How much does it cost to own a dog or cat?

Owning a pet is a big commitment. You don’t only commit emotionally but also financially as there are many costs associated with pet ownership. There are some initial costs for every type of pet - such as acquisition costs - no matter if you purchase from a breeder, adopt from an animal shelter, or buy from a pet store. However, it’s only just the beginning and later you will have to provide food for your pet, pay its medical bills, etc. Here is the list of the most common costs associated with owning a pet.

The general cost of owning a pet

When getting a pet, you need to be prepared to have two types of costs - acquisition costs and general costs over your pet’s lifetime such as food, toys, vets, etc. Depending on how much you want to spoil your pet or what type of pet you are going to own, these costs can go up to $300-$400 per year or over $1000 a year.

Cost of buying a dog

Depending on your pet type and breed and whether you are getting a pet from a breeder, in a store or in a shelter, the acquisition costs may vary greatly. Breeders and stores will make you pay their profits on the top of all pet costs, however, when adopting in shelters you will need to pay for medical care that the shelter provided, usually less than $500.

Pet medical costs

Even if you’re hoping that your pet is generally healthy and won’t need any complex and expensive surgeries, you anyway will have to pay for routine vet visits - usually from $50 to $400. There are also some required medications that you just can’t skip like vitamins (around $100 per year), preventative medications for fleas and heartworms ($40 per month). There could also be emergency treatment costs.

Pet grooming costs

Taking care of your pet's hair is also quite essential. The grooming costs vary depending on your pet’s breed and size. Grooming for long-haired breeds will cost more than for short-haired breeds. If you brush your pet’s hair daily you might be able to save up to $50 per month.

How much does pet food cost?

Different pets and different breeds eat differently. There are different types of pet foods for different types and sizes of animals. Depending on that, the food costs will vary. Some pet food manufacturers claim to have “all-natural ingredients” or “premium” quality, which also influences the food costs. Some pets require a specific diet with special food, which can influence how much you will be spending on its food. Just so you have a general idea of the costs, here are some examples: a 22-pound bag of Purina One Complete cat food will cost around $17.48, a 50-pound bag of Kibbles ‘N Bits dog food is around $22.98.

Equipment costs for pets

Some pets require you to make upgrades to your space, such as installing a fence in your backyard (over $1000), while others are easier to maintain. For indoor pets, you will only need water and food bowls and a few toys. The simplest ones are pretty cheap.

Pet training costs

Training is not required but can be needed, especially if you have a big dog. Cats are usually not trained but for dogs, it can be very beneficial. Training can reduce behavioral issues.