A recent study shed light on the fact that many people are not aware of how expensive a pet can be to buy and upkeep. It is suggested that as much as 7.16 billion is spent each year by Britons on their pets.
In this article about the cheapest and most expensive pets to own, we shall examine:
- The cost of keeping a pet
- The effect that social media has on the cost of pets
- The average prices of keeping a pet
- The most expensive pet to keep at home
- Some less expensive pets to own
- The high costs of taking out a loan to pay for a pet
How expensive is it to keep a pet in the UK
The UK is famous for being a nation of animal lovers with 46% of homes owning some kind of pet. A recent survey of pet owners has revealed that most people who own a pet had significantly underestimated the cost of maintaining one. It also revealed that 95% of people who have a dog as a pet consider it to be a member of the family. Cat owners, who were told that a cat could cost as much to own as a deposit on a house over its lifetime, said that 88% of them would prefer to have the cat.
A recent survey of pet owners has revealed that most people who own a pet had significantly underestimated the cost of maintaining one.
How has social media effected the cost of owning a pet
The amount that Brits spend on pampering their pets has increased by 25% since 2010. The need to have a perfectly groomed pooch to brag about on social media may have something to do with this increase in sales of pet pampering products. Sales of fashion items, toys and grooming and the use of dog walkers has resulted in the industry being worth 7.16 billion a year. On average 25% of people’s photos on social media are pet related with 65% of pet owners posting about their pets twice a week.
So how much do different kinds of pets cost?
The costs of keeping the most popular pets over their lifespan can vary according to the individual pet’s needs. The most interesting thing that the study revealed was that most people had seriously underestimated the true cost of caring for a pet over its estimated lifetime.
The average cost of keeping a dog
The cost of keeping a dog will vary depending on its size. Here is a list of the essential things that a dog requires and the estimated total amount that would be spent over its lifespan:
|Cost of pet||Insurance||Food||Toys|
|Home grooming||Home healthcare||Grooming||Puppy classes|
|Kennels||Household training||Collar and lead||Vaccinations|
Once the costs for all of these necessities were added together it showed that the cost of a small dog was 19,200 pounds, a medium sized 16,800 pounds and a big dog 17,200 pounds.
The average cost of keeping a cat
The figure was attained by costing each of the following items over a cat’s lifetime:
|Cost of pet||Insurance||Food||Toys|
|Litter||Litter box||Bedding||Scratching posts|
Once all of these expenses had been taken into account, the average cost of keeping a cat over its lifetime added up to 12,300 pounds.
The average cost of keeping indoor fish
These are the things that were costed and are needed to own fish over their lifespan:
|Cost of pet||Tank||Lighting||Filters|
|Air pumps||Gravel||Food||Tank decorations|
|Cleaning products||Water treatments||Goldfish treatments||Holiday food treatments|
The average cost of having a goldfish for a pet was 900 pounds.
The average cost of keeping a lizard for a pet
Here are the things needed to take proper care of a lizard over the course of its lifetime:
|Cost of pet||Insurance||Vivarium||Lighting|
|Plants||Heating||Vivarium decorations||Food and water dishes|
|Food||Cleaning products||Vitamin supplements||Substrate|
Once all of these necessities had been added up it was found that the average price of keeping a lizard was 4,400 pounds.
The average cost of keeping indoor birds
These are the things that would be needed if you were to own a bird:
|Cost of pet||Insurance||Cage||Perches|
|Litter||Food and water holder||Toys||Bird bath|
|Bird food||Bird-safe disinfectant||Microchip||Cuttlebone|
Once these items had been costed the average cost of owning a bird over its lifetime was 8,000 pounds.
What was the most expensive pet to keep at home?
These are just a handful of the most popular pets in the UK and what it would cost to own them over their lifetime. The most popular pet to own in the UK is a dog, followed by a cat. The costs for owning these pets was calculated on the things necessary for their upkeep, depending on their lifespan. So although dogs are the most popular and most expensive usual pets to own, the most expensive household pet to own in the UK is actually a tortoise.
Surprisingly the tortoise works out the most expensive pet to own over its lifetime with costs that can reach 27,787 pounds. Tortoises can live quite happily for up to 75 years. Although they are quiet animals that do not like much human interaction they are still a popular pet to have.
Other pets can be more economical
Rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters are all favourite pets that the British public love to keep in their homes. A rabbit can cost 6,600 pounds to own, a guinea pig 3,700 pounds and a little hamster 1,100 pounds once all its requirements have been costed. There are 42 million exotic pets that are being kept in the UK in peoples homes. These kind of pets can be expensive and need special care in order to be taken care of in the correct manner.
Never take out a loan to buy a pet
Research by Nationwide Home Insurance shows that only half of people in the UK save up to buy a pet and 38% of people use their savings to upkeep it. The amount of people who also use credit cards to pay for pet’s upkeeps was 9%. Borrowing money will incur interest and may be difficult to pay back. If you are dead set on owning some kind of animal then one should be found to suit your needs at the price that you can afford. It’s amazing how a little money every month can add up into enough savings for you to be able to purchase your desired pet.
What can we conclude about the cost of owning a pet?
It appears that people do not realise how much money it costs to initially buy and maintain a pet. Animals require a lot of money and attention to keep them happy and healthy. Before considering buying a pet, research needs to be done to see if you have the money, time and energy that this kind of pet will require. Never take an expensive loan out to buy a pet when you can just as easily save the money to purchase it.