Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.
**Research investigating all the expenses related to owning pets in the UK -insurance included – has found that the average lifetime cost of owning a dog is around £16,900, with cat owners paying even more – up to £17,200. **
Sainsbury's Pet Insurance carried out the research and found that having a pet cat is more expensive than owning a dog. Although cats' expenses per year are lower than dogs, the fact that cats live longer -15 years on average – makes the cost of having a pet cat slightly higher.
As the study shows, the current average annual cost of owning a cat is £1,028. This figure could increase to an annual cost of £1,270 in 15 years time (considering the inter-annual price increases), which might raise the overall annual cost of owning a cat by 23.5%.
In contrast, dogs have a current average annual cost of £1,183, a figure that after 13 years (average life expectancy for UK dogs) could easily rise by around 20% to £1,418 overall.
Those currently owning, or thinking about owning a pet, should keep in mind that food accounts for around 33.7% of the average annual spend on a pet dog and 41% for a pet cat.
Pet insurance in and outside the UK
The study also warns that with vet fees increasing by up to 15% a year, general costs are set to rise dramatically. Because of this, the report reminds how important it is to acquire pet insurance.
Despite the warning, recent research] by independent research company Defaqto revealed that 24% of pet insurance policies provide no cover at all for overseas travel as standard.
According to the study, while 28% of them would cover vets' fees for overseas stays of 120 days or more, only 18% will cover it if the trip lasts for less than 60 days. A total of 38% of policies cover vets' treatment fees of up to £2,499, while just 27% cover up to £3,500 or more.