Do you want a furry friend? It’s hard to resist owning a pet when you see a collection of pictures of cute pups and kittens spanning the internet, meandering outdoor parks, and greeting you when you go to your best friend’s house. But before you get washed up in dreams of snuggling a dog or marveling at a cute kitten, you need to consider your finances. Why? Pets can be expensive.
Not in the mood to budget? Don’t worry! We will help you out. In this article we will:
- Highlight the general cost of owning a dog or cat
- Share some essential budget pet hacks
So how much does it cost to own a dog? A cat? Let’s get into it.
Who should consider owning a dog or a cat?
First things first: Nuwber research declares that, on average, dog owners make more than cat owners. That’s right! The facts state that dog owners tend to earn between $75,000 to $99,999 a year, whereas cat owners collect around $50,000 to $74, 999.
What does this mean?
Well, it highlights that people who earn a higher income are more likely to own a dog than a cat. Dogs may be the most adorable companions, but they rack up more expenses than a cat. Therefore, it’s easier for households with higher incomes to adopt a dog.
For example, dog owners—outside of the typical pet expenses—need to consider paying for:
- Dog walkers—if they work a busy schedule
- Puppy training
- A lot of toys
- Off to the dentist. That’s right! You need to take care of your pet’s dental needs
- Materials needed to create an outdoor doghouse for your pup (if you have space)
And these are just a few of the things that dogs require that most cats don’t. In reality, you can tie a string to a stick to entertain a cat (if the cat wants to be entertained).
But your income doesn’t have to define what type of pet you choose to get. Yet, it’s important to consider your income when you’re looking at the true cost to own a pet. For example, if you can’t afford a dog, you can always get a cat.
But don’t worry!
There are budget hacks for pet expenses (we will tell you all about it shortly). First, let’s discuss the general cost of owning a dog vs. owning a cat.
What is the general cost of owning a dog vs. owning a cat?
So you want to own a pet? Get ready for years of cuddles, companionship, hilarious stories, and more with a dog! And if you want a cat, get ready for years of letting your cat become the king or queen of your household. Basically, it’s fun to own a pet. But you need to think about the expenses, too.
Here are some expenses you need to think of (costs listed below come from https://www.moneyunder30.com/the-true-cost-of-pet-ownership):
- The cost of spaying or neutering your cat or dog—$200 for a dog, $145 for a cat
- Regular vet visits and check-ups (pets can develop scary things like cancer, too)—yearly medical tests may cost around $235 for a dog, and $130 for a cat.
- Miscellaneous items like toys, beds, leashes, collars, a scratching post (for cats), a litter box (for cats)—a scratching post for a cat often costs around $30, while the litter box may cost $25, and the other items will vary in price.
- Dog training will cost you around $110.
- Food! Your animals love to eat, whether you’re the type who feeds your pet fancy human food, or traditional cat or dog food, you need to budget for food—yearly cat food can cost around $145, while you should set aside around $120 for dog food.
- Pet insurance! This is also a great budget hack (more on this later)—health insurance for a pup costs around $225, and $175 for a cat.
- A carrying crate for a dog may cost around $60, and $40 for a cat.
Other factors to consider (prices are taken from https://www.thesimpledollar.com/pet-cost-calculator/):
- Vaccinations! Do you want your pet to develop kennel cough? Canine hepatitis? Lyme disease? Rabies? You need vaccinations. And these can cost anywhere between $60 to $70, while a rabies shot may cost a little more.
- Flea control! Helping your pet get rid of fleas can cost between $150 to $200.
On average, it costs more to own a pup! Don’t believe us? Another source notes the cost over an average dog lifespan vs. an average cat lifespan. The answer? Dogs can cost between $27,000 to $42,000, whereas cats can cost between $21,000 to $30,000.
Sounds scary? You can combat these crazy prices with some super simple budget pet hacks!
What are some budget hacks for pet expenses?
What happens if your dog gets in an accident and you need to pay a super high vet bill? How can you lower the cost of miscellaneous items? We’ve got some tips and tricks on how to take care of a dog or a cat for less!
1. Invest in pet insurance
Your pup gets hit by a car, breaks her leg, you can’t afford to fix her, now what? Try to avoid this situation and buy pet insurance. It will save you so much money in the end! You may have to pay a monthly or yearly fee, but you won’t regret it.
2. Pay regular visits to the vet
Your pets can develop cancer, arthritis, and other human-like illnesses, too! And you can give your pet the best care he or she needs by taking it to the vet regularly. It’s better to know if your pup or kitten develops something early, so you can follow preventive measures to stop it. Plus, it will be cheaper than paying to stop full-blown cancer.
3. Shop online
Want to buy in bulk? You can buy food, toys, and other miscellaneous items online. Feel free to take your time sifting through websites for the best and cheapest option.
- Use a dog food calculator to figure out how much you actually need to feed your pup (and you can check out this dog years calculator for fun)!
- Build your own doggie kennel with recycled materials
- Learn how to groom your pet at home
To sum it up…
Owning a pet can be expensive! Therefore, it’s important to consider your income before you purchase a pet. We all want to be able to give our pet’s the best life possible, and sometimes, you may need to wait a few years before you welcome a dog or cat into your family!