insurance - if your dog causes damage to an object or person, you could be liable for the cost unless you have insurance. Liability insurance usually costs about €5 per month. 
  • Dog tax - In Germany you need to register your dog with the Finanzamt and pay €120 per year in tax. This increases with each dog you own. 
  • Fines - If you’re caught out and about without what you need to clear up after your dog, you can be fined up to €350 by the Ordnungsamt.