Pets are part of your family and everyday life, providing you with unconditional love, emotional support, and companionship. Research shows that owning a pet can reduce stress, mitigate loneliness, as well as improve your social skills. They can also be beneficial for a child’s cognitive, emotional development and self-improvement.
“The UK is a pet-loving nation, and people spend around 7.16 billion each year on their pets”Source: Pet Business World
According to Statista, 59% of households in the UK own some kind of pet, where 95% of the dog owners consider them family members.
The 10 Cheapest Pets To Own
If you are looking for an easy pet to keep, here we have listed the ten cheapest pets to own in the UK:
Many people think dogs are not among the cheapest pets. Although this is true up to some extent, the cost of buying and keeping a dog depends on various factors. These include the breed, size, dog insurance, type of food, bedding, toys, etc. It also depends on where you get the dog.
According to PDSA, the average minimum cost of keeping a dog is £4,600. However, it can increase to £30,800, depending on the dog’s breed. The minimum lifetime cost of a small dog is £4,600 and a maximum of about £25,000.
Similarly, the lifetime cost of a medium dog and large dog breeds is between £7,000 and £27,000 and £5,700 and £30,800, respectively.
2. Small Birds
Birds are cute, intelligent, and friendly pets. Not only are birds social and easy to train, but they are also beautiful to watch and interesting for children. The cost of buying a small bird depends on the location and species. However, the average cost of buying a bird in the UK is as low as £10 and as high as £100.
Some of the most popular small birds that people keep as pets in the UK are budgies, parakeets, cockatiels, finches, and canaries. Although the cost of petting a small bird varies from species to species, if you keep a budgie as a pet, it will cost you around £660 per year.
Likewise, According to Omlet, the price of finches and canaries can range between £10 to £200. The cost of zebra and Bengalese finches in the UK is between £5 and £30.
Hamsters are cute little pets for many people. Not only do hamsters require less attention, but they are also among the cheapest pets you can buy. Hamsters are cute, cuddly, and soothing to hold and make excellent pets for children.
According to Omlet, the purchasing price of a hamster is between £5 and £15, depending on the species or breeds. The average cost of keeping a hamster is £10 – £15 per month for food and bedding. You may also need to spend some money on the cage, wheel, toys, exercise ball, etc.
Rabbits are beautiful, cute, and adorable indoor pets that soothe your mind and tranquil your heart. However, keeping a rabbit is not easy because it requires a lot of attention, social interaction, exercise, and other enrichment activities.
Research shows that a rabbit’s purchase price depends on the species or breeds. However, the average price to buy a rabbit is between £15 and £55. The cost of keeping a rabbit depends on numerous factors, such as food, insurance, and vaccination. It is somewhere between £500 and £1,000 per year.
Goldfish are beautiful and adorable pets for children. It is an excellent choice for those who don’t want to own dogs, pets, and other animals. Goldfish can live up to years if you take care of it and focus on adequate maintenance strategies.
Different goldfish species include red, white, bronze, canary yellow, etc., and each one has a different price. The average purchasing price of goldfish is between £2 and £57, depending on the species you want to buy. The average cost of keeping goldfish as pets can go up to £375 per year. This is because of the hidden cost of running the goldfish tank or aquarium.
6. Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are adorable pets that live for several years. These pets are vocal and fun to play with, allowing you to stay entertained and form a long-lasting companionship. According to Exotic Direct, the average price of a guinea pig is £20.
If you want to adopt a guinea pig, expect to pay a £20 adoption fee. Keeping a guinea pig as a pet will cost you between £330 and £440. You need to groom your guinea pig regularly, meaning if you don’t have enough time to pet it, you should consider a different pet.
7. Hermit Crabs
Hermit crabs are unusual pets, but they don’t require a lot of maintenance. A hermit crab can even live up to 15 years if you take care of it. The price of a hermit crab ranges between £2 and £18, depending on the size and species. Hermit crabs love company, so it is better to buy more than one at a time.
The initial cost of keeping a hermit crab is around £50, and the food cost per year is between £90 and £100. You will need to buy a larger habitat as your hermit grows over time.
8. Leopard Gecko
There are various reasons to keep leopard gecko as a pet. These include their docile, peaceful, unaggressive behaviour, and the fact that they are low maintenance. However, these species don’t get along with dogs and cats and are prone to allergies from them.
Exotic Direct says that buying a leopard gecko can cost between £35 and £200. The price depends on the species and the location where you buy the gecko. The average cost of setting up a habitat for your leopard gecko is £221. The yearly cost of keeping a leopard gecko is between £225 and £655.
Ants are another cheapest pets to own because they don’t require a lot of maintenance. You can keep ants in a glass test tube that does not cost a lot of money. Although ants do not look attractive, some people in the UK love to keep them as pets.
The purchase price of ants depends on the breed and species. Stores often sell ants in bulk or colonies. According to Ants UK, the average price to buy ants is between £26 and £40.
Although there is no research evidence of yearly costs of keeping ants, some people say they cost somewhere between £250 and £400 per year.
Turtles are another cheapest animals you can keep as pets. Although some people think that they are low-maintenance pets, the reality is that turtles require special attention and a lot of room to grow.
The average cost of a turtle is between £40 and £200. However, some species may cost more than that, costing over £1,000. The average cost of keeping a turtle is between £140 and £360.
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide what pet is easiest to keep! We didn’t include cats in this article because the cost of keeping a cat can vary so much! This is because if they go outside, the risk of them getting into an accident is high, therefore can attract ongoing vet bills!
James Banerjee is a Senior Account Manager who graduated from the University of Kent in 2014. He works in SEO on clients such as HSBC UK and Nestle and he has a keen interest in personal finances and money-saving advice.