A guide to dog and cat vaccinations costs in the UK

5 December 2023 - 7 min read
Cat and dog on a table

Both initial vaccinations and boosters are vital to give your new puppy or kitten the best chance of a long and healthy life. They’re an expense that every new pet parent should budget for.

But there’s no standard cost for vaccinating a cat or a dog. The cost will vary from vet to vet, and where you live could make a considerable difference to how much you’ll have to pay.

To find out how much these costs can vary, we surveyed prices at 72 veterinary clinics in England, Scotland, and Wales. We looked at prices for kitten and puppy vaccination packages, as well as annual boosters for adult cats and dogs.

Puppy vaccinations

Puppies are vaccinated once when they’re aged between eight and 10 weeks old and again two to four weeks later.

According to the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), the core vaccines a puppy should get are canine distemper (CDV), parvovirus (CPV), infectious canine hepatitis (CAV), and leptospirosis.

Kennel cough, which is an upper respiratory infection in dogs similar to a human cold, is not a core vaccine. It's recommended for dogs that spend a lot of time with other dogs, for example in kennels.

Kennel cough isn’t routinely offered alongside puppy vaccines, but if you want to add it you usually can – just ask your vet.

The cost of puppy vaccinations in the UK

In Britain, we found that the average cost of the primary puppy vaccination package (including both sets of injections) is £95.22. 

Unsurprisingly, the cost of living has sent the price soaring – it’s 40% higher than when we last researched the cost two years ago. 

Vets don’t usually offer the kennel cough vaccine as part of this package, but you can opt to add it. While most clinics charged extra for the kennel cough vaccine, some clinics offered a discounted rate when it’s done at the same time as another vaccine.

Where vets offered it at a discount alongside the puppy course the average total course was £135.30. As the average cost of the kennel cough vaccine as a stand-alone is £49.46, that’s a saving of around £10.

The cost of primary puppy vaccinations 2023

Dog vaccination costs

Your dog needs annual boosters of vaccinations against common diseases to keep them healthy as they grow up. The booster vaccine against leptospirosis should be given annually.

Other vaccinations might only be given every one-three years, depending on the level of risk, which your vet will advise on.

The cost of annual dog booster vaccinations in Britain

In Britain, we found that the average cost for an annual booster for dogs is £64.60 (an increase of 38% from two years ago). That price doesn’t include the kennel cough vaccination. With kennel cough included, the average cost of a booster is £97, which saves about £15 on getting the booster and kennel cough vaccine separately.

The cost of annual dog booster vaccinations in Britain 2023

The most and least expensive areas in the UK for annual dog booster vaccinations

According to our survey of 72 vets, the most expensive part of Great Britain to get an annual booster vaccination for your dog is London, where the average cost is £71. The cheapest area is Wales, at  £59.75.

The most and least expensive counties annual dog booster vaccinations 2023

Annual dog booster vs restart costs

If your dog has missed their annual vaccinations, you can expect to pay for a course of primary vaccines to catch them back up again. The price will depend on the clinic and you should always check with your local vet on the right thing to do for your particular circumstances.

Titre testing is a blood test that your vet can do to show which illnesses your dog already has immunity against, but it doesn't replace vaccinations and pets will still need to have had their initial course.

"Some individuals choose to titre test following these primary core vaccines," says veterinary surgeon Dr Sophie Bell. "This involves a blood test to look for the antibody levels. If they are moderate to high, vaccination may not take place that year but if they are low a booster will be required.

"It is important to note that some establishments such as boarding kennels, will not be able to board your dogs based on a titre test alone. They often require full vaccination history."

There will be a cost to performing the titre test as well and it might not be lower than the cost of an annual booster.

Kitten vaccinations

Kittens have a similar vaccine schedule to puppies. The recommended primary course of vaccination in the UK is two sets of injections: one when the kitten is nine weeks old and the next at 12 weeks old.

The core vaccines that kittens receive work to protect against severe diseases like feline parvovirus (FPV), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline herpesvirus (FHV).

FeLV (feline leukaemia) is not a core vaccine and its necessity depends on the cat’s lifestyle and local environment. It’s recommended that cats that go outdoors have this vaccination and it’s usually offered as standard.

Where vets have not stated if FeLV is included, we have made an assumption that it is.

The cost of vaccinating your kitten around the UK

In Great Britain, the average cost of the primary vaccination course for a kitten (including both sets of vaccinations and the FeLV vaccine) is £97.69.

As with puppy vaccinations, the cost of living crisis means this figure has shot up 34% in the last two years.

London is the most expensive area to get a kitten vaccination course, with an average cost of £113.30.

The cost of vaccinating your kitten in Britain 2023

The cost of vaccinating your kitten in Britain with and without feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) included

Though FeLV (feline leukaemia) is not a traditional core vaccine, most vets do include it as part of their primary vaccination package.

While the average price of obtaining a FeLV-inclusive vaccine is higher than without, it’s worth paying the difference if your kitten needs it.

It’s only a little cheaper to skip it, with the kitten course costing £90.90 on average, and many vets charge the same price whether you opt to have it or not.

The most and least expensive counties annual cat booster vaccinations 2023

Vaccinating your cat

Cats need a vaccination booster every year to top up their immunity for serious diseases.

The cost of cat vaccinations around the UK

The average overall cost in Great Britain for a cat booster including FeLV was £65.70.

Surprisingly, London isn’t the most expensive area for cat boosters (including FeLV) – it’s actually Scotland, with an average cost of £70.38.

The cheapest area for cat booster jabs was the South East, with an average cost of £61.39.

Annual cat booster vs restart costs

If your cat has missed their vaccinations, you’ll usually need to pay the cost of the primary course to restart.

As we’ve seen, the cost varies from clinic to clinic, but always check with your local vet if you’re not sure what’s best.

Four reasons why you should get your cat or dog vaccinated

These are the top reasons to get your pet vaccinated and keep up with their boosters.

1. For their own health

The main reason you should vaccinate your pets is that it gives them a lot of protection against common and often fatal diseases. Vaccinations work by stimulating the immune system of your pet and making them better equipped to deal with diseases they may come into contact with.

Even if your pet does survive an initial brush with a nasty illness, lots of diseases can cause serious long-term health problems in cats and dogs and drastically shorten their life expectancy.

2. To protect other animals and people

When lots of animals in a community are vaccinated, it becomes much less likely that a contagious disease will spread and cause harm to even unvaccinated animals. This is called herd immunity.

Some diseases can be passed from animals to humans, too – these are called zoonotic diseases. One example is leptospirosis, which dog vaccinations commonly protect against. Though it’s rare, this unpleasant infection can be passed onto humans in the form of Weil's disease.

3. It’s cheaper in the long run

It goes without saying that the more times you take your pet to the vet, the more money you’ll have to spend. Though a cat or dog may recover from an initial bout of illness, some diseases can severely damage your pet’s overall health, so you'll need to take them to the vet more frequently in the long run.

For example, FeLV (feline leukaemia) can seriously impact your cat’s immune system and make them much more likely to pick up other diseases and develop health issues like anaemia and cat cancer. A case of parvovirus can cause dogs to have problems with their organs and immune system down the road, too.

4. It’s required

There are some situations where a cat or a dog needs to be vaccinated. Lots of boarding kennels and catteries in the UK request proof of vaccination before a pet can stay. Kennel cough (true to its name) is one example of a disease that can spread quickly among unvaccinated dogs in close quarters.

When it comes to taking your cat or dog abroad, you’ll need to check the restrictions and requirements around vaccinations of the country you’re visiting first. If you’re visiting an EU country or Northern Ireland, you’ll also legally need to get a rabies vaccination for your pet.

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Derri Dunn
Content marketer

Derri is a personal finance and insurance writer and editor. After seven years covering all things motoring and banking at GoCompare, Derri joined ManyPets in 2021 to focus on pet health. She has fostered cats and kittens for Blue Cross and Cats Protection and is owned by tabby cat Diggory and two badly behaved dogs.