By: Laurie Brzostowski
As the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care, I take care of all kinds of animals like fish, bunnies, cats, dogs, etc. I also know what the pet parents go through when they get a new pet. There is the expense of food and supplies, treats, medical bills, etc. I have had dogs my whole life so I completely understand the cost of raising and taking care of a pet.
Are you looking at getting a puppy, a kitten, a bird or even some fish? I think that is awesome, but there are some things you need to think about before getting your pet.
Remember... most dogs live to be about 7-15 years of age. A cat and large birds can live even longer. This means pet supplies, medical bills, food, etc.
Getting a pet is a lifetime commitment so let's break it down for you !
- Dog lovers spent an average of $254 on dog food and $70 on treats within 12 months.
- Routine vet visits cost dog owners $248 on average. Flea and Tick preventive medicines ran owners another $161.
- Grooming ran $73 on average per visit (I take my dog to the groomer twice per year).
- Impulse buys (the kind where you buy an extra treat for your doggie at the pet supply store) added another $43 each year.
- Some jurisdictions may also require licensing fees. De-worming and microchip identification will also drive up early costs. This can range from $470 to $565 for dogs.
- Average yearly cost for a dog: $580 to $875.
- While cat food costs less than dog food, it's still $220 on average and about $41 for treats.
- Cat supplies like scratching posts, litter boxes and litter can range widely in costs. Some litter will be more expensive the more environmentally friendly it is.
- Vet visits are also cheaper than dogs. In fact, some cats that live completely indoors do not get completely vaccinated, however, owners do pay an average of $219 for route vet visits. Preventative medications including supplements and flea prevention runs an average of $110.
- Grooming your cat is definitely cheaper than a dog and costs around $34 per visit.
- Don't forget the cat toys like laser pens and catnip. Toys for cats are definitely cheaper than for dogs but still run an average of $21 over 12 months.
- Average yearly cost for a cat: $670
- Caring for a small bird could cost around $200 per year.
- Vet costs are definitely cheaper than dogs and cats. Roughly aroiund $117 per year.
- Grooming, cages, and toys add up to around $100 per year.
- Larger birds can be more expensive so keep that in mind when choosing birds. Also, larger birds live longer and have much for complex needs for socialization and care.
- Average year cost for a small bird? Up to $200.
- Freshwater fish owners spent the least amount of money to care of their companions. Food cost about $26 on average per year.
- Fish owners paid an average of $63 within the last 12 months and around $25 for bowls and/or tanks.
- Water test kits usually run an averaqe of $15 and add in an additional $32 for other supplies.
- Aquariums can be expensive running up to $200 initially and of course adding in those decorative items in the tank can be expensive.
- If you plan on doing a saltwater tank, then you are moving into a more expensive arena.
- Average year cost for freshwater fish: $35
So there is your breakdown on how much "on average" a pet really can cost you in a year. Of course, there can be medical emergencies and other issues that come up which can drive costs up throughout the year.
Make sure when you decide you do want to get a pet, put some money aside for any emergencies that may come up in the care of your new pet. Checking into vet/pet insurance may also be a wave for you to save on vet costs.
But, if you are like me, those "costs" are just part of owning a pet. That pet will bring you years and years of happiness and contentment. Personally, I have no idea what life would be like without my doggies !