A dog may be for life, but it also costs a lot more than people think, more than £22,000 over its lifetime.
That's more than a new Mercedes, while some breeds such as the Great Dane are even more expensive than the deposit on an average first property (£32,810 compared to £24,000).
So says Churchill pet insurance, releasing its annual Cost of a Dog Report in the run up to the annual Crufts dog show.
However, the research also reveals that while many people lavish love and shower gifts on their four-legged friends, the vast majority of owners (90 per cent) don't realise how much a dog actually costs to keep.
More than half (52 per cent) of the dog owners asked thought that the total cost would only amount to £5,000.
Most of the true cost is accounted for by the day-to-day costs of dog maintenance, such as kennels and food, as well as increasingly expensive vets' fees.
Mike Ketteringham, head of pet insurance at Churchill, said: "There are significant differences between the costs of different dog breeds.
"It is important that people take this into account as one of the factors when choosing their new pet." To read more about insurance news, read here
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