How much does owning a pet cost, and how can you save?

Pets can be expensive, but we’re here to show you how to save money with some of the UK’s favourite pets.

Cats and dogs with their paws up on a table
(Image credit: Unsplash)

Having a pet join your family can be a brilliant thing but it can be surprising to some just how much it can really cost. We’ve broken down the expenses for the UK’s most popular pets and the best ways we’ve found to save on the costs of your new addition to the family.  

Dogs

A dog jumping after a cartoon ball

(Image credit: Rover.com)

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the UK and any dog-lover knows there is a lot to account for when keeping a puppy happy and healthy. On average, the yearly cost of owning a dog varies between £575 to £3030 according to The Dog People.

When you first get a dog, there are a number of upfront costs to consider and you can find a coherent breakdown of those costs at The Dog People. Some costs can’t be avoided such as food which is typically between £10 to £50 a month (depending on the type of food you choose to give your dog). Food isn’t the only cost; insurance, vets, crates, grooming, toys, leads, collars, beds, and pet sitting are all things that need to be considered when budgeting for your dog. 

There are some easy ways to save on your dog such as learning to groom at home, looking for a secondhand crate, and shopping around for the best insurance and opting for full coverage as, although this may be more expensive, it will really help you to save on those surprise vets bills!


Cats

A black kitten cuddling with an elderly woman

(Image credit: battersea.org.uk)

If you aren’t a dog person, you may just be a cat person so let us tell you a few ways you can save on your feline friends. Many of the costs associated with owning a cat are similar to that of owning a dog however, Battersea says that, typically, the annual cost of owning a cat is around £1500. 

There are a number of ways to stick to a smaller budget making monthly costs much more manageable. Places like Facebook Marketplace and eBay are great places to find secondhand litter trays, beds, scratch posts and more. As well as this, another great way to save money is by keeping with a simple cat flap and comparing insurance to ensure you are getting the best coverage for the best price. 

Battersea recognises that the cost of having pets is increasing and that can make it hard for some pet owners to keep up financially. This is why Battersea has a number of helpful links to help with pet costs in their ‘The cost of owning a cat’ article. 


Reptiles

A small yellow frog sat at the edge of a vivarium

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Some people aren’t all about cute fluffy pets and instead have a place in their hearts for reptiles. There are a number of costs incurred with looking after a reptile, with the biggest cost being the initial purchase of the vivarium,  but you’d be surprised how small some of the bills really are. 

Running a vivarium isn’t as big a cost as many people think. With heat lamps costing 25p a day to run and UV lights costing as little as 50p per month to run, keeping a vivarium up and running is super simple and easy even on a small budget. If you are looking for the best ways to save money on electric as a reptile owner, take a look at Snakes Alive’s article “Best ways for reptile owners to reduce electricity bills”.

Thermometers, flooring, substrate, and food also range up to £30 and vet visits are around £35 each time. With costs like these, even a small budget can stretch to include a reptile in your home.


Rabbits

Two rabbits sat in the grass

(Image credit: Pets At Home)

Rabbits are usually a great option for younger pet owners so if you’re thinking about gifting a fluffy bunny to a younger member of your family, it’s important to note the biggest costs and the best ways to save on them. 

The average monthly cost to UK rabbit owners is roughly £70 a month according to Pets At Home. This cost consists of several monthly necessities to keep a happy, healthy (and fluffy) rabbit. Initial ‘start-up’ costs come in the form of a hutch which typically falls between £80 to £150 and the run (an outdoor space to exercise) at around £100 to £200. However, both of these costs can be mitigated with the help of secondhand hutches and self-made runs (I know from experience that a few wood batons and chicken wire can make a wonderful run for your excitable new friend). If you are looking for an indoor rabbit, a run may not be necessary so it’s important to look at your home and how you can make it rabbit-friendly. 

Once your rabbit has a home, it’s time to make it cosy with the addition of bedding. This can be found at most pet shops usually costing around £10 to £20 per week. A great way to save on this is to shred paper yourself and use that. You can even utilise old newspapers though it’s worth noting that the ink may stain your rabbit’s feet. 

Last but not least, you have toys, chewables, a carrier, insurance, food, and vet appointments. All of these costs can be lessened by shopping around to find the best prices as well as quality. Out of these, insurance is likely to incur the biggest cost so make sure you do your research and utilise comparison sites to find the best deal for you. Pete Wedderburn from The Telegraph has collated  ‘The 15 best pet insurance providers in 2023 - and how to find the right cover for you’ and it will give you some brilliant answers! 


Where can you save on your lovable pets?

Dogs, a cat, rabbit, and a bird huddled together for a photo

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Across the board, people spend between £500 and £3000 (depending on species, breed etc.)  a year on their beloved pets but there are many ways to keep this total as small as possible. Whether you are looking for a dog, cat, reptile, or rabbit, you can make some great savings with a bit of savvy shopping. From saving on insurance (and therefore, surprise vet bills) and quality food to bedding, equipment and toys, there’s a lot to consider when adding a new pet to your family so I hope this article has helped you to learn a little bit more about how you can enjoy the company of a pet whatever budget you may have.  

Shona Moreland
Fashion Editor

Hi there! My name is Shona and I’m the Fashion Editor here at MyVoucherCodes. I’ve been writing for 5 years, and now I’ve been focusing on fashion, and I’m loving every minute of it! From the freshest releases to the hottest trends and movements that keep the industry buzzing.

I have a number of interests, ranging from playing the drums, drawing, reading and writing to enjoying nature with my puppy! And let’s not forget about the all-important interest … Fashion!