How much it costs to be a pet parent in 2023

Cocker spaniels have been named the most expensive pet to own in 2023Cocker spaniels have been named the most expensive pet to own in 2023
Cocker spaniels have been named the most expensive pet to own in 2023 | Shutterstock

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Cocker Spaniels have been named the most expensive dog breed in the UK this year, according to new data.

Owners of the well-loved pup take on an estimated £108 per week, as the price of pet products has risen by 16.2 per cent compared to last year. 

But that hasn’t put a pause on puppy-lovers making the purchase, as the number of registrations for the breed is on the rise, with figures up by almost 50 per cent since 2020. 

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With numbers increasing to over 38,910, the prized pooch is not only in the top 15 most expensive pets to buy but has now been crowned as the most expensive to keep.

The weekly cost breakdown reveals owning a Cocker Spaniel would equate to at least £1,299 a year. 

It is £150 more expensive annually to keep a pet rabbit than a cat. 

And opting to bring home a puppy, kitting, or a baby rabbit could cost an extra £220 in the first year. 

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In light of this, Post Office Pet Insurance has conducted new research to investigate the basic costs needed to feed, groom and care for seven of the UK’s most popular pets.

Pet parenting grows more expensive

These costs include food, vet visits, pet insurance, toys, special accessories, and pet sitters when the owner is on holiday. 

Rabbits rank fourth on the list of most penny-stretching pets with around £84 a month, as they require a lot of fresh food. 

Cats have been judged as one of the cheapest pets to own, costing around £7 a week to feed and rarely requiring trips to the groomers. 

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This can’t be said for dogs, as extra fees to hire a dog walker rack up the cost if the owners aren’t able to walk them themselves. 

The average cost of pet insurance was also included in the study, as means to compensate veterinary and treatment fees – helping owners to save £1,000 onbills), as well as covering overseas travel, and emergency situations such as theft or straying which can ultimately save money in the long run. 

A spokesperson for the brand, Nick McCowen of Post Office Pet Insurance said: “Pets can help boost our mood, cheer us up, and provide a sense of purpose. 

“But with a great sense of joy comes a huge responsibility and, with the RSPCA revealing they are dealing with 25 per cent more abandonments year on year due to the cost-of-living crisis, we conducted this research to emphasise how much owning a pet really costs, so people can evaluate their affordability and take this into consideration before they buy.

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“We understand that, for some, the costs of owning a pet have become a struggle and unpredictable expenses may arise. That’s why we wanted to not just evaluate the minimum cost, but also suggest ways people can save money while still being a responsible pet parent.”

For more useful tips on how to optimise budgets as a pet parent, and to view the full cost breakdown, visit here.

Average cost of being a pet parent in 2023, per year

  1. Cocker Spaniel - £108 per month / £1299 per year
  2. French bulldog - £99 per month / £1183 per year
  3. Retriever (Labrador) - £92 per month £1100 per year
  4. Rabbit - £84 per month / £1011 per year
  5. Yorkshire Terriers - £81 per month / £966 per year
  6. Corgi - £74 per month / £888 a year
  7. Cat - £71 per month £855 a year
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