The Cost Of Dogs & Cats

The cost of a pet is something that people rarely consider when they see the puppy or kitten in all their cuteness. Those that do usually calculate the cost of the purchase and maybe consider what food will cost and assume they have a good idea of the cost. Then maybe throw on a few hundred dollars for shots and supplies and think they have a good estimate. Knowing the true cost of a pet may surprise you.

Now I have nothing against owning pets. In fact, I have a dog and three cats. I just think that it is important to fully understand the financial costs you are going to be incurring when you decide to adopt a dog or cat. If more people did, there probably wouldn’t be near the problem with abandoned pets that there currently is.

Acording to peteducation.com, a cost of a dog ranges between $4,000 and $39,000 over the dogs life. The following chart breaks down the cost of a dog:


Product/Service Cost 1st Year Yearly Cost

Low Cost

My Cost

High Cost

Low Cost

My Cost

High Cost

Purchase Price

0

50

1000

0

0

0

Food

125

300

500

125

300

500

Vaccines

20

75

150

10

60

100

Vet Bills

40

75

400

40

125

400

Spay/Neuter

35

120

200

0

0

0

Bed

25

70

150

0

7

15

Treats

20

20

100

0

20

75

Chew Bones

20

90

150

0

20

50

Bowls

5

8

25

0

1

3

Collars

8

5

20

0

1

2

Leash

5

7

20

0

1

2

Training

15

40

450

0

10

100

Fence

0

750

1500

0

0

75

Vitamins

15

20

75

2

15

8

Flea Control

20

20

200

20

20

200

Heartworm

50

52

100

50

52

100

Shampoo

6

6

25

6

6

25

Grooming

0

0

400

0

0

400

Grooming Tools

8

8

250

1

0

25

Dental Care

0

0

40

0

0

40

Stain Cleaner

8

30

75

5

5

75

Waste Disposal

0

0

50

0

0

5

Training Aids

25

25

300

3

3

30

Deworming

6

6

30

6

6

30

Boarding

15

150

200

15

150

200

Crate

40

50

150

4

5

15

Car Restraint

0

0

100

0

0

10

Totals

$511.00

$1977.00

$6600.00

$287.00

$807.00

$2485.00

Total over the life of a 14 year old dog Low Cost My Cost High Cost

$4,242.00

$12,468.00

$38,905.00

These totals are pretty shocking aren’t they? And remember, this is the cost for a 50-pound dog that lives in the Midwest. It is not uncommon to see some of these numbers double or triple in places like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Dallas. Now granted most people do not end up spending $40,000 on their dog, but some spend a whole lot more. A dog with hip dysplasia or severe allergies can have significantly higher veterinary expenses and I routinely see people who spend over $2,000 on a single veterinary problem. Chances are your costs will be similar to those I incur, but even with the minimum required care, it is still over $13,000.00.

While the cost of a cat is a bit less expensive, peteducation.com still puts the lifetime cost at at between $4,000 and $18,000. Here are the total potential costs broken down:


Product/Service Cost 1st Year Yearly Cost

Low Cost

My Cost

High Cost

Low Cost

My Cost

High Cost

Purchase Price

0

50

750

0

0

0

Food

120

175

200

100

175

200

Spay/Neuter

50

95

200

0

0

0

Litter Box

8

10

50

1

1

5

Cat Litter

70

120

150

70

120

150

Furniture

0

0

200

0

0

20

Window Perches

0

25

60

0

3

6

Cat Bed

0

0

45

0

0

5

Cat Door

0

25

75

0

3

8

Cat Carrier

18

20

45

0

0

0

Scratching Post

5

5

45

1

1

5

Food Bowls

7

8

25

1

1

3

Grooming Tools

5

7

40

0

1

4

Hair Removing Tape

0

7

10

0

7

10

Stain Removers

8

25

75

1

3

8

Flea Control

50

60

150

50

60

150

Heartworm Prevention

0

0

40

0

0

40

Training Aids

20

20

150

0

0

15

Vet Bills

50

50

300

50

50

200

Vaccines

45

55

85

10

10

35

Ear/Dental Care

0

0

65

0

0

7

Vitamins/Fatty Acids

0

10

50

0

10

50

Treats

0

5

40

0

5

40

Toys

10

15

75

1

2

8

Boarding

25

75

200

25

75

200

Totals

$491.00

$862.00

$3125.00

$310.00

$527.00

$1169.00

Total over the life of a 14 year old cat Low Cost My Cost High Cost
$4,521.00 $7,713.00 $18,322.00

Did the totals surprise you? I know some of you are thinking, ‘I would never spend that much,’ but in reality, these prices are on the conservative side. I live in the rural Midwest. In the large metropolitan areas the prices could easily be doubled. These prices also do not take into account animals with special health or behavioral problems. If you have a cat with a chronic illness, your veterinary cost could triple. Likewise, if you have a cat that urinates on the carpeting and you have to clean or replace the carpeting as a result, your costs are going to be higher. While some people think they can cut costs on food, litter, and veterinary expenses (which when combined are often the biggest expenses), my experience shows otherwise. If you feed cheap food, you can end up with a cat with urinary or intestinal problems and high veterinary bills. If you use cheap litter, your cat may use the living room carpet instead. The same goes for avoiding routine veterinary care; you will shorten your cat’s life or end up paying in the end. So these prices are pretty accurate. Even for myself with indoor/outdoor low maintenance cats (I do feed good food and use good clumping litter) the costs are still very significant.

As with all purchases, you need to take the time to realize the full cost of adding a dog or cat to your family and make sure you have the budget to cover their expected expenses.

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Cost Of Dogs & Cats

  1. Neo says:

    Thanks for providing this information. I was a bit off on my original estimates but now that my eyes are open to a more realistic estimate, I am still planning to get my dog. I quickly substituted my estimated costs in the chart and I came up with a number of $24,000 for a 14-year old dog.

    Neo

  2. Neo says:

    I looked at the chart available at PetEducation.com and decided to try to create an interactive form for calculating the cost of owning a dog. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    http://www.our3rdplanet.com/~neos/cost_dog.htm

    Neo

  3. Neo says:

    Let me know if you think of anything else that can be adjusted on the form I created.

    Neo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*