Breaking down the cost of having a pet, and some tricks to tackle it.
If you go “Aww” seeing the photo above, chances are you have a soft spot for pets, or you already have one. If you’re the former, you might have considered getting yourself a furry friend or two. But with a new pet, comes new responsibilities and expenses to meet.
Up to 67% of pet owners in Australia choose dogs and cats as their furry family member. In general, the cost per year of having a dog is around $1,500, while a cat is around $1,000. Keep in mind that cats usually live longer than dogs, so the total lifetime costs would be more or less the same. Other pets require less maintenance, such as birds (around $100 per year) and fish ($50). But why so expensive? Here, we have broken down the costs of having a pet.
1. Buying price
The price of a dog or cat starts from $200, depending on the size, breed, genealogical history, and other factors. This is only the start, though. Having a pet is a lifetime responsibility so a lot more costs will come as your puppy or kitten grows up and old. So, if you want to cut the initial cost, you can adopt from a local shelter. Not only will you save money, but also give an abandoned pet a second chance at having a loving fur-ever home.
2. Neuters, vaccines and microchip
All these three can cost up to $1,000. Again, you don’t have to spend this money if you adopt from a shelter. They usually have neutered, vaccinated and wormed their animals, so you will only need to register your pet.
3. Food, treats and toys
Pet food can cost up to $500 per year. And your fur baby can consume up to $300 worth of treats per year – not to mention the toys. Well, cats, fish and birds don’t really need a lot of toys, but dogs do. They use up many, many toys all its life due to their tendency to destroy their toys.
To help save money on this expense, you can learn to cook homemade cat and dog food. There are many recipes you can find and follow online. Trials and errors are needed here, to make sure your pet loves the taste and that they get the nutrition they need.
4. Vet visits
Just like us humans, your pets also need regular visits to the doctor. Dental check, flea, ears, weight control – your pet’s health needs as much attention as yours does! Although it seems like so much money to pay, it actually helps prevent your pet from getting serious diseases. And we all know diseases like that would drain your savings in a blink of an eye.
Another thing to note is that you will also need to set aside some money on your monthly savings dedicated to unexpected events, like accidents or health problems.
5. Accessories, grooming and training
Collars, clothing, kitty litter box, cage, aquarium decorations – these accessories are all cute and always tempting. Remember to shop under the budget you’ve set to avoid over-shopping. On a different note, grooming and obedience training can be costly, too. You can opt to groom your pets yourself at home and watch training videos online to keep the expenses low.
Having a pet requires full time, lifelong commitment. Despite all the hassles, a pet at home can be such a good friend, family and stress reliever that all the costs will be worth it. What pet do you keep at home?