Pets are great! They are such a joy to have, but people definitely need to think long and hard before they decide to get one. So, how much is that doggie (or kitty, rabbit, rat, or guinea pig…) in the shelter
window? In addition to the initial cost of adoption, there’s a whole array of expenses that the average pet owner will incur within a year.
Before you take the plunge and fall for a furry friend, make an estimate of what the pet will potentially cost you. When you’ve got a budget to contend with, though, it can be difficult finding the financial space necessary to properly care for a little critter of your own.
#1 – Dogs ($700-$2,000 per year)
One-time pet expenses:
- Spaying or Neutering: Dog: $200 / Cat: $145 Initial * Shelters and Rescue Group Pets have all been fixed and up to date on their shots.
- Medical Exam: Dog: $70 / Cat: $130 * Usually Shelters offer a Free 1st office visit
- Collar or Leash: Dog: $30 / Cat: $10
- Cat Litter Box: $25
- Cat Scratching Post: $15
- Crate: Dog: $95
- Carrying Crate: Dog: $60 / Cat: $40
- Training: Dog: $110 Optional
#2 – Rabbits ($600-$1,100)
#3 – Cats ($500-$1,000)
Like dogs, the breed of the cat will make a difference in the annual costs, especially when it comes to potential grooming or medical needs. Another consideration: whether or not the cat is allowed outside.
#4 – Guinea pigs ($500-$800)
Guinea pigs can be much more expensive than you might have guessed. Although they’re small, their food isn’t especially cheap, and much like rabbits, their bedding can cost between $30 and $40 per month. And also like rabbits, guinea pigs require fresh vegetables as part of a balanced diet. That fresh produce really adds up.
#5 – Turtles ($350-$1,200)
#6 – Small reptiles ($300-$1,300)
#7 – Ferrets ($300-$700)
Ferrets don’t require much beyond proper diet and exercise, making them a viable choice for people who don’t quite have the space or budget for larger, more expensive pets. They’re banned in certain locations though (California and Hawaii, among others), so be aware of your local laws.
#8 – Hamsters/Rats/Other small mammals ($300-$500)
#9 – Birds ($200-$400)
Many small birds kept as pets can live for decades. Luckily, small birds like parakeets are also very inexpensive to care for. You have the cost of food and the occasional medical check-up. And that’s about it. However, larger birds like parrots lifespan ranges from 5 to 100 years, depending on the specific species and environment. Amazon parrots have an average lifespan of 50 to 70 years. Cockatiels, canaries and parakeets tend to have shorter lifespans that range between 15 and 20 years.
#10 – Fish ($50-$200)
We tend to think of dogs and cats as the most popular pets in America, but fish actually outnumber each two-to-one. The set-up for fish ownership can be pricey, depending on the number of fish and the size of the tank.
If you’re considering a pet, but aren’t sure if you can afford one, take the time to put together a thorough budget.
Pets can be adopted from the Humane Society, SPCA, Shelters, adopted from a Rescue Group or rescued off the street, their contribution to the household they are in, is invaluable.
The Annual Cost Of Pet Ownership: Can You Afford A Furry Friend?