How Much Does it Really Cost to Own a Pet?


People count themselves very lucky to have a pet but in reality owning a pet costs a lot of money, but they would definitely say that they are worth every penny. However, with focus shifting to Christmas over the next few months it is likely that many families will be considering introducing a new pet to the family. It is wise to take into consideration the costs involved before purchasing a pet because they could be surprising.

Purchasing Your Pet

Cats and dogs can cost a lot of money, especially if it is an expensive breed. If you are purchasing a pedigree or from a breeder then they can cost in excess of £1,000. However, if you choose to rehome an animal from a shelter then the costs will be reduced but they will still require a donation.


Pets need vaccinations to remain healthy and with this comes regular check-ups at the vets. They also require other medical procedures such as neutering and spaying, which can cost a significant amount. If you have plans to put your pet in a kennel then they will have to be given the most up-to-date vaccinations or else they may not accept them, again these are costs that you will have to consider. Speaking to your vet will enable you to find out how much you will have to put aside for this.


Pets can go missing from time to time and whilst many get found and returned to their owners some are never seen again. Whilst it is possible to give your pet collars and tags, they only provide limited help should your pet go missing, however microchips are a far more effective way of being able to track down your pet and from 2016, this will be compulsory. There is often a small charge for this but it does give you peace of mind.

Keeping Your Pet Looking Good

Professional grooming is a great way of keeping your pet looking good, especially for those pets that have long hair. But it isn't only your pets hair that you have to consider, as costs can start to creep up when you start having their nails clipped or if they require any dental work.

Pet Food and Additional Items

Just like their owners, pets can be fussy when it comes to their food. Certain breeds require a specific diet, so it is advised to check any dietary requirements when selecting a breed of dog. Size is also a consideration, as a big dog obviously eats a lot more than a small dog, and in some cases, it can end up costing more than it does to feed a child. Then there are the accessories that come with owning a pet such as food bowls, collars, cages, beds and even fashionable pet clothes.

Pet Insurance

When it comes to purchasing from a breeder, many will not part with the animal unless you have insurance. In the same way as with many other forms of insurance, it is possible to shop around to find the best deal. Of course, reading over the small print is important to ensure that you have cover for everything that you need. There are many things to take into account such as the breed, age and any medical conditions it may have. You must ensure the insurance is cover for life - some cheaper options only cover for one year then won't be insurable anywhere else.


You may spend a lot of time on holiday or work which may keep you away from home for long periods. If this is the case then the cost of boarding kennels or catteries will have to be looked at. It can cost up to £10 (much more for a dog!) per day, per pet which can rise up to quite a large figure over the course of each year.

Author Bio

This article was contributed by Medicines4Pets, an online pet medicine retailer established by a team of qualified veterinary surgeons from the Avonvale Vet Group.