The Cost of Pets and the Impact on Adoptions

As we continue dealing with the cost of living crisis, it’s no wonder that Brits have needed to shift their financial decision-making and many have likely found that the cost of owning a pet is much more than expected. To put this into perspective, Google search data shows that July 2023 saw the lowest number of searches for “dog for sale” in the past five years. Clearly, there has been a drop in Brits searching for a furry friend.

Where do Brits buy their pet from?

  • 32% of Brits get their pet from a breeder.
  • 23% of Brits get their pet from a private seller.
  • 14% of Brits get their pet from a rescue or rehoming centre/shelter.
  • 23% of Brits get their pet from other sources.

According to Statista, only 14% of pets currently come from a rescue or rehoming shelter. However, as well as saving money, adopting a pet has many other advantages. You aren’t funding certain breeders' obsession with “pure” bloodlines that can lead to inbreeding and life-threatening disabilities and instead, you’re giving an animal a second chance at life.

If you’re still hoping to bring home a furry friend but are watching your spending, we have calculated just how much Brits’ favourite pets cost and the difference in cost between adopting and buying your pet from a breeder.

How much more is it to buy a pet from a breeder than adopting?

According to the data, on average, you can expect to spend 39% more if you choose to buy from a breeder rather than adopt.

What is the average cost of adopting a pet?

The average cost of adopting a pet is just £61 whereas the average cost of buying a pet through a breeder is £609. Clearly, getting a pet through adoption is the most financially reasonable option.

What pet has the biggest difference in cost between buying from a breeder and adopting?

Dogs have the most significant difference in cost among all of the pets, costing you £1,296 more to buy from a breeder on average.

Pet Adoption cost Cost of purchasing a pet through a breeder Difference in cost

















Guinea pig





With the cost of living crisis still having an impact on Brits’ daily life, those wanting a pet and needing a cheaper alternative should consider adopting. It’s crucial to be aware that maintaining a pet is a big responsibility that should last a lifetime.

Whether you still choose to buy from a breeder or adopt, it’s important to consider all of the financial obligations that come with owning a pet. With the interest of the animal at heart, you should only get a pet if you can afford it and if you can pay for its ongoing care. Before adopting, make sure to do your research to see if you can be a financially responsible owner.

Methodology and sources

Statista was used for adoption statistics.

PETA was used to identify an advantage of adopting a pet.

The RSPCA website was used to identify the adoption fees cost of the five pets, which is included in the overall adoption and yearly upkeep costs.

The Natural Cornish Pet website was used to identify the UK’s most popular dog breeds. The median cost of each dog breed was found, to then find the average cost across all dog breeds. These were as follows:

Dog breed Median cost



French bulldog

£1,000 - £3,000

Cocker spaniel

£600 - £1,500

(English) Bulldog


Miniature smooth-haired dachshund

£500 - £1,500

English springer spaniel

£500 - £1,500

Golden retriever

£1,200 - £2,500

German shepherd

£600 - £2,000

Staffordshire bull terrier



£800 - £1,600

Average overall cost


The Money Helper website was used to identify the cost of a rabbit through a breeder.

The website was used to identify the cost of a cat through a breeder.

The Exotic Direct website was used to identify the average cost of a bird through a breeder.

The website was used to identify the cost of a guinea pig through a breeder.

For more pet related information check out our blog on money saving tips for pet owners.

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