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Caring for your pet is incredibly rewarding, but it will take its toll on your finances.

Even in these uncertain times, more money is being spent in the pet market than ever before. Pet expenses appear to be on the rise, or perhaps pet owners are valuing pet care more and more.

pet ownersBut the figure you spend every week, month and year depend on the animal itself. You may wonder how much does it cost to own a dog, for example? Well, the cost of owning a dog can be more than £800 per year.

Let’s review the cost comparisons between the most popular household pets…

The costs of your pet choice

Your pet choice reveals a lot about your finances. Following ASPCA findings, owning a cat costs more than owning a small dog – but this cannot be said for medium-large dog owners. A fish will set you back a mere £21 per year, whereas a small bird will cost you £194 each year.

Here are the 5 most expensive pets:

  • #1: Large Dog (£812)
  • #2: Medium Dog
  • #3: Cat
  • #4: Small Dog
  • #5: Ferret (£350)

The reason that pet costs vary is because different pets have different needs. Aside from the obvious necessity of feeding your pet, there are other costs to consider such as medicals bills, health insurance, and toys to entertain your little tail-wagger. But again, this depends on the pet you have…

COSTS Dog Cat Ferret Rabbit Bird Guinea Pig Goldfish
Food
Medical Bills    
Litter      
Toys/
Treats
 
License            
Health Insurance          
Misc.  
TOTAL (per year) £575
– £812
£631 £447 £372 £247 £237 £21
AVERAGE
LIFESPAN
10-13 13-17 6-8 7-10 5-20 4-8 5-10

5 financial tips

How can pet owners save money? Whether you own a pet or preparing to own a pet, then it is important to follow these experts tips…

#1: Shelters > Breeders

Firstly, if you do not yet own a pet – consider where to acquire your new furry friend from. Why buy a pet when you can rescue one for free? We highly recommend that you do this in general, despite the financial benefits of doing this. Rescuing an animal-in-need is much more ethical and helpful to the cause.

#2: Consider the initial outright purchases

The prices in the table above may not consider the cost of equipment. For example, the cost of a goldfish’s food per annum is £21. So, excluding the cost of a goldfish bowl – this is what it takes, financially, to raise a goldfish. However, some fish require fish tanks and with this comes extra maintenance expenses. As a side note: they may also require more expensive and generally more food. Dogs need dog beds and guinea pigs need cages. A lot of pet equipment and accessories can be expensive and may require maintenance. Consider that what you buy initially may eventually need to be replaced.

#3: Don’t skip pet insurance

Some people may be tempted to not buy pet insurance and “cross the bridge” of medical expenses when they arise. Lots of other pet owners simply go with the most basic and cheapest option. We, however, recommend that you take neither of these options. Why? Although you would be paying more each month/year, you would save money if your pet needs surgery or intensive care. Therefore, pet insurance may be beneficial to have even if your pet choice doesn’t necessarily require you to.

#4: Bulk buy and do it online!

As you may find with human food and treats – the same applies to provide for a dog or any other animal: buying food in large quantities can save you money over time. This especially applies to buying pet medicine. The best way to optimize your bulk-buying is to do so online by finding the best deals.

#5: Plan for life

Your pet may live for 20 years, and you will wish that this could go on forever. Ensure that you have the income to care for your pet. Considering that owning a medium-sized dog will cost you £698 per year and they have a 10-13 lifespan, then according to the ASPCA, caring for your dog would have cost you somewhere in the region of over £8,000. That is not to say that caring for your dog is not worth it, of course, it is! However, you need to be prepared for the long-term financial commitment.

Final thoughts

Owning a pet is the greatest thing in the world…but only if pet owners are prepared for what it costs. Owning a dog, for example, can cost over £800 per year and up to £10,000 in its lifetime.

So, you need to follow the best financial tips…

Rescue your new pet rather than purchase them. Consider the outright expenses for your new pet and the cost of pet insurance. Bulk buy what you need for your pet online. And don’t forget to plan for life and prepare yourself for the long-term financial commitment.

Food for thought

Make what you wish of the ASPCA data: although owning a medium-large dog is more expensive than owning a cat, the average lifespan of a cat can be much higher. Therefore, owning a cat may be more expensive than owning a dog.