The Cost of Pet Ownership

My parents recently got a cat from the animal shelter and he’s the cutest thing I’ve seen in a very long time. They’re undoubtedly saving this animal from being put down (especially since he was abandoned) but with something as simple as this comes a cost. Having a pet puts some responsibility on your shoulders and some costs. Most people don’t realize that they’ll have to pay for the animals food and veterinary needs, and if they realize this they don’t realize just how much a vet can cost.

Pet ownership comes with a lot of benefits, animals in our lives make us smile, give us energy and often they can help us get our dose of exercise. The positives of owning a pet such as a cat or a dog are many but they also come with a cost. Say it costs you $20 a month to feed your pet and an additional $200 a year for basic vet fees. Very quickly this pet is a $420 a year animal and more often than naught this is small approximation. Animals have other hidden costs that we forget about (leashes, toys, cat litter, etc.).

The final cost of pet ownership that you need to weigh before you actually get one is the time element. Cats for example are pretty self-sufficient but still need some attention; you need to feed them daily and you need to make sure they have a clean litter box or you might find a surprise waiting for you one day. Dogs need to be walked on a regular basis, which can be great for both the owner and pet but it takes time, which has value.

One last point that I need to mention is the impact to vacations – if you own a pet and you plan on taking a vacation where you can’t take the pet you need to find a way to ensure the animal is being looked after while you’re away, which can cost more money and potential headaches. Owning a pet isn’t like a gadget or toy that you can simply leave for weeks on end it’s a life that needs care.

I’ve had a pet for years, most of my life in fact, and I’ll continue to have one. But I fully realize that this little creature sharing my living space is alive and needs care no different than a child. Anyone considering getting a pet should keep this in mind when getting a pet; the financial impact can be significant even if the emotional benefits are considerable.

One thought on “The Cost of Pet Ownership”

  1. True, pets do cost money. But to put things in perspective:

    Loyalis and I have a roommate who helps pay our mortgage. Unfortunately, to keep him happy, we have every bell and whistle you could want from the cable company. We don’t really watch much TV, but the bill is around $150/month. Tank, my dog, provides hours upon hours of entertainment and enjoyment, and we figured he costs roughly $20-25 per month.

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