Whether you’re a new pet parent or a pet professional looking to take control of your finances, budgeting is an important part of owning a furry best friend.
Having a dog or cat is an incredible experience, but one that comes with both personal and financial responsibility.
Owning a pet is more than just buying them treats, toys and giving them unconditional love. In fact, most pet owners don’t realize how expensive it can be to own a pet. With veterinary care, training, dental visits, pet insurance, grooming and more - the costs can and will quickly add up.
So, in order to help you create a plan, track your expenses and understand how much you should have saved - we’ve created a list of 10 costs every pet parent should budget for when it comes to taking care of their pet.
10 Costs To Budget For As A Pet Owner
First Time Expenses
When you bring your pet home, there are several first time expenses you need to consider.
Breeder, Shelter or Adoption Fee: $0-$1,000
First Veterinary Exam: $100-$300
Spay or Neuter: Up to $200
Core Vaccines: $75-$100
The price you pay for your dog or cat can vary greatly and is dependent on whether you decide to purchase your pet from a breeder, rescue them from a shelter or adopt.
Once you bring them home, you’ll need to set up their initial exam with a veterinarian to make sure they are in good health, are up to date on their vaccinations and schedule their spay or neuter procedure if needed. If you purchase your pet from a professional breeder, they usually have their spay/neuter procedure done as a puppy or kitten.
Additionally, the initial veterinarian exam will include blood tests, deworming and addressing any concerns you may have as a pet owner.
Food & Treats
Essential expenses you’ll always need to purchase for your pet are their food and treats.
Annual Cost of Dog Food & Treats: $250-$700
Annual Cost of Cat Food & Treats: $120-$500
It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact total cost of food and treats for your pet. This is because each pet owner is different, therefore one pet owner may choose to purchase a premium brand and another may choose one that is more affordable for their budget.
Plus, the type of food you feed your dog or cat will change over time. Your pet will require a different kind of food when they are first born versus when they are growing and getting older. And, the amount of food they consume may also fluctuate - which could cause you to buy more or less food based on their appetite.
Toys & Accessories
Toys and basic accessories you can expect to pay for your pet include, but are not limited to:
Bowls for food and water
Crate for sleep and training
Place to sleep (bed)
Balls, ropes or any toys your pet prefers
Annual Cost for Toys: $25-$75
Bowls & Feeders: $10-$50
Leashes & Collars: $20-$50
Annual Cost of Cat Litter: $200-$250
Routine Veterinary Care
Taking your pet to the veterinarian for routine medical care is the best way to ensure that they are in good health. Just like you visit your doctor for an annual checkup, your dog or cat requires the same attention.
A yearly exam usually includes a physical exam, blood tests if needed, flea and tick treatment and any additional preventive procedures.
These routine veterinarian visits which can occur once or twice a year, can include wellness checkups, blood tests and keeping your pet up to date on their vaccinations.
Annual Veterinary Care Cost For Dogs: $700-$1500
Annual Veterinary Care Cost For Cats: $90-$200
In addition to their wellness checkups, your dog or cat may require dental work and procedures. You can definitely expect to budget for dental cleanings and may potentially need to pay for emergency dental surgery if an accident were to happen.
Routine dental care does not cover special treatments such as periodontal disease or tooth extractions.
For a dental exam and cleaning, your pet will have an oral exam, x-rays, anesthesia and cleaning.
In order to make sure that your pet always has access to quality veterinary care and is protected no matter what, you should consider purchasing a pet insurance policy.
We never want to think about our best friend getting sick, but the truth is that accidents do happen and illnesses occur - in order to protect against the unexpected, pet insurance is the best defense.
Pet insurance can help you cover the cost of expensive medical bills for treatments and emergency care.
Here’s how pet insurance works:
You simply bring your pet to the veterinarian for treatment
Pay for their care
Submit your bill to your provider
And, get reimbursed for covered treatments.
Cost of Pet Insurance For Dogs Per Month: $25-$70
Cost of Pet Insurance For Cats Per Month: $10-$40
The cost of pet insurance differs for each pet owner and is determined by your pet’s age, breed, gender and where you live.
Training for obedience and good behavior is another expense you may need to budget for as a pet owner. While some may prefer to train their pets on their own, others may seek the help of a professional.
Generally, dog training is a standard practice for puppies and dogs of all ages. Training for cats does exist, but isn’t as common and most cat owners will train their feline friends at home.
Training Costs For Dogs: $30-$80 per class, average of $50 per hour
Training Costs For Cats: Varies, a 90 minute session could cost $185 or more
Training services for your pet can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a weekly class to thousands if you decide to enroll them in a board and train program.
In order to keep your pet happy and clean, you should budget for grooming care from time to time.
Many pet owners give their dogs or cats regular baths at home, but there will be necessary occasions where they will need a more professional grooming session that includes a bath, nail trimming and fur maintenance.
Cost of Grooming For Dogs: $40-$75 per session
Cost of Grooming For Cats: $30-$70 per session
The price you pay for grooming is dependent on the dog groomer as prices vary depending on services offered and their location. Additionally, you’ll want to include the cost of personal, at home grooming supplies for your pet such as shampoo, conditioner and a brush.
Daycare, Boarding & Pet Sitting
If you need to leave your pet alone either for work or travel, you’ll need to find a daycare and boarding service in your area.
If you prefer to have someone come to your home to take care of your pet, you should look into hiring a pet sitter or dog walker through reputable services such as Wag or Rover.
Since cats can be left alone for hours on end, they usually do not require care during the day like dogs. But, for overnight visits - it’s best to board or hire someone to check in on your cat at home.
Cost of Daycare For Dogs: $20-$30 per day
Cost of Boarding For Dogs: $20-$50 per night
Cost of Boarding For Cats: $15-$30 per night
Cost of Pet Sitting For Dogs: $25-$30 a day, overnight $75-$85
Cost Of Pet Sitting For Cats: $30-$65 to stay with your cat in your home
Emergency Veterinary Costs
The final and most important cost to budget for as a pet owner are emergency veterinary costs. If your pet has an accident or falls ill, you need to be prepared to pay for treatment and care.
Here are some common illnesses and emergency procedures and what they may cost on average:
Foreign Object: $3200
Broken Bone: $2300
Dental Disease: $500
Bladder Infection: $400
Average Cost of An Emergency Vet Visit: $800-$1500
As we mentioned above, pet insurance is the best way to lower the cost of veterinarian bills and get reimbursed for covered treatments.
Pet insurance is most often used in emergency situations to help pet owners avoid having to pay thousands in unexpected bills.
In addition to having pet insurance, it’s important to put aside funds for these types of emergencies.
With a pet savings account, you can transfer money each month to ensure that you always have what you need to pay for any unexpected veterinarian bills that may not be covered by your insurance or in order to pay your insurance deductible each month.
At Fursure, our mission is to help pet parents feel financially secure and confident when it comes to spending money on their pet.
With your pet savings account and debit card, you’ll be able to save up funds for any potential emergencies and have the peace of mind knowing you can afford treatment for your best friend no matter what.
Fursure is dedicated to helping pet parents take the very best care of their pet.