The True Cost of Having a Pet

One look into the adorable eyes of a dog or cat can make anyone want to have a cute, cuddly, and playful fur baby all for themselves. Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences available today, but the true cost of having a pet is more than what meets the eye.

Whether you adopt a pet at no cost or purchase one, there are still other costs to consider. In fact, according to the ASPCA, the first-year cost of owning a pet exceeds $1,000. To ensure that you’re ready to own a pet, planning ahead of time for expenses such as emergencies due to illness, grooming, training, boarding, and a variety of one-time expenses will be a great start to welcoming your fur baby into your family. 

Pet Sitting Services

If you live or work in the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley area, chances are that you may need someone to care for your pet, especially since people are spending more time at work and even more time commuting. According to local ABC News, more than 150,000 people in the southern California area, maybe even you, spend at least three hours commuting to-and-from work each day, creating the possibility that a pet sitting service may come in handy for you.

To give you an idea of the cost at a reputable local pet sitting service, cat and dog care in-home visits, drop-in visits, dog walking, and variety of other pet sitting services can range anywhere from $18 to $42 per service.

Emergencies

Dr. Louise Murray, vice-president of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City, notes that “Owners will likely incur at least one $2,000 – $4,000 bill for emergency care at some point during their pet’s lifetime.” Even if your pet is healthy, there is still a chance that your fur baby will become ill. However, pet insurance is a great way to be prepared in case of an unexpected emergency. 

According to a study conducted by Value Penguin, which obtained quotes from 11 of the largest pet insurance companies in the United States, pet insurance plans range from approximately $25 to $70 per month for dogs and $10 to $40 per month for cats. In addition, the study also revealed that the average cost of pet insurance is higher for dogs—60 percent more expensive than cats for accident and illness policies.

Professional Grooming

Keeping your pet looking his or her best is not only a treat for your fur baby, it’s also a way for you to show your love and care for your pet with professional grooming services. Those services can include a basic wash, nail trim, and teeth cleaning. Prices can range anywhere from $15 to $50, depending on the place you select.

Training

Having the ability to have your pet sit, stay, lay down, etc., is super awesome. But the truth is that training a pet usually involves professional training. The cost for training can vary depending on where you go and how many classes you select.

Boarding

If you tend to travel out of town during the holiday season, summer vacations, weekend getaways, or any other occasion, there may be times where taking your pet with you is not an option. Boarding can cost anywhere from $15-$50 a day, depending on the size of your pet.

But that’s not all. According to Pet Finder, the largest online pet adoption website serving all of North America, there are a variety of one-time pet expenses that all pet owners should be aware of. For your convenience, we have listed these expenses below.

One-Time Pet Expenses

Spaying or Neutering: Dog: $200 / Cat: $145

Initial Medical Exam: Dog: $70 / Cat: $130

Collar or Leash: Dog: $30 / Cat: $10

Litter Box: Cat: $25

Scratching Post: Cat: $30

Carrying Crate: Dog: $60 / Cat: $40

Training: Dog: $110

Total One-time Costs: Dog: $565 / Cat: $365

Annual Pet Expenses

Food: Dog: $120/ Cat: $145

Annual Medical Exams: Dog: $235 / Cat: $130

Litter: Cat: $200

Toys and Treats: Dog: $55 / Cat: $25

License: Dog: $15

Pet Health Insurance: Dog: $225 / Cat: $175

Miscellaneous: Dog: $45 / Cat: $30

Total Annual Costs: Dog: $695 / Cat: $705

Simply put: the total first-year cost of owning a dog is approximately $1,270, and for a cat, it’s $1,070.

Credits:
Post Written By Nicholas Cole
Pet Sitting and Boarding Image by Helena Lopes from Pexels
Emergencies Image by Burst
Grooming Image by Benjamin Lehman
Training Image by Tom and Sini from Pexels