Vet bills and pet food are not the only pet-related expenses causing a hole in our wallets as demand for doggy daycare continues to rise.
MoneysaverHQ research spanning 30 doggy day care businesses nationally found that the average daily rate a pet owner pays is $51.
Owners are sending their precious pooches into care on average two days per week, costing them more than $5000 annually.
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ASIC’s MoneySmart says the average annual cost of owning a dog is $1475, not including daycare costs.
Doggy daycare fees are as high as $90 as low as $15 per day, and pet owners pay an average $55 in Sydney, $53 in Brisbane, $54 in Melbourne, $45 in Adelaide and $50 in Hobart.
If someone wishes to send their pup to daycare with lunch provided and a pet taxi service, they can expect to pay another $20.
Dogcity Daycare has just launched its third location, had 45,000 canine visitors last year, and owner Daniel Spooner said people would pay the fees if it meant their dogs had fun.
“When we first got into the business it was very much a convenient service for people at work all day, but there’s been a societal shift,” he said.
“People may say we’re humanising dogs, but we’re actually starting to understand all their needs”.
Dog birthday parties, costing about $35, are also becoming popular. “We have 30 dog birthdays a month,” Mr Spooner said.
Animal Behaviour Australia psychologist Dionna Newton said doggy daycare was not beneficial for all dogs.
“Some dogs get bad anxiety around other dogs. However, for others it’s like what a playground offers a child,” she said.
Robbie Bache, owner of Doghouse Daycare, said people were more than happy to pay the daily rate because they didn’t want their dogs at home all day while they worked.
“Doggy daycare popularity has increased because people are now starting to revere their dogs, people are choosing to have dogs instead of children, she said.
“On average our clients pay at least $100 per week on their dog at daycare, something which 20 years ago you would have not believed.
“Even parents with families are more than happy to pay for their dogs’ daycare fees”.
CUT PET-RELATED COSTS
• DIY — You can make your own toys, treats and play structures to save you money. There are many digital tutorials to help you.
• Phone a friend — Ask an animal-loving friend to pet sit in your home.
• Invest time to train — Rather than paying a professional to help with behavioural problems, put the time in yourself first. There are plenty of online resources available.
Source: ASIC’s MoneySmart