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  1. We have been seeing a lot of new faces in the park over the last few weeks. Puppies and new friends fortunate enough to find their forever home after a rough start in life. Dogs are not just for Christmas, as they say, but what people often forget, in the throes of puppy love, is the on-going cost of the new member of the family.

    The average annual cost of owning a dog is over £1,000 when you take into account food, toys and treats, grooming, vets bills and insurance. And this is without taking into account the original purchase price. Some pedigree breeds can cost over £1,000! This all adds up to a staggering average of £16,900 for the lifetime of a dog.

    Cats are a little cheaper each year but as they tend to live longer the total cost over their lifetime is very similar

    Costs do increase as pets get older as vets bills increase. Advances in veterinary medicine will mean that our pets live longer so it is very important to ensure you have adequate insurance to cover costs as your pet gets older.

    All that said, having a pet in your life is one of the best things you can do for your health. They are loyal, love unconditionally, make us get out and about and exercise. They make us more sociable and they make us laugh, and they do say laughter is the best medicine.

  2. Whilst playing in the park with my friends the other day I got to thinking about where we all came from and how much we are loved. I am reliably informed that as a nation of animal lovers 40% of homes have a pet with just under 1 in 4 households having a dog and 1 in 5 having a cat and last year £6bn was spent on us!

    More than ever we are seen as members of the family we are a huge responsibility both in time and cost, with a dog or cat costing an average of £17,000 during its lifetime.

    The biggest one off cost of a dog (ignoring vets bills) is likely to be the original purchase price so if you are planning on buying a puppy from a breeder do make sure that you get your puppy from a reputable source by visiting the breeder and are not unwittingly funding puppy farms. Check out the RSPCAs guide to buying a puppy for more information

    Many of my friends have been rescued and this is a cheaper options with payment usually in the form of a donation. Lots of organisations, such as Allsorts dog rescue ( foster in people homes so the fear that “you don’t know what you are getting” does not have to be a worry.

    Whatever route you choose always welcome your dog into your home with lots of affection and be prepared to fall in love with us!