Top 20 most expensive dog breeds to own over its lifetime

Our dogs are far more than just pets, they are part of the family. However, with most households feeling the pressure from the cost of living crisis, our beloved pets have become another expense to worry about.
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Tatian Coelho from the animal charity Woodgreen says ‘’The cost of owning a dog can vary greatly depending on the breed. Generally speaking, larger breeds tend to incur higher food bills, while breeds prone to medical issues such as Pugs and French Bulldogs may have higher insurance costs.”

She adds: “We advise potential pet owners to do their research on the specific needs and potential costs associated with a particular breed before bringing a new furry companion into their home. This will ensure that they are fully prepared to provide the best care possible for their new pet.’’

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So how much do the breeds differ from each other? Here’s what we found:

Newfoundland.Newfoundland.
Newfoundland.

Tibeten Mastiff

Taking top place as the most expensive dog breed analysed is the Tibetan Mastiff costing a staggering £31,530 on average across their 13-year life span. Tibetan Mastiffs are an overall affectionate family dog breed, but one of the most expensive to buy as a puppy, costing an average of £2,333. Their food costs are also particularly pricey, costing on average £1,079 per annum.

Newfoundland

The Newfoundland, originating in what’s now modern day Canada, is another fairly big dog. They can weigh anywhere between 55-80 kg, which explains the over £1,200 you will have to spend on food each year.

Be prepared to pamper your pup if you’re planning on buying a Newfoundland as it costs just shy of £500 per year for it to be professionally groomed. These are just some of the factors for why the average cost of a Newfoundland over its lifetime is £28,332.

Mastiff

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The Mastiff, also known as the English Mastiff, comes in as the third most expensive dog breed costing £27,330 over the span of its 11-year lifespan. One of the most ancient dog breeds, Mastiffs cost on average around £1,525 to buy and weigh in at around 71kg, meaning that their food does not come cheap, costing a whopping £1,549 per annum.

A massive benefit to this breed however is that they don’t require professional grooming.

Top 20 most affordable dog breeds to own over its lifetime

As well as ranking the most expensive dog breeds, we also wanted to identify the most affordable dog breeds to buy, feed, insure, and treat at the vet.

1. Patterdale Terrier

The laid-back, compact working Terrier from England came out top as the most affordable dog breed to own costing £5,763 over its 13-year lifespan. This beloved family pet has an £893 average buying cost and average food bill costs £99 per annum which works out to just £8.25 a month.

2. Border Terrier

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In second place is a Border Terrier, one of the smaller dog breeds from the Terrier group, costing around £6,365 over its 13-year lifespan. The Border Terrier is a slightly more expensive dog breed to buy costing £1,133, however, the maintenance costs are a lot less than other breeds. The average annual pet insurance cost for a Border Terrier is just £204, over £100 cheaper than the average per insurance cost for all breeds of £336.12.

3. Jack Russell

In third place was the Jack Russell, with an average cost of £884. Like other Terrier breeds, their wired and short-haired coats save owners a lot on grooming costs. They are also cheaper to feed than bigger dogs costing around £153 a year. Overall, Jack Russells will set you back an average of £7,623 over their 16-year lifespan, just under half the average lifetime costs for all dog breeds of £14,060.

The most expensive and affordable dog breeds to buy

When looking at the average up-front cost of buying a dog, without the ongoing costs like insurance, food and vets, the five most expensive breeds of dog to buy are:

Italian Greyhound £3,500

Samoyed £3,000

Bernese Mountain Dog £2,688

Chow Chow £2,663

Irish Wolfhound £2,500

And these are the five least expensive dog breeds to buy:

Greyhound – £600

Lurcher – £647

Bedlington Terrier – £800

Jack Russell – £884

Presa Canario – £886

Methodology

We looked at the contributing factors that go into owning a dog. Next, we researched the average cost of each metric based on the dog breed and its average life expectancy.

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We collated a list of the Top 100 most popular breeds from www.ukpets.com/dog-breeds

Avg cost per breed was sourced from: www.puppies.co.uk

Insurance sourced from: www.ukpets.com/dog-breeds

Initial puppy vaccination course and annual booster sourced from: www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-cost-puppy-dog-vaccinations – based on Jan 2023 study

Food: Based on average food cost of £3 per kg and feeding 2% of bodyweight per day for a typical-sized dog for each breed.

Grooming: ukpets.com rates each dog breed’s ease of grooming on a scale of 1-5 stars. We combined this with manual research of each dog breed to ascertain how often each dog breed should be professionally groomed. Dog’s rated 1-2 stars do not require professional grooming. Dogs rated 3 stars should be groomed every 8 weeks. Dogs rated 4-5 stars should be groomed every 6 weeks. Cost of grooming is sourced from https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-cost-dog-grooming-uk