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How Expensive Is It To Take Care Of A Pet?

12 Oct 17
RNSWCC
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There’s nothing quite like the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you welcome a new pet into your home. Whether you’ve adopted a cat, dog, or another animal, a family pet can certainly bring your family closer together.

But no matter how fun and loving your new pet may be, there’s one fact you can’t deny: they cost money. When you welcome a pet into your home you have to take into account how much it will cost to take care of it.

According to the Australian Veterinary Association, pet owners will more han $25,000 on a dog over the span of its lifetime. Sounds like a lot, right? That’s because it is!

You first have the cost of adoption, then the list of expenses that you may face each year. Typically, it costs more to own a dog than it does to own a cat, but most pet owners would agree that both are entirely worth the money they’ve spent.

When deciding if you can afford to bring a new pet into your home, it’s important to understand that costs that go with pet ownership. You can find a breakdown of the costs of owning the two most popular pets, dogs and cats, below.

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Dog?

Dogs have a potential lifespan of up to 20 years. According to the RSPCA of New South Wales, you can expect to spend a minimum of $910 a year in addition to initial costs spent the first of year ownership. However, please note that the actual cost can be more or less depending on the age of the dog you adopt as well as its breed, size, and overall health.

When you first adopt a dog, you’ll have to spend money on several of the following for your new pet:

  • Adoption fee
  • Kennel and/or dog bed
  • Collar, harness, or leash
  • Food and water bowls
  • Council registration
  • Microchipping
  • Spay/neuter procedure (desexing)
  • Flea and worming treatments
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Vaccinations
  • Training
  • Treats and toys

Depending on where you adopt your dog from, you may be able to save on the costs of desexing, microchipping, initial vaccinations, and initial worm and flea treatments.

For every year after that, you should expect to pay for:

  • Annual vaccinations and vet visits
  • Flea and worming treatments
  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Treats and toys

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Cat?

Like dogs, cats can live for up to 20 years. But on average, they’re slightly cheaper to own than dogs. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, you should expect to pay a minimum of $880 a year for the duration of your cat’s life, according to the RSPCA of New South Wales. Again, that figure may vary depending on the cat’s age, size, breed, and overall health.

Typical upfront costs for cat ownership include the following:

  • Adoption fee
  • Carry cage and bed
  • Collar and bell
  • Spay/neuter procedure (desexing)
  • Council registration
  • Microchipping
  • Name tag
  • Flea and worming treatments
  • Grooming
  • Kitten vaccinations
  • Scratching post
  • Treats and toys
  • Litter and tray

If you adopt your cat from the RSPCA NSW, you don’t have to worry about the cost of initial vaccinations, microchipping, desexing, and worm and flea treatments, because those will be taken care of for you before the adoption.

Every year after the first, you can expect to have to pay for the following:

  • Annual vaccinations and vet visits
  • Flea and worming treatments
  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Litter
  • Treats and toys

Expect The Unexpected

With pet ownership, it’s practically impossible to be able to predict exactly how much it will cost you to care for your animal. It’s important to have enough funds to cover unexpected costs like emergencies or health conditions. Just like humans, dogs and cats can get sick or hurt. If you’re barely scraping by just paying for day-to-day costs, you may want to reconsider pet ownership.

Things happen and it’s important that you’re prepared for when something comes up. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be a need for emergency preparation, but the reality is that it’s a part of owning a pet. You can talk with your local veterinarian to see if they offer plans that you can pay a monthly fee for, to cover any incidents that may occur. Similar to insurance, some of these plans can help eliminate surprise costs and cover you in case of an emergency.

That being said, it’s still important to have more than enough money to own a cat or dog. You shouldn’t go broke trying to care for a furry friend!

Managing Your Expenses

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the idea of trying to calculate whether you can afford to own a pet, you don’t have to go at it alone. If you haven’t already, you should consider hiring an accountant. You can easily find a quality company offering bookkeeping services Hornsby and Australia wide. By hiring an accountant, you can make sure you’re not getting in over your head when sitting eye-to-eye with an adorable furry face.

As hard as they are to say no to, it’s important that you’re able to properly care for your pet. As we mentioned before, the costs may seem intimidating on paper, but the memories you will make the bond you will create with your pet are priceless.

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