What is the true cost of owning a pet?

Man and Dog

If you are thinking about buying a pet check out our guide which breaks down how much it really costs!

Buying the pet

First things first, the purchase! Buying a pet is always the biggest decision, once you have established which animal you want, you may then have to decide on a certain breed or type. Whether you are buying a pedigree dog, a Bengal cat or just a couple of goldfish it’s still a big decision! You may want to think about getting your home ready for the new arrival, as there is lots to think about! Where is your pet going to sleep? Where will they live during the day? It’s important to plan ahead as, for example,  cats can usually be left to it, especially if you have a cat flap, whereas dogs and other animals may need enclosures, kennels, or cages. Obviously bear in mind the size of your pet and the space it will need, you wouldn’t want to restrict your pet’s movement.


Some pets require injections when they are young, so make sure you check which ones and understand how much these cost. If you’re unsure on what you need to do when getting a new pet, it would be worth speaking to a vet or animal expert or ask the seller as they may know and be able to give you some advice.


As well as buying the pet, there are more things you need to consider buying just to make it that bit more expensive. For dogs you will need dog bowls, walking leads, maybe a kennel, and for cats you will need litter trays and maybe even a cat flap installed in your door. Rabbits may require a run, to give them space, in which case you may need to look at your space available in your garden. Why not make a list, this way when you go shopping you can get everything in one go.


Buying pet food is something that is going to be added to your weekly shop and is one of the biggest costs associated with owning a pet. There are so many different brands and types of pet food available on the market. To know what’s best for your pet, check with an expert to know what to look for.

Have a look below at the report from, which shows the average yearly costs for both cats and dogs:

Item Average estimated annual spend on a pet dog Average estimated annual spend on a pet cat
Pet food £399 £418
Toys/presents/Treats £121 £96
Pet sitters £126 £131
Grooming £244 £167
Vet fees/medical treatment £177 £133
Kennels/Cattery £116 £83
Total spend £1,183 £1,028
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