We are a certified nation of animal lovers – as if there was any doubt. The latest figures from PDSA reveal that 50% of all British adults own a pet. But that comes at a cost, with research revealing that we Brits spend a whopping £180 million per month on pampering our pets.
But could splashing out actually be well worth it in the long run and do we get as much back as we give our furry friends? Let’s take a look.
Breaking down the numbers
That huge £180m figure isn’t split equally among all pet owners. Those who own horses, for example, have to spend much more keeping their animals fit and healthy than an owner of a small dog.
Regular expenses like food, medicine and vet/insurance bills make up the bulk of our spend on our pets but treats come into the equation too.
Younger pet owners seem more likely to spoil their special friends. Those aged 24-25 said they spent on average £124.88 per month on their pets, while those in the oldest category, 65+, had an average spend way down at £35 per month – perhaps explained by this group being more likely to own a cat or medium-sized dog.
What do we get back?
The benefits of owning some animals are clear. Owning a dog means you have to get out for lots of walks, which will keep your physical wellbeing in check, while regular exercise is also good for our mental health.
On top of this, according to PDSA’s research, 84% of all pet owners say that their animal helps their mental wellbeing by providing companionship, entertainment and much more besides.
You’ll get unconditional love from your pet – even the grumpiest of cats love you deep down, really! – so it’s clear to see that there is a payback for all your time, attention and money.
Do it right
So, it seems pretty clear that owning a pet is a positive, but you must remember to be a responsible pet owner.
As we’ve mentioned, there are big financial considerations when bringing an animal into your home, so you must make sure you’ve considered all your options before you purchase or adopt your pet.
One-off costs that may not come up in an average month include teeth cleaning (£150), flea and worming (£120), annual booster jabs (£50), kennels (£243) and grooming (£375).
The lifetime costs of pets can be substantial. For example, a medium-sized non-pedigree dog (the UK’s second most popular pet) can cost its owner £29,794 over its lifetime (12 years).
These figures provided above make it clear that you must be sure you’re in the right position to take on the responsibility of owning a pet – but if it’s right for you then prepare for many years of love and fun coming back from your special friend!