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Buying a pet? Do your homework first or risk unexpected bills…

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Mar 14, 2017

Britain may be a nation of animal lovers, but new research suggests we drastically underestimate the true cost of pet ownership.

Many of us are saddled with unexpected fees and bills because we don’t do our homework before buying a furry friend.

5.2 million UK owners did no research before buying their pet, according to a survey by loans company Satsuma.

A staggering 40% of the 2000 respondents admitted to relying on borrowing, whether on a credit card, from friends or a loan to cover shock vet bills.

And fewer than half had insurance in place to help.

If you’re a pet owner, start getting on top of costs by comparing insurance deals and switching to save.  

Almost all the owners (98%) incorrectly estimated the lifetime cost of owning a pet.

The survey also found:

* One in five (18%) owners say the expense is the toughest part of ownership.
* One in four (25%) have been forced to pay an unexpected bill, of which 42% had to pay over £100.
* 5% have had to dip into their savings to cover bills
* 5% spent more than £20 per month on essential goods for their pets including food
* 35-44 year olds are the least prepared for an unexpected vet’s bill. 52.63% of them borrowed from the bank, credit card or family and friends to pay for the bill.

One respondent claimed: “My cat has his own bank account into which we pay in a monthly amount in line with how much monthly pet insurance would cost.”

If you’re in the market for a pet, the key to a stress-free life is to do your research before you buy or adopt.

Be realistic about what it’s going to cost you and make sure you choose the right pet for you.

Start by reading our guides on buying pet insurance and buying a puppy.

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