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It’s a dog’s life for British pet owners

They may be a man’s best friend, but new research from Tesco Pet Insurance has revealed that dogs cost substantially more than other pets. Our canine companions cost almost £600 a year, and require more than 600 hours of care – compared to just over £330 and 340 hours for a cat.

As expected, veterinary fees are the main expense, with average annual charges of over £200 for a dog and £150 for a cat.  However, the day to day costs also stack up for both, coming in at over £300. Indeed, almost a quarter (22%) of pet-owners have found that caring for their pet is more expensive than anticipated – our league table below demonstrates the true cost of pet ownership:

Pet Annual cost Hours of care
Dog £594 603
Cat £336 343
Rabbit/Guinea Pig £268 234
Bird £205 244
Hamster/Gerbil £163 192

Despite these high costs, it seems we are still willing to splurge on treats to please our pets.  Britons admitted that they are willing to spend up to £25 on a single treat, on top of the day to day expenditure on care.

Dogs continue to be the most popular pet in Britain with 55% of pet owners owning one, compared to just one in ten who have a gerbil or hamster – even though these smaller animals are far less pricey to look after.

Colin Campbell, Head of Tesco Pet Insurance commented,

“We would urge customers to consider these costs before committing to a pet. In particular, customers should plan ahead for vet bills to ensure that they are taking out adequate insurance against any injury and illness which could cost thousands. Although pets are undoubtedly fine companions, all prospective owners should beware of underestimating the financial and time commitments involved.

“At Tesco Bank we are committed to handling all of our claims within five days andstrive to provide our customers with the right cover for their beloved pet – we pay out on average 96% of claims made.”**

Tesco Pet Insurance Standard and Extra cover offers simple and affordable protection for your cat or dog, with a 20% online discount for new customers in year one and an additional discount for Clubcard holders, a 24 hour vet helpline provided by vetfone and a fixed excess, so you’ll always know what you need to pay if you make a claim.


For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Tesco Bank press office

+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

Notes to Editors:

Tesco Pet Accident & Injury Insurance is excluded from the online discount. We do not insure cats or dogs who are under 8 weeks, have a pre-existing condition, or certain breeds of cats or dogs.

*The research was conducted by Vision Critical between 24/01/13 and 28/01/13 of a sample size of 1,037 GB pet-owners

** RSA claims data 2012.

About Us:

Tesco Bank’s goal is to make banking and insurance easier and better value for people who shop at Tesco. We’ve been around since 1997 and today we help more than 5 million customers manage their money every day. Our 4,000 colleagues serve our customers seven days a week from our three main centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, and we are also available through online and mobile banking 24/7. Tesco Bank participates in the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board.

Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FQ

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