How much does it cost to have a dog? The most expensive breeds of cats and dogs and how much money vet bills are in the UK

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Forbes Advisor has revealed how much it really costs to own a pet after the lockdown puppy boom saw more adopting dogs.

More than half of British pet owners underestimate the cost of owning a pet, according to research by Forbes Advisor.

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The average cost of owning a cat or dog is now estimated to be £1,340 a year, or up to £17,420 over the lifetime of the pet.

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Research by Forbes Advisor has revealed the most expensive breeds of dog in the UK. Photo: PA/Andrew MatthewsResearch by Forbes Advisor has revealed the most expensive breeds of dog in the UK. Photo: PA/Andrew Matthews
Research by Forbes Advisor has revealed the most expensive breeds of dog in the UK. Photo: PA/Andrew Matthews

The study follows recent reports from shelters that they are struggling with lockdown pet-regret, a new trend that sees people disguising their dogs as strays in an attempt to surrender them.

Research by Forbes also revealed that despite vet bills being one of the most expensive parts of pet ownership, more than two fifths of Brits admit to not having pet insurance, with half of owners paying £500 to £1,000 a year for medical bills.

Additionally, 52% of UK pet owners would resort to credit cards or raiding their savings to fund veterinary care.

Kevin Pratt, pet insurance expert at Forbes Advisor, said:

“Owning a pet is not something to be taken lightly.

As well as the expense, there are practical matters to consider.

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It seems clear that many people bought a pandemic pet without fully thinking-through the implications, and some have realised they can no longer keep it, either because of the hassle factor or because of how much it costs."

The report by Forbes revealed how much on average pet owners spend on common pet expenses in a year as of 2021:

Medical bills excluding monthly insurance/petcare plans - £462.80

Food - £341.67

Flea/worm treatment - £164.72

Apparel - £41.55

Training/sitting/walking - £115.78

Insurance - £112.05 (44.4% do not have pet insurance)

Dental treatments - £39.62

Vet checkups - £71.77

They also revealed the most expensive dog and cat breeds to insure based on the average annual cost:


Bulldog - £688.14

Cane Corso - £669.29

Hovawart - £633.94

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog - £588.22

Dogue De Bordeaux - £572.92


Burmese Blue - £337.14

Somali - £336.95

Tabby Longhair - £309.24

Egyptian Mau - £285.49

Russian Blue - £285.43

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On top of this Forbes Advisor ranked the most cost-effective pet insurance providers this year, with Insure Your Paws coming out on top.

Members of the public can search for the cheapest pet insurance on the Forbes Advisor website.

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