Costs of Pet Ownership


Pets can be expensive! You need to make sure that you have really thought through all the possible costs and expenses that owning a pet can incur. Although dogs, cats and rabbits tend to be the most expensive, even small furries like rats, guinea pigs and hamsters can end up costing you more than you might expect.

Remember to take into account purchase costs, neutering, bedding, feeding, vaccination, worming, insurance, vets bills, kennel/cattery if you go away etc. Here's an example of the costs you might expect to need to cover.

Purchase cost - anything from £0 to £2000!

Vaccination - initial course of vaccines then once yearly, rabbit vaccines £20-30 twice yearly

Neutering - females are more expensive than males, dogs are more expensive than cats, large dogs are more expensive than small dogs.


Flea Treatment - Usually once monthly

Worming - 4 times yearly, cost varies depending on size of pet and wormer used.

Feeding - a good quality food such as Hills dry will cost around 40p a day for a 10kg dog (£150 a year) - tinned food will probably cost double this, and larger dogs will need much more!

Insurance - depends on breed, age, postcode, insurer, excess and level of cover, average £10-£60 pounds per month.

Training classes for dogs - very variable, around £5-£15 per class

Kennels - around £10-£15 a day, so £140 to £210 for a 2 week holiday!

Grooming - if you want a professional bath / brush or hair cut for your pet, expect to pay £25-40

Vet bills - even if you are insured, there will be an excess to pay for each condition, and most vets will usually expect full payment of any bills so the insurance company will pay you directly. Minor conditions may not cost more than your excess so will need to be paid for. Don't forget that vaccination, flea treatment, worming, neutering and anything to do with pregnancy are NOT usually covered by insurance.

Ensuring your garden and house are escape proof - dogs, especially new puppies, are great escape artists and love to chew - don't be too surprised if your dog chews through shoes, carpets, kitchen cupboards etc! Not really something you can estimate a cost for.

Feeding bowls, bed, brushes, lead, collar, car harness, toys, training aids - the list of accessories is endless. You can spend as much or as little as you want on these things, but expect them to cost at least £100 - more if you want designer goods!

Cage - a well constructed, large rabbit cage should be regarded as essential for rabbits and guinea pigs - can cost from £100-£500.

Please consider getting a rescue pet - they are usually already vaccinated, neutered, micro-chipped and wormed so it's well worth the donation you give to the charity concerned! See our links page for details.