How Much Does Your Pet Cost You Per Year?


The Average Cost of Your Pet

Pets can be a wonderful addition to your family. Studies suggest that people with dogs live an average of seven years longer than those with no pets. Whether you have a cat, a canine or any other type of animal companion, you need to understand the costs associated with caring for your furry family member. You need think about what to expect when getting a dog. Ask question like, will it fit my lifestyle? Do you like to sit and watch T.V. all day or get outside for a walk or jog? What kind of pet do I want? Do you live in an apartment or a house with lots of open space? Before bringing an animal into your home think carefully about whether you can afford all of the costs associated with the pet.

Remember, pets depend on you for everything. From feeding, exercising, grooming, training and doctors visits. It’s almost like having a child at home. Training your pet (dog) can be fun, educational and expensive. Learning to do your own training and grooming can save about $60.00 to $800.00 a year.

I.   The Estimated Cost of Caring for Pets Each Year

The estimated cost of caring for your pet will differ depending upon what type of animal you have in your home. The ASPCA details pet care costs for a variety of animals. Average pet care costs for the first year include:

  • Small dogs, which can cost around $1,314 during the first year of ownership.
  • Fish, the cheapest of pets, which the ASPCA projects will cost around $235 in the first year of care.
  • Medium size dogs, which can cost $1,580 during the first year that the pet is in your family.
  • Large dogs, which carry an estimated cost of $1,843 during the first year.
  • Cats, with an estimated cost of $1,035 for the first year of ownership.
  • Rabbits, which are surprisingly pricey for a small pet with a first-year cost of $1,055.
  • Small birds, which are relatively affordable at a first-year cost of $270.
  • Guinea pigs, with an estimated first-year cost of $705.

II.   Pets Typically Cost the Most During Certain Periods of Their Lives:

1.   When you first bring them home: You will need for example to puppy proof your house and yard. Add fencing to keep your pet in and be sure to set rules for the family concerning your new family member. Introduce your pet to the veterinary to ease the pet’s anxiety. Have your pet’s food, toys and sleepingarea ready.Craigslist or Ebay has used equipment, such as crates or beds which can save you money. Also, check places like: Salvation ArmyNu-Hope and the Habitat for Humanity for used doggie beds and toys.

2.   At the end of their life: Depending on what kind of problem your pet has, can cost you thousands to try and save your pets life. If your pet is suffering terribly, and there is no hope for their recovery and you need to euthanize your pet, (something I don’t recommend because you are still ending a life, and it is something you can never change) there will be a veterinary office charge, and a charge for the sedatives, which will make your pet feel more comfortable. If you are thinking about cremating your pet, that could cost you $200 to $500 dollars, not including the urn. Pet cemeteries are an option for your beloved pet which offers a memorial service and a burial service. The plots for your pet can run around several hundred to several thousand dollars. The cemeteries require a permanent headstone which cost about $160.00. You can save by having the ceremony in your backyard, and planting your favorite flower or tree over the site. Make sure to check with your local board of health for backyard pet burial laws in your area.

You really need to ask yourself, how much am I willing to pay out in a pet emergency for my pet? Consider how much your pet will cost you in a lifetime. Answering these questions will help you narrow down which pet you are ready to be responsible for.

III.   The Expenses During the First Year 

Consider these expenses when you first purchase or find your perfect pet:

1.   Acquiring all necessary supplies that you may not have if you have never had a pet of that type living in your home before.

2.   The costs during the first year also include initial medical expenses charged by your vet. Pet insurance can help with Vet Cost. You should check pet insurance coverage and price.

This iTunes app may be something you want to invest in. The App cost $3.99 and includes detailed videos, articles and illustrations to help care for your pet. You should also consider insurance that covers: accidental, personal, and property damage (to electronic devices that need repair or replacement) made by your pets. You will need property insurance to cover in the event of an accident or animal bite.

IV.   Calculating Pet Costs

The ASPCA takes a variety of different expenses into account when estimating how much a pet will cost. As you determine how much your animal companion is costing you, you should be aware of the expenses you will have to pay.

The costs associated with pet ownership can include:

  • Vet bills for annual vaccinations, annual check-ups and visits if your pet gets sick.
  • The cost of spaying or neutering an animal. Depending on the weight of your pet, the cost can be between $45.00 and $150.00. There is an extra charge for pain medicines.
  • The cost of litter for cats and other small animals can cost $6.00 to $150.00 depending on what size you buy.
  • An annual pet license (typically required for dogs and cats) costsabout $15.00 yearly.
  • Collars and leashes can cost from $5.00 to $150.00, depending on the size of the pet, and what kind of leash you want.
  • Cages and carriers can cost from $25.00 to $600.00, depending on the type and size.
  • Scratching posts can cost $7.00 to $300.00 and depend on the size of post and how fancy you want it.
  • Grooming: Fees can cost $10.00 to $100.00,depending on the size of pet.
  • Fleas, Ticks and Mite Care: Cost varies from pet to pet.
  • Invisible Fencing: Cost varies depending on the size of the yard.

V.   Providing Caregivers for Your Pet

If you plan to go on vacation, you will also need to anticipate costs associated with kenneling your animal or hiring a pet sitter to provide food and companionship. Remember, these costs can be well worth the love, rewards and privilege of pet ownership. However, you should be prepared and able to assume the financial responsibility of owning an animal before you bring a pet into your life. Once you bring a pet into your home, you will have to put your pet’s needs before your own.

Remember, there is no such thing as a free pet. How do you provide for your pet after you’re gone? You can set up a pet trust, for your beloved FeFe in the event of your death. Check to see if it is valid in your state. Make sure the individual you choose is responsible, financially able, and is willing to take care of the needs of your pet. You will have to set aside extra monies, and add that to the average cost of your pet.

Listed below is a list of pet insurance companies:

Pets can be wonderful additions to our families. They give us love, and companionship. They teach us responsibility. They add so much. In return, we must make sure we can care for them for the rest of their lives. Pets are an investment in both time, and money. However, they can be well worth their weight in gold for the love, and happiness they give us in return.

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