Getting a new pet can be so exciting! But, it can be pretty expensive. Before getting a new pet, there are some costs that you should consider. Educating yourself on the common costs involved with pet ownership will better prepare you financially for this new endeavor! Here are some of costs to consider when getting a new pet:
1) Purchase Price
Puppies and kittens are typically not free. Whether you are adopting your pet from a rescue or acquiring a purebred- there is a purchase price involved. Typically, purebred pets do cost more than rescue pets. But, that being said some rescues have individually priced their animals based on the amount of care they have had to receive. This means that a rescue animal may be similar in price to a purebred, but this isn’t often the case.
Vaccines are very important to keep your pet safe from various diseases. So what does your new pet need? Well, young animals require a series of vaccines that involve three different “sets” of immunizations. Whereas adult animals require vaccines every 1-3 years, depending on the vaccine type. If you adopt an adult pet from a rescue facility typically their vaccines are up to date. This means that you likely won’t have to worry about vaccinating them for 1-3 years when they are due! An adult animal from a breeder may not come fully vaccinated, so this is a cost you will have to factor in. If you adopt a young animal from a rescue facility or breeder they typically have already received their first set of vaccines. But, they will require 2 more sets of vaccines within about 2 months and then of course will need their adult vaccines as mentioned above!
Call your local veterinarian to find out exactly what vaccines your pet requires and for an exact cost.
3) Spay/Neuter Surgery
If you are not planning on breeding your new pet, then you will likely need to consider spaying/neutering! This is a surgery to prevent them from being able to produce offspring. Typically, it is done at 5-6 months of age for non-giant breeds, and often times done over 1 year of age for giant breeds. That being said, it is important to speak with your vet about what age is best for your pet! Typically these surgeries cost a few hundred dollars, with spays being more expensive than neuters. This is because spay surgeries are much more complex and are intra-abdominal where as neuters are not. Moreover, if you have a female dog that has already had a heat cycle, making her a mature female, then this will increase the cost of spay surgery. This is because of the increased blood supply, complexity and time involved with the surgery. So expect an additional couple hundred dollars on top of the spay cost if you have a mature female dog.
If you have a vet already, or one in mind you can likely give them a call to get a more accurate quote to best prepare yourself financially.
4) Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason! It can prepare you for those unexpected costs involved with being a pet owner. Having an unwell pet is already stressful enough and pet insurance can remove any financial worries that you may have. It greatly decreases the upfront costs of many services and sometimes they even pay for prescription food! There is a wide range of costs for insurance as there is a wide range of plans available. Typically it can range from under a hundred dollars to over a hundred dollars- depending on the plan, deductible, pre-existing conditions, breed, etc!
To learn more about pet insurance, and how it works be sure to read our in depth article here.
This seems like a pretty obvious cost but- it’s still something to take into account! The cost depends on where you get your pet food and if your pet requires a veterinary-prescribed prescription diet. In general, pet food can be costly. Better prepare yourself for the arrival of your new pet by taking a look at the cost of some foods and the sizes of bags they come in to determine how long it will last you!
6) Parasite Prevention
Regardless of where you live, many parasites are becoming more prevalent! This is why it is so important to discuss parasite prevention with your vet. The most common parasites to protect your pet from are heartworm, fleas, ticks, and other tick-borne illnesses. If you live somewhere that experiences winter then this prevention is typically only given during the warmer months- spring, summer, and fall. If you live in the south or travel there- it is recommended year-round. There are many different types of parasite prevention so it is important to speak with your vet about what is most suitable for your pet’s lifestyle. The cost is typically around a hundred dollars and up- depending on the medication, duration of administration, and size of your pet.
7) Crate and/or Bed
Your new furry family member is going to need a spot to call their own! Whether you are going to crate train your pet, or not- a bed is essential! Having a designated spot for your pet allows them to have their own safe space that they can relax in. Crates are a great idea but it should be noted that they can be costly as they can cost upwards of a hundred dollars. These items certainly are worth it, but need to be factored into the cost of pet ownership!
8) Leash & Collar
Collars and leashes are absolute necessities for owning a dog. There is a wide range of options available too! There are harnesses, collars, gentle leaders, martingales, etc! Smaller breed dogs usually wear harnesses whereas larger ones wear collars or other devices for maintaining control while outside. Moreover, there are many kinds of leashes available too. If you get a young pup keep in mind that you will likely have to purchase multiple collars to accommodate their growing body. If you have a cat that you’d like to take outside it will also require a leash and harness to stay safe!
Training your new pet is not absolutely necessary but, it surely helps! It can provide socialization for your pet and teach them good manners. Whether you are getting a puppy or an adult dog- training can be very helpful! As for cats and kittens, they tend to have a mind of their own so there isn’t training available for those creatures. Training is usually up to a few hundred dollars. If your pet excels in training and you want to continue, there are many training levels and activities available such as agility. But it is important to note that at each level there is a new enrollment cost incurred.
Grooming is so important to keep your pet looking good and feeling good! Dogs that have hair that continues to grow will require grooming every month or two- depending on your preference. Whereas dogs with fur, that sheds, won’t require haircuts but will need baths. If you have a short-haired cat- they typically don’t require any form of grooming. But, long-haired cats may require a groom every once and a while as their long hair may get matted. The costs of grooming depends on the breed and size of pet you have.
11) Dental Care
This is a cost you typically won’t incur within the first few years of your pet’s life but you will certainly incur at some point! Dental procedures for pets are done under general anesthesia, just like a surgery is. This is to keep your pet safe, and allows the doctors to provide legitimate dental care such as cleaning, scaling, polishing, dental x-rays and any extractions that may be required. Most pets require 1-3 dental procedures in their lifetime. These can cost around a thousand dollars, but it can be more (or less) depending on your pet’s current condition. It is best to ask your veterinarian for an accurate quote. Dental health is very important so it should certainly be factored into your financial plan for your pet!
12) Doggy Day Care
Whether you work long days or your pet is high energy- doggy daycare can be a great solution! These facilities are in place to provide daily care for your pet, similar to a child daycare. This is great for if you work long days and cannot make it home to let your pet outside as you can drop them off prior to work! These facilities are also great for socialization in general. So if you have a high-energy dog this can be a great place to take your dog to get some physical and mental stimulation. Typically for cost, you can pay per day or can purchase a package price that is more economical. Contact your local doggy daycare to receive a quote! If you are looking into a cat this is not something you need to consider.
13) Accessories For Your Pet
There are many miscellaneous costs involved with owning a pet. For instance, owning a cat you will require a litter box and litter. For dogs, you will require poop bags, coats, and booties for wet/cold weather.
Here is a list of some common accessories your pet may require:
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