How much is that doggy in the window?

3-4 minute read

It’s official – Kiwis love their dogs. According to the 2020 Companion Animals in New Zealand report, 34% of New Zealand households have at least one dog – up from 28% in 2015.

Well-trained pooches make great company – not to mention they’re loyal, fun and incredibly cute.

But, while the companionship and love might keep us sane, we think it’s a good idea to paws and think about the responsibilities that come with a new fur baby. And cost can be a big one.

How much can a dog cost?

It’s hard to put an exact figure on it, because every dog has different needs throughout their life, from puppy school and desexing costs, to council registration fees.

Research your local area for more information from councils, vets and other pet services you’ll need. But be warned, those expenses are just the beginning.

Things like routine grooming requirements or trips to the vet when they get into your chocolate stash can really start to add up too. One great way to keep your initial costs down is to consider adopting a rescue dog in need of a loving home.

Here’s a rough guide so you can start planning for your pet in the long term.

New Zealand pet ownership

  • There are 4.35 million companion animals in New Zealand.
  • Kiwis collectively own 851,000 dogs.
  • 78% of dog owners consider their pet as a member of the family.

How much do dogs cost?

Dog owners spend an average of $1,686 on their pet per year on:

  • Food and shelter
  • Registration and microchipping fees
  • Vet care
  • Day care/boarding while you work or travel

What to think about when deciding on a breed?

  • Breeds with long hair will cost you more in grooming
  • Larger dogs will eat more and cost you more in dog food
  • Some breeds are more prone to health issues costing more money at the vet.

What are the benefits of having a dog?

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Improved mental health
  • Better lifestyle and fitness.

Average lifespan of dogs

Purebred dog average lifespan – 11.9 years

Crossbred dog average lifespan – 13.1 years

Remember, a fur baby isn’t a short-term commitment. If your financial situation changes, he or she will still need your love and support, so it’s really good idea to factor how you would handle any major upheavals before becoming a pooch parent. A safety net for those unanticipated life events, or vet bills, could be a smart move.

Adopting a rescue pet can help keep your initial costs down and do a good deed for an animal that needs some love. But consider what emergency funds you might need to cover any unexpected vet bills down the track.

Okay, feeling more eyes wide open about falling in puppy love? Happy hound hunting.

Important information

This material is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 238, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see


Companion Animals in New Zealand 2020

New Zealand Now – Owning a dog