The Real Cost of Owning A Pet

Real Cost of Owning a Pet (Photo Credit: Roger, via Flickr)

At times visitors who come to my house will often ask me: “That’s a cute poodle, how much did you paid for it?”

I would reply “I adopted it.” and almost certainly i would get a standard response: “You mean you got that puppy for free? I’m so envious. I want one myself too!”

Think twice.

Many people who walks into a pet shop will first walk into the pets area and peek into those glass windows to admire the dogs, rodents and fishes. These animals are so cute that everyone would wish to own one as a pet. The thing is they often don’t know the true financial cost of owning a pet and underestimate the overall expenses – not to mention the emotional cost when your pet is sick or when its time is up.

To help you work out the cost of owning these companion animals, let us take a look at the real cost of owning them.

1. Dogs & Pups

Lifespan: 10-17 years

One time costs:

      Purchase price: $1.5K-$4K (Depending on the size and breed)


      Spaying/Neutering: $300-$500


      Leash/Collar/Cage & other accessories:$100-300


    Disposing: $300-$500

Recurring cost (Yearly):

      Food: $300-$500


      Treats: $100-$200


      Grooming: $200-$300


      Shampoo: $30-50


      Vet: $200-$800


    Toys: $100-$200

Total costs: Approximately $20-30K

2. Cats and kittens

Lifespan: 15-20 years

One time costs:

      Purchase price: $300-$1K (Depending on the size and breed)


      Spaying/Neutering: $80-$150


      Cage/Carrier & Other Accessories:$100-$300


    Disposing: $200-$300

Recurring cost (Yearly):

      Food: $300-$400


      Kitty litter: $400-$500


      Treats: $200-$300


    Vet: $100-$200

Total costs: Approximately $15-25K

3. Rodents & Lagomorphs (Hamsters, Chinchillas, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs,


Lifespan: 2-10years

One time costs:

      Purchase price: $25-$500 (Depending on the type and breed)


      Spaying/Neutering: $70-$150


      Cage, Waterbottle & Other Accessories: $100


    Disposing: $100-$200

Recurring cost (Yearly):

      Food: $50-100


      Bedding: $50-$100


    Vet: $40-$200

Total costs: Approximately $600-$2.5K

4. Aquatic Animals (Fishes, Terrapins, Tortoise)

Lifespan: 2-50years

One time costs:
Purchase price: $5-$50
Glass tank, rocks, air pump, lights, etc : $8-$300

Recurring cost (Yearly):
Food: $20-30
Filter: $50-$500
Vet: $50
Dechlorine solution: $10-$30

Total costs: Largely varies, depending on what type and species you are getting

A final word to anyone who is getting a pet after this: Don’t buy a pet on impulse. Make sure you have the time to look after it and do not abandon your pets!

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