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I am the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. I live there with my puppy Bandit. I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  Please feel free to check out our dog walking and pet sitting services.

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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