Bringing home a new cat or dog is one of the most exciting days in any pet owner’s life. There’s something romantic about loading your new pet into the car, outfitting him or her with an adorable new matching collar and leash combo, and beginning your new life together. But that fancy collar and leash–and the adoption fee you just paid to the shelter–are only the beginning of the expenses.
While pet ownership is something that people from all walks of life and levels of income should have access to, it’s important to be realistic about the expenses before you bring that new cat or dog home. Animals need annual vet visits, emergency vet visits, supplies, food, boarding if you go out of town, grooming, monthly dewormer and heartworm preventative, toys, training… the list goes on.
You may also incur further expense if you rent–many apartment complexes charge an extra monthly pet fee, or a non-refundable one-time pet deposit. While in most cases you’ll be able to find pet friendly housing should you need to move, you should be prepared to pay extra for it in the event that options are limited.
Another factor to consider is your long term plans. As pets age, they often need extra veterinary care. And when you commit to a new pet, it should be for life. Before you decide to get a pet, take a look at your monthly expenses and 15 year plan. Make sure that in all forseeable events, you’ll be able to provide for the extra mouth you now have to feed.
So, just how expensive are cats and dogs? Check out thesimpledollar.com’s Pet Cost Calculator, which will calculate the lifetime expenses of your pet, depending on factors like size, breed, and level of maintenance needed.