Who can resist the furry mug of an adorable pug or the sweet innocence of a playful kitten? Pets are our companions, our best friends, and our favorite fuzzy distraction after a long day at work or school. Pets can teach your children responsibility, as they learn the importance of feeding and cleaning up after them. Pets can even provide significant health benefits, such as helping to lower blood and cholesterol levels and encouraging outdoor activity.
But before you purchase a pet, you should familiarize yourself with the cost of owning one, especially the specific kind or breed you want. While you may know how much a dog or cat costs upfront, there are ongoing costs such as grooming and healthcare expenses that you may not have taken into consideration. Our graphic below shows a breakdown of the cost of pet ownership.
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How Much Does It Cost to Own a Dog?
On average, the total cost of owning a dog is $21,574. This cost estimate is based on a medium-sized dog who lived for 14 years. However, the cost of buying a dog may only range from $425 to $1,000. These costs vary based on several factors:
- Equipment you need to go along with the pet: If you previously had a dog and kept their stuff, you may not need to buy as many things as you would if you purchase an animal you have never owned.
- Whether you purchase a purebred: These tend to be more expensive.
- Where you buy your new pet: Animal shelters are cheaper than pet stores — or you may also find pets for free if you know someone whose pet just gave birth.
- The size and upkeep of your pet: If you own a large dog that requires more food or expensive grooming, that will significantly increase your costs.
The cost breakdown in the graphic above shows both high and low costs. For example, if a pet owner grooms their dog themselves instead of taking it to get professionally groomed, the cost for a brush and pet shampoo is a very nominal $8/annually. However, if the owner takes their dog to the groomer every month, their costs go up to $650/annually.
Another consideration for pet expenses is medical care. Nearly all pets need annual checkups with a veterinarian, yet other healthcare costs may arise, too. While you can’t predict whether an animal will have a long-term health issue, some breeds are more prone to developing problems than others. You can check on Wag! to see the most common health concerns different breeds present.
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Cat?
On average, the total cost of owning a cat is $11,422. This cost estimate is based on an average cat who lived for 14 years. However, the cost of buying a cat ranges from $425 to $750. These costs may vary based on the breed and other factors that could influence where you buy your cat.
Find the Best Pet for You
Pets are a serious but worthy investment. Make sure you have the funds to keep your pet healthy and strong before you make a long-term commitment. Once you find that special companion, you will enjoy them for a long time to come.
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