Do you know what the cost to have a dog is? What about the cost of other pets?
This is the article that breaks down the cost of pets to see if you’re ready to be a pet owner yet.
There is no doubt that a pet repays you in love, loyalty and companionship on which you can’t put a price tag. Unfortunately, there are tangible monetary costs to cover too and you need to make sure there is room in your budget for your new pet when you bring him home, when he needs looking after and when he gets sick. Just like there are hidden costs when moving out, there are costs behind pets that you might not be aware of.
If you’re worried about your budget but you want to welcome a pet into your home, you’ll need to do your research to find a pet you can afford, prepare your budget, and know where you can make savings on caring for the newest member of the family.
Your choice of pet will significantly affect how much it will cost you to buy and keep him, so to help in your choice of furry – or not so furry – friend, see how these pets compare, and whether they fit into your budget.
What’s the cost to have a dog?
- To bring home a new puppy will cost around $335. This includes a cost of $10 for specialised puppy food for a young dog, $150 for vaccinations, $25 for equipment such as collar, lead name tag and food dishes. You will also need to spend around $30 on new toys for your pup, $20 on treats and $20 on grooming supplies such as brushes and shampoos. You will also need to register your puppy for $30, plus a $50 purchase price for the dog.
- Ongoing maintenance costs are around $14 per week. This is around $730 per year and includes $120 on dog food, $250 on trips to the vet for more vaccinations, $15 on a new collar, lead or name tag, $60 on toys and $130 on treats. You will also need to continually register your dog at $30 per year and spend around $70 per year on flea, worming and mite treatments. Plus if you want to go away during the year you will be paying around $55 for a short stay in a kennel.
The cost of owning and buying a cat:
- To bring home a new kitten will cost around $305. For that price you are getting $100 worth of shots for your cat, $10 in cat food, $7 worth of collars and name tags, $5 for treats and $15 on grooming supplies. Plus you will be paying around $30 for the actual kitten.
- Ongoing maintenance costs are around $7 per week. Cat food will cost you are $75 per year and you will pay around $120 for vet visits. Also budget for $10 for collars and name tags throughout the year, $25 for toys, another $25 for treats, $20 for grooming supplies and $70 for medications such as flea treatment. This all adds up to a cost of around $355 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a rat, mouse, gerbil, hamster or guinea pig:
- To bring home a rodent as a pet will cost around $55. That includes you spending $20 on a 10 gallon aquarium or cage as a home, $25 on accessories to make the cage into a home and $10 for your pet rodent.
- Ongoing maintenance costs are around $3 per week. In a year you will spend around $50 on food for your rodent, another $50 on vet bills and $45 for bedding. You’ll also spend around $15 on things like dishes and accessories for their gage, which adds up to around $160 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a ferret:
- To bring home a ferret will cost you around $105. This price covers $30 to buy the ferret, $50 for a cage and $25 for accessories such as a hammock and food dishes.
- Ongoing maintenance costs for a ferret are around $6 per week. A ferret will eat around $100 worth of food in a year, require $150 worth of vet’s visits, $45 spent on new bedding and $15 for new dishes or accessories for the cage, adding up to a total of $310 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a fish:
- To bring home a fish will cost at least $100. A 10 gallon aquarium with a lid and light fixtures will cost around $35, plus $10 for a bulb, $10 on an automatic timer and $25 for additional tank accessories such as gravel and plants. A goldfish can cost as little as $1 each while more exotic species can be several hundred dollars and the larger the fish, the larger the tank you will need, for example a catfish or cichlid will need at least a 40 gallon tank which can cost as much as $200.
- Ongoing maintenance costs for a fish are around $4 per week. Fish food will cost you around $65 per year, and water treatment chemicals will cost around $35. You may need to spend $40 on medication and $60 on filters and tank cleaning supplies which add up to around $200 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a bird:
- To bring home a pet bird will cost at least $350. For birds like parrots, cockatiels and budgies you can pay at least $50 for a small cage, $25 for accessories including food dishes and toys, and $250 for an initial vet visit. Your choice of bird can then cost between $25 and $2,000 and larger birds like macaws and amazons will need larger cages which can cost at least $300.
- Ongoing maintenance costs for a bird are around $15 per week. To feed your bird will cost around $300 per year, $350 for vet visits, $100 for toys and treats and $20 for grooming equipment, to add up to $770 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a frog, toad, newt or salamander:
- To bring home an amphibian will cost you around $110. You will need to spend $20 on a 10 gallon tank, $20 for a light fixture, $10 for a bulb and another $10 for a timer. You’ll need around $15 worth of cage accessories such as gravel, branches and plants, $5 for water treatments, $10 for brushes and nets to clean the tank and $10 for your choice of pet.
- Ongoing maintenance costs for an amphibian will be around $3 per week. This includes $50 per year on food, $50 for vet bills, $10 on new cage accessories, plants and branches and $15 on water treatment chemicals. Plus $20 for lamp bulbs you are looking at $145 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a lizard:
- To bring home a lizard will cost at least $100. On average it will cost you 10 times the cost of the lizard to set up a home for your new pet, where a small lizard will require just a 10 gallon tank for $20, plus $50 on light fixtures and bulbs and $10 on an automatic timer. You will need to spend at least $25 on plants and branches for the cage and at least $10 on the lizard.
- Ongoing maintenance costs of a lizard are at least $14 per week. Lizard food will cost around $300 per year and you can spend around $350 on vet bills. For new plants and branches for the cage expect to pay $10, and $20 on grooming supplies. You’ll also need to spend around $60 on new lamp bulbs which all adds up to around $745 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a snake:
- To bring home a snake will cost at least $100. Budget for initial costs of around 10 times the cost of the snake as these costs can vary depending on the species you choose. However, you will need at least a 10 gallon aquarium which will cost $20, plus light fixtures and bulbs at $50 and a timer for $10. You’ll need to spend around $25 on plants and branches and at least $10 for the snake.
- Ongoing maintenance costs of a snake are around $10 per week. You will need to buy around $300 worth of prey animals to feed to your snake and in a year you will spend around $150 at the vet. You will need to spend around $10 updating plants and branches, plus $60 on lamp bulbs which all adds up to around $520 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a tarantula:
- To bring home a tarantula will cost around $95. You will need to buy a 10 gallon cage for around $20 and fit it with a $20 light fixture, $10 bulb and $10 automatic timer. You will also need $15 worth of accessories such as substrate and sufficient hiding places, plus $20 to buy the tarantula.
- Ongoing maintenance costs of a tarantula are $2 per week. Your tarantula will eat around $50 worth of food each year and require $20 worth of lamp bulbs, $20 for new substrate which adds up to around $90 per year.
The cost of owning and buying a hermit crab or crayfish:
- To bring home a crustacean will cost around $93. This includes $20 for a 10 gallon aquarium, $25 for an under tank heater, $15 for a thermometer and humidity gauges, $3 for a misting bottle and $25 for gravel and branches, plus $5 for your choice of crustacean.
- Ongoing maintenance costs of a crustacean are less than $1 per week. You will spend just $30 per year on food, and $10 on new branches and sand for the cage adding up to around $40 per year.
How to Make Your Pet More Affordable…
Your choice of pet will often be a compromise between the pet you can afford and the pet you want and while you may want a shepherd dog you may only be able to afford a terrier, or while you may want a lizard you may have to choose a more affordable reptile such as a frog. However, there are ways to minimise some of the costs associated with pet ownership, for example, consider the lifespan of a pet before you discard it as too expensive because guinea pigs for example only live around five years and can be a great way to introduce your children to the responsibility of a pet, and ready your budget for the expenses of pet ownership.
You also don’t always have to buy your pets at the pet store and you may be able to find the pet you want at a local animal shelter which can be home to cats, dogs, birds and any other abandoned animals looking for new homes. While the pets in the pet stores will eventually be bought by someone, those in the animal shelters aren’t always so lucky and you can often rescue a pet for a small donation, or for free, and it will already be vaccinated.
Alban is a personal finance writer at Home Loan Finder.