Over 1.4 million people are thinking of buying a loved one a dog or cat this Christmas, but Sainsbury's Bank has said prospective pet owners should think ahead about cost and taking out insurance.
Sainsbury's says that a cat typically lives for 14 to 15 years and could cost owners over £9,500 in food and vet bills during its lifetime.
Dogs could cost between £500 and £1,000 a year to keep - a lot of money considering they can live for 13 to 15 years, says Sainsbury's.
David Pickett, pet insurance manager at Sainsbury's Bank, said: "It is not just the obvious costs that would-be pet owners need to consider, feeding and housing the pet are only part of the financial commitment.
"They also need to bear in mind how much it would cost to treat their pet if it were to have an accident or become ill, and with vets' fees rising, the need for adequate insurance to cover the cost and ensure the welfare of their pet is paramount."
Sainsbury's has now produced a pet owners' charter to offer guidance on insurance policies.
A Pet Care Trust spokesperson said "responsibility and cost" needed to be considered when people thought about getting a pet.To read more about Pet Insurance, click here.
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