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Dogs costing Brits £1.7bn a year in household damages

Abigail Fenton
·3 min read
(Kevin Turcios/Unsplash)
Brits spend about £164 per dog every year to replace or repair damaged household items Photo: Kevin Turcios/Unsplash

With almost a fifth of Brits adding a dog to the family during lockdown, the nation’s dogs are costing owners over £1.7bn ($2.3bn) in household damage a year, research suggests.

Brits spend about £164 per dog every year to replace or repair damaged household items, according to research by MoneySuperMarket.

Weimaraners are the UK’s most destructive dog breed, causing an average of £265 worth of damage a year, compared to the national average of £164 per dog.

The mid-sized Labradoodle comes in second, costing owners about £240 in damages, while the small Cavachon comes in third at a cost of £233.

At the other end of the scale, Labradors are the most furniture-friendly, with the breed costing their owner’s just £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, with one in five pet owners saying their pet has ruined theirs.

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They are follow closely by sofas (17%), rugs (17%), chairs (14%), and wooden floors (12%).

Top items damaged by dogs in the UK

  1. Carpets (20%)

  2. Sofa (17%)

  3. Rugs (17%)

  4. Chairs (14%)

  5. Wooden Floors (12%)

  6. Tables (12%)

  7. Bed (11%)

  8. Curtains (10%)

Dog owners in London spend the most on repairing the damage caused by their dogs, at about £237, the research found.

This is compared to dogs in Wales who cost their owners an average of £108.

“While you can try and minimise the risks, it isn’t always possible to eliminate all damage,” said MoneySuperMarket's insurance expert Kate Devine.

“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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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 found Londoners pay the most on vet bills and treatments, spending an average of £323 over the last year.

This is compared to Northern Irish dog owners who paid just £130.

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

Devine added: “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 pets.”

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