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Do you spend as much as the average pet owner

Known as a nation of animal lovers, the price of pet ownership across the UK has been unearthed as rolling well into the billions. With owners spending a reported £2,500 a year on each animal they own.


Inevitably, being a pet parent comes with a price tag and, perhaps unsurprisingly, a new study[1] has uncovered that eight in ten (81%) agree that the expense of owning a pet has increased over the last 12 months. In fact, a quarter (28%) say that costs have increased significantly.

The data has exposed the financial burden British pet owners are facing, with £55.75 billion being revealed as the national average spend per year on pets[2]. That’s £2,500 per pet for; food, toys, bedding, grooming, day care or a dog walker, accessories such as collars and leads, as well as other veterinary expenses including flea and worming treatments.

More than one in ten (15%) owners have been found to spend up to £1,000 on food and treats alone.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues deepen, three in five (63%) Brits admit that they will need to go without to ensure that they are able to care for their four-legged friends.

In an effort to discover the impact of rising costs on pet owners, Agria Pet Insurance has commissioned research to explore how much people value pet insurance and the effect the cost-of-living crisis is having on owners being able to hold a policy that is fit-for-purpose.

Over half (53%) of pet owners admit that the cost-of-living crisis has made them reconsider protecting their pet with insurance, in a bid to reduce their outgoings. In fact, one in ten (13%) confess that they do not have a pet insurance policy due to the rise in the cost-of-living.

Vicki Wentworth, Managing Director at Agria Pet Insurance, says: “What is incredibly worrying about the impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on pet owners - and the resulting repercussions on pet insurance choices- is what happens when an unexpected illness or condition arises. The sad fact is that our animal rescue partners are reporting an increase in pets being handed over to them, simply because their owner cannot afford their vet bills.

“Willow, a 10-year-old retriever, protected by us since she was a puppy, is a typical example of unexpected significant cost. She developed epilepsy when she was just 2-years-old, and since then, her owner has claimed over £13,000 for treatment. This has enabled her to live a full and happy life, but without insurance in place, finding this money would not have been easy. Every day we see owners faced with unforeseen vet bills for hundreds of pounds that they don’t have to worry about because they have insurance – but without it, finding large sums of money at a moment’s notice can leave owners with very difficult choices to make.”

Ian Atkin, Owner and Manager at Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, one of Agria’s rescue partners, comments: “We often see animals, particularly dogs, come into us in their senior years because they haven't had veterinary care in place during their lives. Like people, conditions often worsen with age so something left untreated due to lack of insurance when they were younger can often become a bigger issue in old age. It’s devastating for an owner to discover they can no longer afford to give their dog the care they need, leaving their only choice to take them to a rescue like ours.”

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average pet insurance claim increased by £31 to £848 in 2021, yet the new data from Agria reveals that the rising cost-of-living has encouraged three in five (61%) pet owners to ‘shop around’ when their pet insurance is due for renewal - with almost half (44%) admitting they are unaware of the benefits of lifetime cover.

Vicki says: “Unlike other types of insurance, unless your pet has never been ill, we would not recommend ‘shopping around’. Switching to a new policy or provider will often result in your pet no longer being covered by insurance for anything that happened prior to the new policy starting – so always be very mindful of that when considering your options.

“Our pets really are like members of the family, that’s why Agria is built on truly safeguarding the bond we share with our four-legged friends throughout their lifetimes. We’re committed to helping pet owners through tough times with the certainty that we’ll be there for them and their pet when they need us most.”


1Study with 1,000 pet owners around the UK, completed in November 2022.

2Calculation based upon Agria’s study identifying £2,500 as being the average spend per pet, multiplied by the small pet population based upon the 2022 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report.

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Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register Number 496160. Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is registered and incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 04258783. Registered office: First Floor, Blue Leanie, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW. Agria insurance policies are underwritten by Agria Försäkring.

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