It’s something about the Christmas spirit that makes people want to open their home up to a dog, or any other animal in need.

Unfortunately the famous saying ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, is all too real for animal shelters after Christmas, who find themselves taking in many unwanted pets in January and February each year.

That’s why credit comparison site has teamed up with Wood Green, The Animals Charity to create a Cost of Christmas Pets Calculator. The calculator shows potential pet-owners how much the pet they are thinking of adopting will cost them, on average, over the animal’s lifetime. Simply choose what type of pet you want, answer a few quick questions, and the calculator can instantly tell you how much you will be spending on your new furry friend.

Thinking of adopting a dog this Christmas? The research conducted alongside the calculator found that on average a small dog will cost its owners £22,344 over the course of its lifetime. See their infographic for more.

Strangely, the most expensive pet to own in the UK was found to be a tortoise, costing £27,787 over its lifetime. While they may seem easier to look after, a tortoise has an average lifespan of 75 years – that’s a lot of lettuce to be eaten! and Wood Green say they hope the calculator can help people make informed financial decisions when getting a pet this Christmas.

Despite the costs, only 2% of UK pet owners regret getting their animal and have considered getting rid of it. In fact, 95% of dog owners consider their four-legged friend to be a family member.

Linda Cantle, Director of Animal Welfare at Wood Green said, “We appreciate that people sometimes have to make the difficult decision to give up their pet, but our doors are always open for anyone needing support, advice, or help rehoming a pet.”

This story is a guest submission and does not reflect the views of Dogs Monthly Magazine, always consult a qualified expert.

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