By Astrid Hall

Owning a dog can set pet lovers back more than £25,000 over its typical nine-year lifetime, a study found.

Saint Bernards came out as the most expensive breed with vet bills and food costing an eye-watering £25,808.

Newfoundlands see owners fork out £24,274, with annual outgoings of £1,058 on food, £276 for vet bills and £420 on grooming their thick locks.

Beagles were named among the cheapest breeds to look after but still set their owner back an average of £15,707 over a lifetime.

The research was compiled by in collaboration with star of Vets in Practice and author, Emma Milne.

Emma said: “Having a dog can be one of life’s most rewarding things, and we would never want to deter anyone from purchasing a pup.

“Unfortunately, as the saying goes, ‘a dog isn’t just for Christmas’ and the harsh reality is there are hundreds of dogs left abandoned every single year.

“We want to highlight what an important decision it is to buy a dog.

“Whilst it’s important to understand how much a dog can cost, we should always remember that life with a dog is absolutely priceless.”

A Bernese Mountain dog will see an annual bill of £3,382 resulting in a lifetime spend of £19,288.

Also appearing among the list of dearest pets was the Bulldog, with an annual expense of £3,415, French Bulldogs at £3,033 and Great Danes at £3,215.

For dog-lovers looking for a cheaper alternative, Beagles and Whippets are among the least expensive pups.

Researchers also found six in ten Brits would be deterred from purchasing a pooch if they knew it would cost them £25,000 in total.

And 44 per cent would be put off at an investment of just £10,000 over a dog’s lifetime.

In fact, the poll of 2,000 adults who don’t own a dog estimated a four-legged friend would set them back just £880 a year – two thirds the cost of the cheapest breed.

And just two thirds said they would take the cost of owning a dog into consideration before making a long-term decision.

Fourteen per cent even said they would consider returning a pooch if the annual costs became too much.

Stephanie Corbett, Head of Pet Insurance at, said; “With the festive season fast approaching, before buying that new pup for your family, there’s an awful lot to consider first.

“Whether it’s the cost of pet insurance, food, doggy day-care, or simply the time needed to invest in your dog, the expese of a pet can really mount up.

“With this in mind, we have created a handy tool that allows would-be dog owners to budget accordingly. Before taking the leap and bringing a new family member home, careful financial planning and research will stop any nasty surprises.”

* Emma Milne and teamed up to created a canine calculator that highlights the range of costs incurred when owning different breeds of dog:

Top 10 Most-Expensive Pooches by annual cost
1 Saint Bernard £3,907.60
2 Newfoundland £3,756.22
3 Bernese Mountain Dog £3,382.06
4 Bulldog £3,415.08
5 French Bulldog £3,033.95
6 Great Dane £3,215.52
7 Dogue de Bordeux £3,006.44
8 Rottweiler £2,941.08
9 Italian Spinone £2,831.41
10 German Shepherd Dog (long and short coated) £2,800.02


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