A night of music by James Bradley in aid of Assistance Dogs Northern Ireland.

Can I afford an assistance dog?


We provide Autism Assistance Dogs and Disability Assistance Dogs FREE. However once a dog has passed their Public Access Certification Test the recipients are responsible for the up-keep of the dog. However Assistance Dogs NI will continue to own the dog.

  • Am I financially able to take on the cost of caring for an Assistance Dog for 10 - 15 years?

    Whilst the Charity  provide our Assistance Dogs free of charge,  the Charity still own the Assistance Dog. However we are not in a position to cover the costs during the Assistance Dogs life. Once an Assistance Dog has qualified the recipient of the Assistance Dog will be responsible for the purchase of a number of items that the dog will need and the costs associated with having a dog. The approximate cost per year is £1,551.68.

  • Are you prepared to care for a dog every single day?

    Having an Assistance Dog is akin to having a toddler.  Every day, without fail, your dog must be cared for. They will need to be exercised, attend to their toileting, on-going training maintained, groomed and mental & physical exercise/stimulation.

  • Are you prepared to always be the centre of attention?

    Working with an Assistance Dog places you in the centre of the public eye.  Everywhere you go, people will stare, point and gawk at you.  When you have an Assistance Dog you will never be invisible.  People will stop and engage in conversation, ask lots of questions.  Going places may take longer and you will be an ambassador for ADNI.

  • Are you willing and able to accept training and socialisation obligations accompanying an assistance Dog?

    You are going to have to work hard learning how to handle your Assistance Dog.

    Assistance Dogs are not robots, sometimes they have bad days too.  You have to provide the structure, guidelines and boundaries necessary for your Assistance Dog to thrive and to be able to serve your child to the best of your ability.


Financial Considerations

When receiving an Assistance Dog, you will need to purchase the following items:

Crate (Available to buy from ADNI at cost price) £52.00
Dog bed£25.00
Dog Food Approximately £46.00
1 Water Non-slip Bowl£7.00
1 Food Non-slip Bowl£7.00
1 Collapsible Bowl£3.00
ID for Assistance Dogs £11.00
Brush £4.00 & Furminator £25.00
Backpack for Child£20.00
Treat Bag£9.00
Poop Bags£2.00
Purina Dental Life 12 sticks £7.00
Seat Belt Harness Restraint£4.00
Safety Attachment and Clip£15.00
Pet First Aid Kit£10.00
Working Dog Insurance£262 approx
Initial Outlay Approximately:£529

However the above is only a guide.

Additional Costs Yearly Costs
This will cost approximately £15-£20 per week.
£46.00 per month x 12
(The Assistance Dog will require worming every 3 months. £8.00 (approximately) x 4.
Flea Treatment
(The Assistance Dog will require flea treatment every 3 months. £8.00 (approximately) x 4.
Veterinary Fees
Annual Vaccination plus Kennel Cough approximately.
Working Dog insurance
The working insurance for the dog is approximately £280 per year increasing each year as the dog gets older. There will also be the insurance excess of £100.00
Approx £280.00 +£100
Purina Dental Life 365
Sticks one at night.
Poop Bags Biodegradable
1,095 approx 3 bags per day.
If you are unable to take your Assistance Dog with you. Approximately £100 – 150 for one week.
Pet Passport approximate cost£60.00
Rabies Vaccination£32.60
Rabies Booster£32.60
Approximate Total Cost£1,551.68

YEARLY COST Approximately

£1,551.68 per year increasing yearly due to working dog insurance.

Responsibility of Caring for the Assistance Dog

Having an Assistance Dog will add additional work to your family life, the dog will require daily exercise up to two hours per day. He/she will require grooming daily & there will be dog hair and muddy paws within the family home.
The cost of replacement equipment will be your responsibility too.

If you have other pets you need to consider that another dog will bring extra work and additional financial costs.