Brits spend £180m on their pets every month

Cats cost owners about £14,000 over the course of their lifetime. (Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash).

Brits collectively spend over £180m a month on their pets, with those aged 25 to 34 splashing out £1,498 a year, a new survey shows

The UK is renowned as a nation of animal lovers, but new research from 118 118 Money reveals the extent of their affection, with Britain’s pet owners cumulatively spending more than £180m a month on their dogs, cats, horses, fish, reptiles and small mammals.

Fortunately, the expenditure wasn’t unexpected with most UK pet owners doing their research before they decided to purchase a pet.

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Before they bought their furry (or scaly) friend, UK pet owners predicted they would be spending an average of £66.39 per month on each pet. The actual monthly spend came in at an average of £68.06 – less than a £2 difference.

However, when taking into consideration one-off costs that may not come up in an average month, such as teeth cleaning (£150), flea treatment and worming (£120)4, annual booster jabs (£50), kennels (£243) and grooming (£375), and starter costs such as buying the animal and starter kits, the lifetime costs of pets can be substantially more.

For example, a medium-sized non-pedigree dog – the UK’s second most popular pet type – could cost its owner £29,794 over its average lifetime of 12 years.

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For cats – the UK’s most popular pet – the average lifetime cost (15 years) could total over £14,000, and for rabbits, the cost could still be a huge £8,190 over their average lifetime (10 years).

About 53,000 UK pet owners (2.2%) spend more than £400 a month on their pets, the survey found.

Perhaps surprisingly, fish owners spend more on their pets’ upkeep (£67) than those who own small dogs (£61), cats (£62), and reptiles (£61).

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Young adults aged between 25 and 34 spend significantly more than any other age group on their pets, at £124.88 per month. They are most likely to have a medium-sized dog (32%) or a cat (34%).

The age group that spends the least are those aged over 65, spending £35 per month on average, less than a third of what 25 to 34-year olds spend. Those aged 65+ are also most likely to own a cat (37%) or a medium-sized dog (32%).

Bristolians and Londoners spend the most on their pets at £99 per month, compared to the lowest spend of £32 in Sheffield.