The most expensive pets

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Welcoming a new pet into your family is an exciting time, but it can also be expensive if you don’t do your research. 

  • The costs of owning a pet over its lifetime can be much more expensive than you think, especially if your pet gets a health problem 
  • Dogs and cat breeds with long coats will cost much more in grooming than short-haired pets
  • Cats cost slightly less over a lifetime than dogs, but some pure breed kittens are just as expensive to buy as pedigree puppies 

While our furry friends bring so much joy into our lives, they can also tug heavily on the purse strings. From grooming costs, to food and vet bills, some pets can be much more expensive than others. This depends on their size, breed and whether they have health problems.

We’ve looked at some of the most expensive pet breeds over their average lifespan, based on their cost to buy, vet bills and potential health problems to discover which pets are the most expensive overall.

The most expensive cat breeds can cost up to £1,500

The most expensive dog breeds

Buying a pedigree dog is always going to be more expensive than a cross-breed but the cost of a pup can vary dramatically depending on the breed.

Not only do Kennel Club-registered puppies cost a lot more to buy initially, they may also have inherited health problems, which can quickly lead to expensive vet bills. 

Additional monthly expenses will include vaccinations, training, care for your dog while you’re away on holiday or at work and daily essentials like bedding, treats and toys. 
Below are some of the most expensive dog breeds over their lifetime:

Dog Breed: Newfoundlands

Average lifespan: 8 - 10 years 
Price of a puppy: £1,500 - £2,500
Grooming costs: £90every 4-6 weeks
Yearly food costs: £200-400*
Minimum lifetime cost: £9,340 - £11,300 

Big, caring and cuddly, the Newfoundland is a popular choice for families thanks to its fluffy coat and gentle, loving nature. But, due to its large size, expect to pay out more on food and potentially a dog walker as this is a breed that needs lots of exercise. 

Its fluffy coat will need regular grooming too, at least every 4 to 6 weeks. Newfoundlands can also be prone to develop a few health problems that are common in deep chested dogs including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart conditions and bloat. 

Dog Breed: Chow Chow

Average lifespan: 8 – 12 years 
Price of a puppy: £1,500 - £2,500
Grooming costs: £50 every 4 - 6 weeks 
Food costs: £200 - £400 yearly
Minimum lifetime cost: £8,380 - £11,820

With its fluffy coat and lion-like appearance, it’s easy to see why Chow Chows are such a popular dog. Independent and protective in nature, their teddybear face makes them instantly recognisable but interbreeding to make this cute appearance more extreme comes at a price. Chow Chows are often at risk of health problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, diabetes, and bloat.

Dog breed: French Bulldog 

Average lifespan: 9 – 11 years  
Price of a puppy: £1,500 - £2,500
Grooming costs: £25 every 8 -12 weeks
Food costs: £200 - £400 yearly
Minimum lifetime cost: £5,190 - £6,010
Intelligent and extremely cute, French Bulldogs are a very popular dog breed. Their sweet, playful nature and compact size makes them a great family pet, plus their short coats keep grooming costs low. But due to their flat face and short snout, French Bulldogs can be very expensive. They’re prone to breathing problems, skin conditions and sight problems , potentially leading to high vet bills over their lifetime. 

French Bulldogs have a sweet and playful nature 

Most expensive cat breeds

Cute kittens don’t come cheap either, with some of the most expensive pure cat breeds costing up to £1,500. While cats can be slightly cheaper over a lifetime to look after than dogs, the initial costs to keep them happy and healthy can be eye watering with flea treatments, litter trays and toys all adding up. 

Here’s a selection of the most expensive cat breeds:

Cat breed: Persian cat

Average lifespan: 15 years  
Price of a kitten: £500 - £1,500
Food costs: £100 - £200 per year  
Minimum lifetime cost: £2,000 - £2,590
Charming and distinctive, it’s easy to see why pretty Persian cats  are so popular, with their fluffy, long, white, coats, flat noses and bright blue eyes. Persian cats can be very demanding and require lots of grooming. It’s important to brush your Persian cat’s fur every day and bathe them regularly to avoid their coat getting dirty and matted. Hereditary health problems to be aware of include breathing difficulties, ringworm, hip dysplasia and retinal atrophy. 

Russian blue

Average lifespan: 17.5 years 
Cost of a kitten: £600 - £1,000 
Food costs: £100 - £200  
Minimum lifetime cost: £2,350 - £2,950
Graceful and elegant, Russian Blues are popular thanks to their slinky grey coat and shimmering green eyes. Loving cats, the breed are known for being shy but affectionate pets, making them a perfect choice for older people or families with grown up children. But, their glamorous appearance comes at a high price over a lifetime. They’re prone to getting conjunctivitis, respiratory tract disorders and kidney diseases, which can mean a lot of trips to the vets. 

Bengal kitten

Average lifespan: 14 years  
Cost of a kitten: £450 - £800 
Food costs: £100 - £200
Average lifetime cost: £1,950 - £2,350
Affectionate and energetic, Bengal kittens are instantly recognisable thanks to their exotic markings. A short coat means minimal grooming is required, but certain blood lines can hugely increase the initial price of a kitten, with some costing thousands. It’s important to be aware of retinal atrophy, which Bengal cats can be susceptible to. Cataracts and disease of the heart muscle are also common conditions that can affect the breed. 

Our pets can tug at our heart and purse strings

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