Dogs are some of the most popular pets in the world, with the number of pet dogs globally estimated at 471 million. These furry companions, however, are not inexpensive. From toys and puppy classes to veterinary bills and insurance, owning a dog has a tall price tag, with one study estimating that the lifetime cost of a dog can reach up to $55,000.
The biggest expense of all on a day-to-day basis is making sure your canine companion is fed. In the past, pets were fed with scraps from the dinner table, with only the upper classes preparing dedicated meals for their furry friends. Now, however, research has shown that over 40% of owners prioritize giving their pets healthy food over themselves, reflected in the wide range of nutritious kibble on retail shelves available worldwide.
Today, you don’t even have to go out to get dog food, with a host of services offering to deliver meals tailored to your dog’s specific requirements straight to your door, making for a global market worth $1.8 billion.
Just exactly how much does feeding one dog actually cost in real terms? And where in the world is it the most and least expensive to buy food for man’s best friend?
The cost of feeding a dog in every country
Every dog owner has their preferred way of feeding their canine companions. While local brands differ, the most common types of dog food on store shelves are dry kibble and wet food. A recent study by CashNetUSA searched for the cost of dog food in 97 countries. Here are some key findings:
- The annual cost of feeding a dog in Japan is $2,056.88 — the most expensive of any country in the world
- On the other end of the scale is Botswana, where feeding a dog for one year costs only $163.59
- The U.S. is one of the most affordable countries in which to buy dog food — a year’s supply costs only 1.62% of the national net income per capita
- Out of 97 countries, dog food is the most affordable in Ireland, where the annual cost is just 0.72% of the national net income per capita
The infographic below reveals the average cost of an annual supply of dry dog food in 97 countries.
In the U.S., home to more pet dogs than any other country in the world, the cost of feeding a dog is $865.50 a year. Compared to countries like Hungary ($246.38) — where more than half of households own a dog — the U.S. is placed closer to the more expensive end of the scale.
Japan, however, is the most expensive country in the world to feed a dog overall. The average annual cost of dog food is $2,056.88. Here, pet ownership is actually on the decline, attributable to various factors, including regulations that affect breeders, an aging population that the government discourages from homing dogs, and unsuitable home environments. Likely not helping matters is that 2022 saw a sizable increase in the cost of pet food.
Botswana is the least expensive country in which to feed a dog (a year’s supply of food costs $163.59). Perhaps the cheap price is down to less-than-ideal ingredients. According to one local entrepreneur: “Most retail brands in Botswana and around Africa use basic formulae often resulting in dogs suffering from inflamed skin and increased scratching caused by [an] imbalance in levels of Omega 3 and 6 along with insufficient levels of essential fatty acids like DHA and FPA."
To see the full study, click here.