The true cost of owning a pet has been revealed in a new report from MORE TH>N.
The new report looks into the future of pet ownership in the UK, ranging from issues surrounding their health and wellbeing, through to the financial implications for the owner.
The study reveals that on average dog owners are spending £240 a month and cat owners spending more than half of that at £100 per month. This equates to a whopping £24.5 billion being spent on dogs and £9.6 million being spent on cats, in the UK each year.
Despite the high costs involved in pet ownership, the majority of pet owners – 58% of dog owners and 83% of cat owners – did no research into their prospective pet and the associated costs.
The MORE TH>N Future of Pet Ownership Report is based on a study of 10,000 cat and dog owners and paints the fullest picture of the state of the nation’s relationship with their pets to date.
The research also revealed only six in ten dogs and three in ten cats are insured, which could mean expensive repercussions for the owner if their pet becomes ill or is injured and they are faced with unexpected vet bills.
Worryingly, research reveals that pet owners consistently underestimate the cost of most common medical conditions and their treatment for cats and dogs. On average dog owners said that they would be willing to spend up to £1,271 on vet fees and cat owners an average of £767.
Many pet owners revealed that they would turn to debt to pay for unexpected treatment with 26% saying they would take out a loan and just over half dipping into their savings (51%). Almost two in five would use a credit card (39%), whereas nearly a quarter (23%) said that they would borrow from family and friends – 8% admitted they would be forced to have their pet put down.
Andrew Moore, director of pet claims, MORE TH>N, said: “The NHS provides a free health service for humans, but there is no safety net for our pets. Since there is no frame of reference, vet bills can appear high and come as an un-affordable shock to many owners when their pet is taken sick.
“The average car accident repair is £1,944 and people wouldn’t dream of not being insured, but some of the claims costs we see for pets can exceed this and yet the lack of awareness of this financial risk means that many pet owners don’t think they need pet insurance.”
Click here to read the full report.