Research by Sainsburys Pet Insurance has shown that the cost of owning a pedigree pet can be up to 34% more expensive than a cross-breed.
The supermarket bank found that a pedigree dog owner will typically spend around £537 a year compared with £430 for cross-breeds, and pedigree cat owners £427 compared with £319 for cross-breeds.
Sainsbury's Bank says that one of the main reasons for this difference in expenditure is the amount spent on vet fees. Pedigree animals may incur higher vets bills because certain breeds are prone to various hereditary conditions. In fact, more than 350 inherited diseases have been identified in pedigree dogs alone.
Head of Sainsburys Pet Insurance, Steve Johnson, said: "Certain breeds, after generations of selective breeding, can be prone to various hereditary conditions which can require long term treatment. It's therefore best to insure a pedigree puppy or kitten as soon as you take it into your care and select a policy which provides adequate levels of long term cover. Once a condition becomes apparent it may be impossible to get it covered under a new policy."
"Despite the fact that we spend a small fortune on our animal companions, only around 12% of the nation?s dogs and 18% of the nation's cats are insured. With vet fees easily running into hundreds or thousands of pounds it can be false economy to do without insurance. A good quality policy does not need to be expensive, ours starts at only £4.15 for cats and £7 a month for dogs."
The research from Sainsbury's Bank's also found that for dogs overall, the biggest area of expenditure is food, which accounts for around 42%. This is followed by vet fees at 19% and treats/presents at 15%. For cats, the biggest cost is food, which accounts 51%, followed by vet fees 21% and treats/presents 11%.
Sainsbury's Bank believe that these costs mean that protecting your pedigree dog or cat with adequate pet insurance is now even more important. Sainsburys pet insurance has been identified by Defaqto as offering one of the best covers for both dogs and cats.