General Insurance Article - Barking mad or puppy love

The cost of being a dog owner soon adds up but not everyone is prepared for it, research from Admiral Pet Insurance has revealed.Research from the insurer has revealed that a quarter (24%) of dog owners say they weren’t prepared for the cost of owning a dog and that it was more expensive than they expected.

 Perhaps unsurprising when you consider that 43% of dog owners admit to doing no research on costs before getting their pup.

 And 35% of dog owners said they found the expense of ownership to be challenge.

 To reduce some of the leg-work for those thinking of getting a dog, Admiral has created a handy tool which calculates all the essential and potential costs involved in owning a dog.

 As part of the UK-wide investigation, the provider has researched the costs associated with owning the top 50 dog breeds in the UK, looking at everything from the cost of food, vaccinations, flea and worm treatment to dog walkers, kennels doggy day care and grooming. Cost of pet tech and treats have also been investigated to find out just how much dog owners have to pay out to keep their pets happy and healthy.

 As well as factoring in the essential costs such as insurance, food and medical treatment there are other expenses to consider which can soon add to the price tag of your dog.

 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 2-3 times a week meaning some dog owners pay out over £1853 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 5 most expensive places in the UK for dog walking services


 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 1-2 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.

 Pampered pooches
 When it comes dog grooming, it’s recommended that their coats are looked after between 4-13 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 8-12 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.

 There are now more ways than ever to keep track of your pet when you’re out of the house. A quarter of dog owners admit 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 your 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.”

 Check out Admiral’s handy calculator to find out the cost of owning a dog where you are  

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