While dogs offer companionship to many in the UK, a new study from financial guidance platform Forbes Advisor has found that nearly three in ten (29%) of Brits who bought a dog regret the purchase. The survey of 2,000 UK dog owners found most people are happy with their new pets, but discovered that some Brits have encountered unexpected difficulty with dog ownership, ranging from cost and family incompatibility to simple inconvenience.
Of those who regret getting a dog, nearly a third (32%) say they find dog care to be too restrictive, and over a quarter (29%) say they find it hard to go on holidays and plan for the dog to be taken care of while they are away. Nearly a quarter (24%) say they simply do not want to walk the dog everyday.
This information comes to light after the RSPCA’s recent 2022 report stating that pet abandonment was up 25% from 2021, possibly due to people letting go of the pets they adopted during the coronavirus lockdown. Forbes Advisor’s study found that of those who regret getting a dog, 41% say their pet was a lockdown purchase.
Last year Insurance Edge reported on a GlobalData study, which also found that many owners cannot afford, or choose not to insure their pet. More here.
Some, however, do not see dog ownership as an unexpected inconvenience, but rather as an additional financial hardship during the cost of living crisis, with a quarter of remorseful adopters (25%) saying it is too expensive to maintain a dog after the £1,115 average purchase price.
The study also shows that 30% of respondents spend most of their money for their dogs on food, but some report veterinary bills or pet insurance to be the highest expense (15% and 11% respectively).
Kevin Pratt, personal finance expert at Forbes Advisor said:
“Keeping a dog is a huge responsibility. Many owners will tell you that it is like having a baby in the house – you have to think of its needs and welfare round the clock, you have to make sacrifices, and you have to be prepared for significant disruption to your routines. Take holidays. Who looks after the dog when you’re away? Can you afford kennels? If you decide to take your pet with you, will you put up with the reduced choice of destinations and accommodation that entails?
“And then, of course, there is the expense associated with dog ownership – food, routine and emergency vet bills, insurance. It soon mounts up. Anyone contemplating getting a dog should think long and hard about the implications – domestic, social and financial. The size of the emotional and practical commitment required should not be underestimated.”