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10 Most Expensive Pets in the World: Do Racing Horses Cost More Than Fast Pigeons?

What is the most expensive pet in the world? You may be surprised to know that the record is held by a Kentucky Derby bred horse named The Green Monkey that sold for a whopping $16 million back in 2006. A distant second is a bunch of fast pigeons that’ll easily set you back about six million dollars. To give you more info, here is the updated list of most expensive pets in the world as of 2018.

  1. Kentucky Derby Bred Horse – $16 million
  2. Really Fast Pigeons – $6 million
  3. Pacific Bluefin Tuna – $1.8 million
  4. Ponoka Morsan Farm Cows – $1.2 million
  5. Tibetan Mastiff – $582,000
  6. Rare Stag Beetle – $89,000
  7. Lavender Albino Ball Python – $40,000
  8. De Brazza’s Monkey – $10,000
  9. Savannah Cats – $4,000-$10,000
  10. Chinese Crested Dog – $5,000

Humans love animals and are willing to spend huge sums to take care of their pets. Some people go beyond a common dog or cat and own unusual pets if they are allowed by the local government. That explains why these rare animals command a premium price in the pet market.

Thebalance.com has published a report by market research company Euromonitor International which reveals that pet ownership and spending has been growing at a rapid pace around the world since the beginning of this millennium. For instance, in China, many people prefer to have a pet on which they can lavish their love and affection since families are allowed to have only one child. The Chinese elderly also love to have a pet in their home.

In India, the pet market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 10% to 15% in the near future. Pet services available in India include dog-friendly restaurants, pet magazines, yoga for dogs, pet behaviorists, and fancy pet spa services. Other fast-growing international pet markets are Russia, Japan, Brazil, and Vietnam. Petfoodindustry.com states a Euromonitor International statistical report which shows that global sales of pet services and products including pet food grew by 14% from 2012 to 2017 to top $109 billion last year. The US dominates the global market accounting for 44% of the total pet food and pet care sales in 2017.

Now, let’s get back to the main task at hand and learn more about the animals in the list of top 10 most expensive pets in the world in 2018:

10. Chinese Crested Dog – $5,000

Chinese Crested dogs are tiny in size but command gigantic sums in the pet market. These animals weigh about 10 pounds and are largely hairless except for a little hair around their face and paws. A famous member of this breed was a dog named Sam who was the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition from 2003-2005.

Chinese Crested dogs are smart, agile, alert, and have good hearing. They should not be treated as an ornament pet as they have lots of energy. By nature, these animals are loving, sensitive, social, playful, and loyal to their owners. Since they are fine boned and small they can suffer injury if they jump off improperly from a table. They make for difficult pets are they are very stubborn and hard to housebreak. Plus, if they are not trained to socialize well during the puppy stage they end up as fearful and snappish adults. Therefore, you should expect to devote a lot of energy and time to properly raise a Chinese Crested.

9. Savannah Cats – $4,000-$10,000

Savannah cats are a hybrid between the African serval and a domestic cat. They are known for their beautiful color and bright spots. Compared to other cat breeds, the Savannah is more loyal and social. In fact, their smarts, loyalty, and ability to do tricks remind one of a dog, but in stunning feline shape.

The Savannah has a black, silver, or golden smoke coat and large pointed ears. It is a confident and active cat who loves socializing with people. Curious and intelligent, he is forever looking for interesting things to do. But he can become destructive if you don’t entertain him with frequent playtimes and sturdy and tough toys. For a pet owner, the best part is the Savannah’s coat is easy to comb and brush. You should also regularly brush their teeth, clean the ears, and trim the nails to keep them in top shape.

8. De Brazza’s Monkey – $10,000

Monkeys are not a traditional pet, and even if you opt for one you should be ready to spend big bucks on his grooming. For instance, the world’s most expensive monkey, which is the De Brazza’s, costs a whopping $10,000. This species is native to Central Africa but you would not be able to buy one for your home as most states have a ban on raising them as pets.

De Brazza’s Monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus) is named after the French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza. These swamp monkeys are found in the central African wetlands in the nations of Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Gabon, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Angola.  An interesting fact about this monkey is that both males and females carry food in their cheek pouches when they go foraging.

7. Lavender Albino Ball Python – $40,000

The Lavender Albino Ball python stands out for its attractive and unique features. It is renowned for its yellow spots on a lavender backdrop. In addition, its stunning color palate is enhanced by its piercing red eyes. This python is native to Africa and at one point held the record for the most expensive pet in the world. The snake is rare and a sought after collector’s item because its color mutation is a recessive genetic trait.

The Lavender Albino Ball python is an easy snake to raise. The demand for rare breeds has resulted in the growing development of morphs including different albino types. This python dines almost exclusively on rodents. He only needs to eat once in a week or two. Take care to provide a big dish of clean water to this pet. Make sure it is large enough so that he can take a dip in it to refresh himself. Handle the python gently so that he comes to consider you as a friend and enjoys the hands-on interactions.

6. Rare Stag Beetle – $89,000

The stag beetle is a surprise addition to this list of most expensive pets in the world. It finds a place because a rare insect of this type was sold for $89k by a Japanese breeder.

There are more than 1,200 species of stag beetles in the world. However, their survival has become endangered because of loss of habitat. This is because these insects prefer to live in damp areas with plenty of rotting wood and leaves. But humans clear such areas for logging, farming, or building houses. The male stag beetle can be easily recognized by its big jaw. The females are harder to spot. An attractive species of this insect is the rainbow stag beetle which is very colorful. The stag beetle helps humans by clearing gardens and forests of rotting wood, fruits, and leaves.

5. Tibetan Mastiff – $582,000

Tibetan Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds and is known for its ferocity. Originally, they were trained to work as guard dogs for monasteries and livestock. This breed is rare and can fetch a good amount. In fact, a Tibetan Mastiff was sold for an astronomical $582k in 2011.

The Tibetan Mastiff is a heavy and powerful, but athletic animal. It is built to combine agility and strength. The dog has an impressive appearance with a kind expression at most times. It has a light undercoat in hot weather and a heavy undercoat during the chilly season. Befitting their history as a protector, the Tibetan Mastiff is territorial, strong willed, and independent. In addition, they can be trained to get along well with children and other animals.

4. Ponoka Morsan Farm Cows – $1.2 million

A farm in Canada named Morsan breeds some of the most expensive cows in the world. These cows live well and are housed in a climate-controlled building. They are fed on a mixture of Fermenten, minerals, barley silage, alfalfa silage, alfalfa hay, soybean meal, cottonseed, beet pulp, corn distillers, sodium bicarbonate, Megalac, corn gluten meal, ground corn, and barley grain. No wonder, a Morsan cow named Missy fetched a whopping $1.2 million in 2009.

Missy was only the second Canadian cow to sell for over $1 million. She was bought in partnership by Gert Andreasen of Denmark and Mark Butz of the US. They planned to rebreed the cow to make it ready to enter the show circuit. Missy’s daughter went for $70k in 2008. Her sons are used for breeding. Missy has won several awards at cattle fairs in the US. Now you know why she commanded such a premium price.

3. Pacific Bluefin Tuna: $1.8 million

Tuna numbers are declining all over the world and for this reason fish lovers are willing to pay high prices for a good Bluefin. In 2013, the Pacific Bluefin tuna became the most expensive fish in the world when it was sold for $1.8 million in a Japanese market. The tuna was priced at $8k per kilo. The Pacific Bluefin is a big breed that can weigh up to 550 kilograms. They cross the Pacific Ocean for feeding and breeding.

Bluefin tuna is a powerful swimmer, built for speed and endurance. To save energy on long journeys, their bodies are super-streamlined to minimize drag around their fins. In addition, tuna can fold or retract those fins so that water flows smoothly over them. Tuna are warm-blooded fish and can heat their bodies up to six degrees Celsius warmer than the water around them. This warmth helps their muscles function more efficiently. Conservationists advise people to avoid consuming Bluefin tuna as they are overfished around the world.

2. Really Fast Pigeons – $6 million

A Belgian breeder named Leo Heremans sold his stock of 530 pigeons for $6 million in 2013 to buyers from different countries. Among them was a fast racing pigeon named Bolt after the champion Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. The pigeon Bolt fetched an amazing $400k. Heremans was forced to sell his stock after he developed a virus from spending time with the birds.

China has become a huge market for racing pigeons where these fast birds fetch record prices. The pigeon Bolt was purchased by a Chinese fan named Gao Fuxin. In fact, at the 2013 auction, nine of the 10 most expensive birds were bought by fanciers from the Chinese Mainland or Taiwan. Pigeon racing is a popular sport in China and the nations boosts some 300k fans of this intriguing tradition. Gao planned to use Bolt to breed more racing pigeons as their prices were booming in China.

1. Kentucky Derby Bred Horse – $16 million

The title of most expensive pet goes to a race horse named The Green Monkey which was sold for $16 million in 2006. This colt was the descendant of two Kentucky Derby winners and recorded the fastest time among 154 horses at auctions that year. This accounts for its astronomical price. However ironically, The Green Monkey never raced in the Kentucky Derby and was retired two years later in 2008.

This thoroughbred was not able to fulfill its potential because it fell during training and suffered a spine injury. Its owner had used it for just three races with a best third-place finish. After being retired, The Green Monkey was used as a stud to breed champion racing horses. Thus, its buyer was able to get back some of the $16 million investment.

Category: Featured Articles, Financial News

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