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I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

How Much Does Owning A Pet Really Cost In A Year?

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 !

DOGS:
  • 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.

CATS:
  • 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

BIRDS:
  • 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.

FISH:
  • 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 !  

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