Pet regret: Nearly one in 10 pet owners regrets not adopting

Nearly one in 10 (9%) UK pet owners who chose to purchase a cat or dog now regrets not adopting their animal companion instead, a survey by GoCompare pet insurance has revealed.

Young people are the most likely to feel this way, according to the comparison site, as 15% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they regretted their decision to buy their pet.

The research comes ahead of National Rescue Dog Day on the 20th of May. Rescuing a cat or dog gives an animal a second chance at life and helps to minimise unnecessary breeding. The percentage of Brits who have chosen to adopt, however, remains at a similar level to those who’ve taken another route to get their pet.

A staggering 100% of 18 to 24-year-old pet owners, compared to just 82% of all pet owners, said that they would consider rescuing in future. This figure fell to around three-quarters (76%) of those aged 55 and over, suggesting older pet owners have more worries about adopting.

The main cause for concern held by those who chose not to adopt a pet was that the rescue animal could have behavioural problems. Almost half (49%) of those who bought their cat or dog selected this as a concern.

Meanwhile, the second most common factor putting people off rescuing was the need to consider their other pets at home. By contrast, a quarter of those who previously purchased their four-legged friend said they had no concerns about adopting.

Ceri McMillan, pet insurance expert at GoCompare said: “The demand for pets has increased in recent years, partly due to a surge of people seeking companionship in lockdown, which has caused an increase in their value. When combined with trends for owning particular breeds, irresponsible breeders will, unfortunately, look to cash in on this.

“That’s why we want to encourage pet lovers to adopt an animal in need, rather than turn to breeders. As well as helping an animal find its forever home, another benefit of rescuing is that many shelters will match you with a pet, ensuring it’s a good fit for your family. You’ll also have peace of mind that you aren’t supporting bad practices and are contributing to the safety of animals.”

The insurance comparison site has also revealed that adopting pets has a financial advantage. Owners can save close to £1,000 by choosing to adopt a dog. While purchasing a pooch from an online seller would set you back a hefty £1,419, adopting would amount to just £498, equalling a huge saving of £921.[2]

Meanwhile, animal lovers adopting a cat will only pay £182 on average. On the other hand, buying would cost an additional £538, with an average price of £720. This difference could cover the average policy price for feline pet insurance (£196.40), and leave owners with plenty of cash left over to spoil their furry friend with toys and treats.[3]

For more information on this research, visit GoCompare.