The Costs of Pet Ownership

When you are getting ready to adopt a pet, one of the responsible steps to take is to figure out what you can afford – and to prepare for the unexpected. Being a good caring pet owner involves many things that don’t affect your wallet, like your time and love, but there are definitely some costs involved. Before you adopt, consider the likely costs that come with caring for different types of pets.

When you are getting ready to adopt a pet, one of the responsible steps to take is to figure out what you can afford – and to prepare for the unexpected. Being a good caring pet owner involves many things that don’t affect your wallet, like your time and love, but there are definitely some costs involved. Before you adopt, consider the likely costs that come with caring for different types of pets. If you’ve never owned a particular type of pet before, knowing how much your new pet will cost can be complicated. So we put together this article to help you figure out the average cost of owning of different types of cats or dogs to help you out!

Basic Supplies – If you need to buy everything brand new, your “start up” cost will vary depending on the size of your pet… and if you choose to basic items, or are investing in fancy designer duds! For a small dog or cats, figure on $100, for a medium, $200, and for a giant breed dog, $300 and up! Basic pet supplies include:

  • Collar
  • Pet ID Tag
  • Microchip
  • Leash (for dogs)
  • Pet Bed
  • Bowls
  • Toys
  • Food

Average Yearly Cost – This not only depends on the size of your pet (a Chihuahua eats less than a Great Dane), but on the age, health and how well-trained your pet already is before you adopt them. It also depends on where you live, as vet care in cities tends to be more expensive than in rural areas. Puppies and kittens are more expensive because they typically need a series of vet visits for vaccinations, more toys larger collars as they grow, training, and tend to be the ones that chew up your couch cushions! The term “senior” for dogs depends a lot on the size of the breed, as larger breeds (and purebreds) typically develop health problems much sooner than smaller and  mixed breed pets. The dollar ranges below also include food and average annual vet care costs:

  • $300 – Adult indoor-only cat (1 to 10 years old)
  • $400 – Kitten (under 1 year old)
  • $500 – Senior indoor-only cat (10+ years)
  • $600 – Any age cat that goes outdoors
  • $350 – Small adult dog
  • $450 – Medium adult dog
  • $600 – Large adult dog
  • $800 – Small to medium puppy (under 1 year old)
  • $900 – Medium to large puppy (under 1 year old)
  • $1200 and up – Senior dogs, some purebred breeds, special needs pets, dogs who’s coats require monthly professional grooming

Additional and Unexpected Costs – these can change your average yearly costs drastically! It is a very personal decision figuring out how much you would spend on your pet in an emergency – theirs or yours! We explore some options in our prior blog article about preparing for vet costs, but there are other unexpected costs to consider too:

  • emergency vet care
  • long-term illness
  • extensive behavior training
  • boarding or petsitting if you travel
  • destruction of valuable items (shoes, furniture, landscaping)

Remember, being a responsible pet owner means not only budgeting for your monthly costs, but planning for the unexpected. We hope this article helps you to plan for a happy, healthy long life of your newly adopted pet!

This post is brought to you by  Adopt-a-Pet.com Visit their website to search over 9,200 shelters, and thousands of adoptable animals all over North America. Or learn more about pet adoption at their blog.

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9 thoughts on “The Costs of Pet Ownership

  1. I have adopted two dogs from the local Humane Society. One was 10 years old and was going to be put down. The other was a true rescue, 9 months old with only 3 legs. The older dog cost almost 1,000 dollars in needed care and teeth cleaning and repair. It was a burden on my budget, but I willingly paid it. He also had some medical conditions which need daily meds. The puppy is healthy and has not been as expensive, but if need be I will eat hot dogs and beans to help offset the expense. I may not be a perfect pet parent but I do try hard to take care of them.

  2. I am so glad you wrote about this!! In Doberman rescue we have been inundated with pets that families can no longer afford to take care of. Before you take that giant step to pet ownership you must take into account the expenses associated with that responsibility. Also you must understand you are committing yourself to the life of the animal. All to often we find ourselves pulling distinguished seniors from the shelters. The only reason they are there is because they are old and the family wants to get a younger animal to replace. Animals are not “DISPOSABLE” they have feelings and the dumpt seniors are often bewildered as to why the family they new their entire life is no longer around. It is tragic to find your final and most precious last days alone, scared in a strange place surrounded by strange people.

    Yo Dawg you forgot to mention a crate. I LOVE my crate that is my special place I can go when I need time to myself away from the two-legger and the foster puppies. Also, one can check out FreeCycle for many expensive items like crates, beds and dog houses. Plus it keeps all those things out of the landfill. There are also several Food Banks out there for families that are having a difficult time feeding their pets. When times get tough there are resources available to you and your family so you don’t have to abandon that family pet.

    Really to be a good pet owner it doesn’t take much and the benefits you gain form that loving companion far out ways the cost…at least it does to me and my two-legger.

  3. This ought to be something they hand out to people as they become new pet owners! Too many people just don’t realize what they’re getting into, and the pets are the ones who always pay that price.

  4. I got a kitty for free but he had so many health problems that he ended up costing me a fortune from the very first day I brought him home until the day he died. But he was worth every single penny and more too!

  5. What an excellent post! Most folks don’t realize what a pet will cost them on a yearly basis. I think those figures above a pretty lowball. On jersey’s Honest Kitchen veggie mix alone, I spend about $400 a year. That’s not including the meat for her dinners, treats, toys AND vet visits. Pets are expensive but 1005 worth it!!

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