Pet Owners

A quarter of dog owners ‘not prepared for costs’

Some 24% of dog owners have admitted they were not prepared for the cost of owning a dog, research from Admiral Pet Insurance has revealed.

Respondents of the survey also said dog ownership was more expensive than they expected and 43% of dog owners admitted to doing no research on costs before getting their pup. Some 35% of dog owners said they found the expense of ownership to be challenge.

Admiral has created a dog cost calculator as part of the UK-wide investigation and researched the costs associated with owning the top 50 dog breeds.

According to Admiral research, the average dog walker in the UK charges £11.88 for an hour’s walk with rates varying from £9 in Leeds, to £16 in west London. One in five dog owners have used a dog walker before, with a third of those using dog walking services at least once a week, while a quarter use them two to three times a week meaning some dog owners pay out over £1,853 a year for dog walking services alone.

And owners in full time work could expect to pay more than £3,000 a year for a whole week of walkies.

Top five most expensive places in the UK for dog walking services

LOCATION AVERAGE COST FOR 1 HOUR WALK COST FOR THREE WALKS A WEEK
West London £16.67 £50.01
Belfast £14.83 £44.49
Bristol £14.33 £42.99
Oxford £14.00 £42.00
North London £13.33 £39.99

Top five cheapest places in the UK for dog walking services

LOCATION AVERAGE COST FOR 1 HOUR WALK COST FOR THREE WALKS A WEEK
Cardiff £10.33 £30.99
Plymouth £10.00 £30.00
Liverpool £10.00 £30.00
Newcastle £10.00 £30.00
Leeds £9.67 £29.01

Meanwhile, a quarter of dog owners say they have put their dog into ‘doggy daycare’ while they are out of the house, and of those, a quarter of them use it at least one to two times a week. The average price for a full day in doggy day care in the UK is £21.76, meaning those who use the service twice a week could be forking out £2,263 a year.

When it comes dog grooming, it’s recommended their coats are looked after between four to 13 times a year depending on the breed, and costs vary according to size and coat type. For example, a Labrador is recommended to be groomed every eight to 12 weeks, at an average of £42 a time, but costs across the country vary considerably. In Exeter, for example it would cost an average of £31 each time, but in Oxford the average cost is £51.

Meanwhile, almost 60% of dog owners make sure their pet has a coat to keep them warm and clean. Of those, two in five owners spend between £25 and £50 a year on making sure their dog is well dressed.

When it comes to technology, a quarter of dog owners admitted to having a camera in place to keep an eye on their dog when they’re not around, and while a third of them spend between £25-£30 buying the technology, 20% admit to spending more than £100 on the device.

While half of dog owners rely on family or friends to look after their dog when on holiday, a quarter use dog kennels to keep their pet safe while away. The average cost for one night in a dog kennel in the UK is £17 – adding an extra £119 onto the cost of a one week holiday.

Sian Humphreys, head of pet insurance at Admiral, said: “Buying a dog is a big commitment so it’s important to do your research beforehand. Not only to see if the dog you want is the right fit for your lifestyle and circumstances, but also to help you see how being a dog owner will impact your finances.

“There are some costs you can prepare and budget for, but things like vet bills can soon add up if you’re not prepared and don’t have the right insurance in place.”

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