Dog Statistics

How many Brits are choosing to insure their beloved pets?

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Bringing a new dog home for the first time can be one of the most fun and memorable events in your family’s life. You’ve set up its bedding, bought food and treats and got the leash and toys ready. Everything is set for the big arrival. But have you remembered insurance?
A prolonged health issue can end up costing a minor fortune in vet bills, so many people look to avoid this risk with pet insurance. We wanted to see how many dogs were insured in the UK and look at some of the common costs that come with owning a dog.

Dog insurance

The average pet insurance claim is £750, and in 2018 alone, £785 million was paid out by insurance companies in the UK to cover unexpected pet fees and bills. Even though the price tag for a vet appointment can be high, 3.8 million dogs (43%) are still uninsured. The main reasons are that pet owners think insurance plans are too pricey or they already have a separate savings account for their dog in case something happens.

890,000 dogs in the UK (10%)

are not registered with a vet.

What does pet insurance cover?

  • Veterinary fees for check-ups and the treatment of illnesses
  • The cost of damage caused by your dog towards property, humans or animals
  • The purchase price of your pet if your dog is lost, stolen or passes away due to illness or injury before a certain age
  • Advertising costs if you lose your dog, and the cost of the reward for the finder
  • Hospitalisation if your dog needs to stay the night at the vet
  • Reimbursement if you need to cancel your holiday due to emergency surgery for your dog
  • If your dog is travelling with you under the Pet Travel Scheme and it gets hurt abroad

Most common claims for dogs

Illness Percentage
Stomach issues 29%
Skin conditions 20%
Ear infections 11%
Eye conditions 7%
Pain 7%
Unusual growths 6%
UTIs 6%
Allergies 5%
Ligament injuries 5%
Limping 4%

What pet insurance doesn’t cover

It’s important to take note that most insurance plans have a waiting period of 10-14 days before they become valid. As well as this, most pet insurance plans won’t cover:
  • Pre-existing illnesses or injuries that were present when you signed the insurance contract
  • Vaccinations
  • Spaying
  • Flea treatments
  • Worm and tick treatments
  • Teeth maintenance
  • Pregnancy and birth assistance

Pet population

  • The total pet population in the UK is 54 million
  • 49% of all adults in the UK have a pet
  • 8.9 million of all pets are dogs, making dogs the second-most popular furry friend
  • 5.1 million of all pet dogs are insured
Pet Population
Cats 11.1 million
Dogs 8.9 million
Rabbits 1.0 million

The cost of a dog

As it turns out, most people think that their pets are cheaper than they actually are. A survey carried out in 2018 showed that 28% of dog owners thought the cost of their dog was between £21 and £40 per month, while 78% believed they spent £80 or less per month.

How much people believe their dog costs per month

Guessed cost Percentage
Up to £20 19%
£21 to £40 28%
£41 to £60 23%
£61 to £80 8%
£81+ 22%
In reality, the monthly cost for a dog is much higher than these estimates. On average, we spend £144 per month on small dogs and up to £209 on large dogs. One way to keep the costs down is to have a good insurance plan.

How much dogs actually cost per month

Dog size Monthly cost
Small £144
Medium £164
Large £209



Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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