How Much Does Owning A Pet Cost?

Pets are known to lower stress and teach families lessons in responsibility, but pet ownership demands fiscal responsibility too. The costs of bringing an animal into your home goes far beyond any initial adoption fee, the first year of pet ownership can range from $1,000 to $1,800. The cost also depends on what type of animal you adopt and how large they will become. In that price range includes one-time expenses such as spaying/neutering, training, kennels, collars/leashes, and initial medical fees such as puppy/kitten vaccines. After the first year the average annual cost of owning a pet is around $2,500, and in the pet's lifetime that adds up to $25,000 for one pet. If you travel, track on pet sitting or kennel services, and if you rent an apartment, expect to pay a sometimes non refundable pet deposit or cleaning fee, if your landlord allows pets at all. Also take into effect of any damages your pet may cause in your home for example, going to the bathroom indoors and needing to replace the carpeting or wood floors. There will also be emergencies along the way. If your pet gets sick and you do not have pet insurance, vet bills can quickly escalate into the thousands of dollars. You go to the doctor when you aren't feeling well, so why not your pet? If you don’t have pet insurance then potential pet costs are another reason to have an emergency fund of at least several thousand dollars. Below is a chart to give owners an idea of what a pet would cost. (This is just an example and is not what we charge). 

Prices may vary depending on size of pet and depending on the clinic (These are not our prices)

One-time pet expenses: 

Spaying or Neutering: Dog: $900 / Cat: $400

Puppy/Kitten Vaccines Total: Dog: $500 / Cat: $400

Collar or Leash: Dog: $60 / Cat: $15

Litter Box: Cat: $40

Scratching Post: Cat: $110

Crate: Dog: $200 depending on size

Carrying Crate: Dog: $80 / Cat: $50

Training: Dog: $500

Total One-time Costs: Dog: $2,240 / Cat: $1,015

Annual pet expenses:

Food: Dog: $900/ Cat: $480

Annual Medical Exams: Dog: $300 / Cat: $200

Litter: Cat: $220

Toys and Treats: Dog: $100 / Cat: $75

License: Dog: $200

Pet Health Insurance: Dog: $300 / Cat: $250

Miscellaneous: Dog: $300 / Cat: $300

Total Annual Costs: Dog: $2,100 / Cat: $1,525

What You Can Do To Lower Costs

To help cut pet care costs we recommend getting regular checkups. It's less expensive to prevent an illness, or catch it early, than to treat it later. Brushing their teeth also helps. Dental disease can lead to complications with your pets heart and kidneys. If you do plan on brushing your pets teeth, make sure to get pet approved toothpaste. 

We also suggest putting away an emergency fund for unexpected pet health costs. Owners will most likely incur at least one $2,000 - $4,000 bill for emergency care at some point during their pet's lifetime. It is also important to set aside some money for your pet's dental care. Depending on where you live a dental can cost anywhere from $300 - $1,500+. Here at Pet's Choice we charge more on the lower end of that estimate. Like a lot of things, the cost of pet ownership is unpredictable. As much as we can estimate cost for a year, it's better to have a safety net in case of a major illness or other emergency. You never want to be in a situation where you have to choose between saving your pet's life and putting yourself into serious debt or worse. 

Getting pet insurance is also a huge help in paying for your pet's expenses if you don't like the savings account idea. Most pet insurance companies reimburses pet owners on their veterinary bills when pets get injured or develop illnesses. Some companies even offer plans that cover routine care. It's important to know exactly what kind of plan you have, or which one would be the best match for your needs. MOST pet insurance companies to not cover pre-existing conditions, so it is best to get a pet insurance plan before a long term health problem occurs.