The Cost of Owning a Pet

Amy He

By Amy He
Posted on Fri Apr 26, 2013, Last Updated on Fri Apr 26, 2013

Amy is a staff writer at MyBankTracker.com. She writes about banking and culture. More Columns »

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blackcat300If you’re looking to call a fluffy cat your own, be prepared to spend about $8,000 for the duration of ownership, as cats usually live up to 15 years.

Up-front costs include:

Getting cat spayed/neutered: $75
Purchasing a collar or leash: $10
Buying a litter box and carrier: $50

Recurring costs:

Food: $120
Medical/health fees: $150
Litter: $150
Toys, treats, and misc.: $80

A one year total is $640.

(Information sourced from ASPCA and Petfinder)

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puppy300A small to medium-sized dog can cost more than owning a cat, given that dogs are more active, require more food and more general care.

Up-front costs include:

Getting your dog spayed/neutered: $75-$100
Purchasing a collar or leash for $25-$30
Buying a carrier or a crate: $80-$140

Recurring costs:

Food: $150-$250
Medical fees: $150-$175
Toys, treats, and misc.: $100-$120

A one year total ranges from $780 to $1,115.

(Information sourced from ASPCA and Petfinder)

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goldenretrieverpuppy300A bigger sized dog will set you back even more.

Up-front costs include:

Getting your dog spayed/neutered: $75-$100
Purchasing a collar or leash for $25-$30
Buying a carrier or a crate: $80-$140

Recurring costs:

Food: $150-$250
Medical fees: $150-$175
Toys, treats, and misc.: $100-$120

Your annual total comes to about $1,500.

(Information sourced from ASPCA and Petfinder)

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rabbits300If you’re interested in owning a rabbit, you’ll be paying similarly to what you would if you owned a cat. But rabbits do have a shorter lifespan, so your total costs will be less.

Up-front costs include:

Getting your rabbit spayed/neutered: $75
Getting a little box and cage: $115
Getting a carrier: $30

Recurring costs include:

Food: $110
Medical fees: $125
Litter: $400
Toys, treats, and misc.: $15

Your annual total comes up to approximately $885.

(Information sourced from ASPCA and Petfinder)

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colorfulbird300A smaller animal comes with less needs, as illustrated in owning a bird. If you’re interested in owning a pet but you don’t have thousands to spare over the course of the next couple of years, a bird might do the trick.

Costs for owning a small bird can be broken down into the following:

Up-front costs:

Cage: $75

Recurring costs:

Food: $50
Toys, treats, and misc.: $45

Your total for the first year is less than $200, which makes a bird much more affordable than other pets.

(Information sourced from ASPCA and Petfinder)

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fish300Getting a tank and buying a couple of fish is easy enough, and fish can be incredibly low-maintenance if you're looking for calming animal companions.

The biggest cost for owning fish is purchasing the equipment that the fish will live in.

Up-front costs include $200 for a tank and equipment.

Food costs very little, in the ballpark of $20 a year, and you may have some miscellaneous costs of $15 for other tank accessories.

Your annual total is about $235.

(Information sourced from ASCPA and Petfinder)

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