MSE News

Pet owners spend more on dogs than cats, finds new MSE poll

Pet owners spend more on dogs than cats, finds new MSE poll

More than eight in ten dog owners say they spend over £500/yr on their pooch compared with just over half of cat owners who spend the same, a new poll has found. Meanwhile, almost half (46%) of dog owners spend more than £1,250 a year on their furry friend, compared to just 15% of cat owners who spend the same.

Over 3,200 people voted in our poll, which ran between 3 and 10 August 2021, and asked respondents to tell us the annual cost of their pet, factoring in the price of food, insurance, vet bills, clothes, toys, dog walking, kennels and everything else. It comes as some three million households in the UK have taken on a new pet since the start of the pandemic, figures from the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association show.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly pet, more than six in ten hamster and fish owners reported that they spend less than £100/yr, while at the other end of the scale, a quarter of horse owners said they spend more than £5,000/yr.

While not a representative sample of the UK population, the poll offers a snapshot of how much on average people spend on their pets each year - although costs can, of course, vary wildly depending on the breed, age, and medical condition of pets. See the full poll results in the table below and see our Cheap Pet Insurance guide and our MoneySaving For Dogs guide for more information on cutting the cost of pet ownership. 

MSE Poll: How much do you spend on your pet(s) per year?

Pet (number of votes) Spend under £100/yr £101 to £500/yr £501 to £1,250/yr £1,251 to £2,000/yr £2,001 to £5,000/yr Spend more than £5,000/yr
Cat (1,169) 3% 45% 37% 12% 3% 0%
Dog (1,663) 1% 17% 36% 28% 16% 2%
Fish (106) 62% 34% 3% 0% 0% 1%
Guinea pig (39) 23% 59% 13% 0% 3% 3%
Hamster (22) 64% 32% 5% 0% 0% 0%
Horse (36) 6% 6% 8% 14% 42% 25%
Indoor bird (26) 35% 42% 12% 8% 0% 4%
Rabbit (57) 16% 56% 18% 5% 4% 2%
Reptile (44) 48% 41% 9% 0% 2% 0%
Other kinds of pets (55) 36% 44% 9% 5% 4% 2%

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