How much does it cost to own a pet?

Written by Pamela Hardman  | Published on: 10/8/2019

If you’re thinking about getting a pet, you probably have a warm and welcoming home, and a lot of love to give. Adding a pet to your family can be a wonderful experience. But make no mistake, it’ll take more than just love to be able to take care of a pet in the best way possible.

The first year

  1. Adoption fee or breeder cost: $250-$2,000+. The price to add a pet to your family will vary depending on if you adopt from a shelter or a rescue organization or if you choose a pure bred from a reputable breeder. 

  2. Spaying or neutering and/or initial vet visit: $150-$500. In addition to a spay or neuter surgery, it’s a good idea to get your new pet checked out by a vet if he or she hasn’t had a full physical exam yet. Your vet will also give you helpful information about what kind of diet is best for your pet, and answer any questions you have about care. At this appointment, you can also set a regular check-up schedule with your vet.

  3. Supplies like toys, a carrying kennel, scratching post and litter box for cats; or a dog bed, collar, crate and leash for dogs: $100-$400. If you’re looking for lower cost options for some of these items, check local sales forums online or check with friends and family to see if they have anything they aren’t using. Many second hand items are still in great condition and sourcing these can help save your wallet, as well as the planet.

  4. Training classes: $100-$150. This cost isn’t really applicable to cats but even if you adopt an older dog, training classes can still be beneficial for bonding and getting to know each other. If you have a young puppy, you may also want to try puppy socialization classes.  

Total first year costs: $600-$3000+

Ongoing cost

  1. Food (and litter for cats): $60-$150/month. Food costs vary by brand, where it’s made, and what it’s made of. Same goes for litter. Choose a food that is recommended by your vet and fits in your family’s budget.

  2. Annual vet exams: $100-$250/year. Even if your pet looks perfectly healthy, an annual exam is a good idea to make sure your pet’s health is in top shape. In addition to checking their overall health, a vet will check his or her teeth and recommend a cleaning if needed, and administer annual vaccines.

  3. Heartworm, flea and tick medication: $150-$250/year. The cost for this medication will vary depending on what type you choose.

  4. Pet health insurance: $30-~$150/month. The monthly cost of Petsecure plans vary depending on what kind of pet you have (cat or dog) and their breed, where you live and what kind of coverage you choose. All plans cover routine dental and some plans even include coverage for routine care like exams and vaccines.

  5. License: $15-$60/year. To avoid fines upwards of $250, make sure you license your pet. Check your city’s website for rates and other info.

Total annual cost: $1,345- $3,560

Pet insurance can help with the cost of unexpected vet visits

Even though the ongoing cost of owning a pet is estimated at about $1,350 a year, an unexpected accident or illness can skyrocket that number to double, triple that, or even higher. Petsecure can help cover the cost of unexpected vet bills. Learn what’s covered by Petsecure and get a free quote today

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