What Does It Cost to Keep a Pet?

What Does It Cost to Keep a Pet?

Owning a pet can be massively rewarding but unfortunately, it doesn’t come free. Research from Sainsbury’s pet insurance has indicated that the average costs of keeping a pet can exceed £17,000 over their lifetime so it’s no wonder that they feel like such a big part of the family!

There are quite a few costs involved in keeping your pet happy and healthy and they can all add up.

Here we take a look at some of the things that you can expect to pay for!


We often think that pet food is the main expense and it’s true that this is one of the things you’ll need to buy on a regular basis.

You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive food available; the main priority is to make sure that it’s full of high quality ingredients and that it’s nutritious.

There’s something of a pet obesity epidemic in the UK, largely due to pet owners feeding pets on an “on demand” basis (known as “free feeding”) rather than sticking to a controlled number of calories. If you fall into this category, you may find that you’re actually buying more pet food than you need to.

If your pet is a fussy eater or your vet recommends a special prescription diet to meet your pet’s health needs, your food budget may need to go up.


Booster vaccinations can cost around £50 each time in total.

Vet Checkups

This is one cost that is likely to keep getting more expensive due to the rising costs of vet bills. Nevertheless, it’s really important to make sure that your pet has regular checkups to help them to stay healthy and highlight any health issues that need treatment or further investigation.

If your pet is overweight, it can make them more likely to be affected by heart disease, diabetes and arthritis – all of which can mean bigger vet bills.

Flea & Worming Treatments

Both of these treatments need to be given regularly to keep your pet free from fleas and worms. Flea treatments are generally the more expensive of the two, especially as you’ll also need to treat your home in the event of a flea infestation.

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Pet Insurance

A lot of pet owners don’t buy pet insurance but if you can afford it, you might think about having to protect against big vet bills if your pet falls ill or has an accident. Cheaper cover doesn’t offer a lot of cover though so you may prefer to put some money aside each month if case you need it.


If your pet gets lost, a microchip with up-to-date contact details can help them to find their way back to you. Microchipping is now compulsory in the UK. It is £30 charge, but this ensures that your pet is chipped for the rest of their life. In some cases, microchipping is available for free through events held by Dog’s Trust.


Playtime is a great way to keep your pet mentally stimulated and you may choose to rotate their toys every so often so they don’t get bored of them.


Some pets need more grooming than others but you don’t necessarily need to use a professional groomer or spend a small fortune on grooming products. In many cases, a good quality grooming brush will last for years and won’t break the bank.


If you don’t have anyone to look after your pet while you’re away, the cost of putting them in a boarding kennel or cattery is another cost to think about. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay at least £15 per day for this.

Over to you – what are your thoughts on the costs of having a pet? Join in the discussion in the comments section below!