Most people love the idea of owning a pet. After all, it gives you a source of comfort and companionship, regardless of the species.
But, the cost of pet ownership can get quite high. Many people find it challenging to keep up with pet-related expenses, so it’s important to understand how much it takes.
The lifetime cost of pet ownership varies dramatically depending on the kind of animal you select. This means some pets are typically lower cost than others, though a surprise medical issue can make any species expensive.
If you want to know the true cost of pet ownership, here’s an overview.
The most obvious expense, and the first one you’ll encounter, is actually buying the pet. Generally, you can find prices ranging from free to several thousand dollars, depending on the animal.
For example, a hermit crab may cost less than a dollar. However, a purebred German Shepherd puppy can easily cross the $1,000 mark.
Typically, your starting expenses don’t stop with the animal either. You’ll need to pick up some basic supplies as well.
When you factor in the initial container of food, accessories, kennels, tanks, or whatever else applies to your chosen pet, you can end up spending quite a bit more.
While purchasing the pet is the most obvious expense, medical bills are typically the largest when it comes to cats and dogs. You’ll need to handle their shots and a range of checkups or specialty treatments. Routine medication, such as for flea prevention, can also add up quickly.
If your pet has an emergency, it isn’t uncommon for your bill to reach a few hundred dollars. If the vet deems surgery as necessary, spending a grand or more can happen.
The cost of owning a pet can skyrocket if the animal develops a chronic condition as well. In some cases, medical care for animals can result in prices that are similar to your medical bills. This means it’s important to plan for these costs before you get a pet.
When it comes to regular expenses, food is a big one. While you don’t necessarily have to spring for premium foods, even lower cost options significantly increase your grocery bills.
Additionally, if you choose an indoor-only cat, you’ll need to buy cat litter. This is another common expense that can significantly impact your budget.
Cat and dog owners may also need to pay for professional grooming. Generally, this depends on your comfort level, as some pet owners handle the majority of these requirements themselves. However, if the idea of bathing or trimming your cat or dog’s nails doesn’t sound appealing, then you’ll need to budget for a groomer.
Ultimately, you need to review the cost of pet ownership before you commit. If you need a clearer idea of what you may need to pay, you’ll need to research the species you are looking to buy. That way you don’t accidentally get in over your head.
Do you have a trick for managing the cost of pet ownership? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Looking for more great pet-related articles? Here are a few from Blonde and Balanced: