Money Well Spent: Anticipating the Cost of Pet Ownership
Before diving in and accepting responsibility for another living being, it is a good idea to have some concept of the cost involved. While we may be a little biased, Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care feels like our four-legged family members are well worth their expense. To be clear, though, what is the cost of pet ownership and how can you be prepared to provide financially for your pet?
Basic Pet Expenses
There are some pet expenses that you can be sure you will encounter. They are also typically pretty straightforward to budget for with a phone call or Internet search.
General pet wellness care expenses will include:
- Initial purchase or adoption fees
- Basic supplies like bowls, crate, leash, collar, and litter boxes
- A good quality food
- Treats, toys, and other enrichment items
- Routine wellness visits to see our veterinarians
- Vaccinations (puppies and kittens will need a series of several vaccinations to be protected while adult animals typically receive vaccines annually)
- Parasite prevention
- Spay or neuter surgery
- Local licensing fees
- Microchip placement and registration
- Pet grooming services or supplies
- Pet care services such as boarding, training, or daycare
- Dental care including anesthetized cleanings periodically
While the range certainly can vary depending on several variables, most dog or cat owners spend around $700-1000 per year on their pets.
Getting an idea of these costs so that you can put together a realistic budget is important. Please contact us if you need help obtaining general estimates for these costs. We are happy to help.
The Unexpected Cost of Pet Ownership
Pets can and do get sick or injured, and expenses related to these things can add up quickly. The cost of pet ownership goes up dramatically if your dog is hit by a car, your cat experiences a urinary obstruction, or your pet is diagnosed with a condition that will need lifelong medication and monitoring.
Most pets will require some type of additional expense within their lifetime. It is prudent to set aside some emergency funds to help cover these things when they arise. A stash between $1000-$2000 is a nice start for some breathing room when it comes to pet care. Utilizing credit services like CareCredit or Scratchpay can also offer a convenient, but high-interest option.
Consider, also, how you might feel if you were faced with a life-saving option for your pet that you could not afford. For many people, the option of pet insurance helps to offer an alternative to euthanasia when finances get in the way.
Vet costs for your pet can vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the animal. It is impossible to predict exactly what lifetime expenses your pet might require, but it is important to recognize that some unexpected expenses are sure to add to the cost of pet ownership.
While pets are not always inexpensive, they bring some wonderful things to our lives. Anticipating the costs that go along with their care allows animal lovers everywhere to better enjoy their furry friends with less financial stress.