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Animal Friends Blog

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The True Cost of a New Pet

Becoming a pet owner for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. You’ve got a new bundle of joy in your life, but you’ve also got all the responsibilities that come with that.

One of the most important things to consider is the cost of bringing in your new addition and looking after them in the future. To paraphrase that old saying, ‘a pet is for life, not just for Christmas’.

Here are a few key points about what costs you might expect from your new pet in their first year and beyond.

The cost of preparing your home

First things first, you’ve got to consider the cost of getting everything for your new friend’s arrival. It could be a water bowl or bedding for your new little treasure, or it could be buying shorter curtains if you’re worried your feline friend may get their claws caught up in your current set.

Making sure your home is all set for your new arrival may become costly – but it’ll certainly be worth it in the end.

Think about long-term costs

Like all good things, a new pet won’t come cheap. You’ve got to consider all the different costs that a pet brings in their first year, including food, toys, and much more.

Research by the PDSA has shown that a medium-sized dog could cost around £1,350 in its first year, all things considered. However, these costs can easily increase if you’re expecting a larger cuddle buddy!

The PDSA also found that, on average, a new cat can cost £1,090 in its first year. So keep this in mind when you’re thinking of welcoming a new pet to your home.

A kitten playing with a toy

Health-related costs

Whether it’s vet bills or insurance premiums, there’s plenty to think about when it comes to making sure your pet stays healthy.

Your new friend will need their jabs within their first year, which can in itself cost around £100. Any additional visits to the vets can vary in price. For example, surgery on broken limbs costs an average of £1,500, while treatments for long-term conditions will cost even more.

Neutering and spaying is also a cost to consider. For dogs, this can cost between £60 and £180. For our feline friends, the cost is slightly less, ranging from £30 to £60. Either way, it’s another item to add to the bill of having a new pet!*

Of course, the older your new cat or dog is, the more likely they are to have longer-term health conditions. Conditions like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes are more common in older pets, and can be both traumatic and lead to many more trips to the vets, alongside higher vet bills. Treating these conditions can cost hundreds of pounds.

Other potential costs

Alongside the cost of essentials and medical costs, you’ll also have to think about the various little one-off costs that’ll certainly crop up throughout your pet’s first year. Many of these are optional, but could help protect your pet or keep them well looked-after around your busy lifestyle.

However, one that’s not optional is microchipping your canine companion, which – despite the relatively small price tag of £15 to £20 – is a legal requirement. In fact, not microchipping your pooch could lead to a whopping £500 fine – not something you want to get through the post!

You may want to get a dog-walker in, especially if you’re one of those who usually works long hours. The average price for an hour’s activity is £10, but this can increase substantially if you’re after a doggy day-care service.

For the travellers among us, a pet passport is essential. For dogs, these can cost on average £110, including all the extra jabs your pooch will need to receive to be allowed to travel. It’s a similar cost for cats, who will also need vaccinations in order to apply for a pet passport to travel with you.

Even if your dog or cat is staying at home while you’re off on your adventures, the cost of a kennel or cattery can still take a chunk out of your wallet (or purse!). An average 2-week stay in a kennel or cattery can cost a hefty £200.

It’s always best to be aware of the costs that a new pet will bring to you – even though you’re certain to be repaid with plenty of love and a lot of affection, regardless of whether your new friend is of the canine or feline persuasion!


*Neutering or spaying your pet is not covered by an Animal Friends pet insurance policy.

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Hello, lovely readers, I'm Catrin George. I'm a treat dispenser and walk giver to Marvel, the border collie. I'm here to give you the latest updates and low downs on anything and everything pet related, whether they miaow, woof, or neigh. The blogs will be filled with news, reviews, and charity visits with some discounts and giveaways squeezed in-between. So, keep your eyes peeled here!

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