Pet owners hit with £1.7bn a year in household damage

Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The pandemic has seen a spike in pet sales, with new data revealing that almost a fifth of us welcomed a dog to our family during lockdown. However, despite being our best friends, dogs cost around £164 in repairs to damage they have caused in the home each year. Good job they're cute, right?

The research by MoneySuperMarket revealed that Weimaraners, the UK’s most destructive dog breed, cost their owners an average of £265 in repairs each year. The mid-sized Labradoodle came in second (£240) and the small Cavachon third (£233).

At the other end of the scale, Labradors are revealed as the most furniture-friendly, with the breed costing their owner’s £138 in damages, £26 less than the national average. They are followed by Terriers (£142), Jack Russells (£145) and Spaniels (£159).

Carpets topped the list of the most damaged household items (20%), followed closely by sofas or rugs (17%), chairs (14%) and wooden floors (12%).

Dog owners in London spend the most on repairing the damage caused by their dogs at an average of £237, compared to dogs in Wales who cost their owners an average of £108.

In addition to the costs caused by damage to furnishings, pet health is a significant expense with the average annual cost of vet visits and subsequent treatment being £214 excluding claims. The research reveals Londoners pay the most on vet bills and treatments, spending an average of £323 over the last year, compared to Northern Irish dog owners who paid an average of £130.

Despite high annual vet bills, a third (35%) of dog owners surveyed don’t have comprehensive pet insurance for their furry friend.

Kate Devine, insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “During lockdown the UK saw a surge in the number of people getting dogs, yet our research shows that many owners don’t have adequate insurance for their pet.

“It’s important to make sure your pet is correctly insured. If your dog falls ill or needs to be taken to the vet, you need to make sure you’re covered for vet bills and treatments, otherwise, you might not able to afford the best care for your pet.

“Another challenge faced by both first-time and experienced dog owners is the destruction of furniture and other household items. While you can try and minimise the risks, it isn’t always possible to eliminate all damage. No matter their age, we recommend that you check your home insurance policy to ensure you are covered for any accidental damage caused by your pets. Without adequate cover, you may find yourself paying hundreds of pounds for repairs.”

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