A better question might be this: What pet can you afford?
When you’re in the throws of budget-busting, pet care can sometimes get forgotten. But when you consider the real cost of pets, it’s hard to imagine how it could slide through the cracks.
Let’s consider dogs and cats. In their first year alone, adopting either animal will cost you about $1,000, with dogs coming in slightly higher than cats. And that’s just the beginning.
When you factor in yearly vaccinations, teeth cleanings, grooming, boarding, and food, the average lifetime cost of a medium to large-sized canine can reach $20,000. So what’s the answer?
If a new pet is in your future, we recommend the following:
- Adopt rather than purchasing from a breeder. Most adoption fees are under $100, and typically that includes initial vaccinations.
- If it’s a dog you’re welcoming into your life, consider breeds that don’t need grooming.
- Use sites like Craig’s List to find used kennel equipment.
If you’ve already welcomed an animal into your home, lean out your pet costs:
- Buy food and litter supplies in bulk or find coupons and stock up.
- Wash and walk your dog yourself. It’s good for them, and it’s right for you.
- Provide treats for your animals that take time to consume (healthy dental chews or puzzle toys with a snack inside).
If you’ve got the itch to care for something, but pet ownership costs seem a bit out of budget, we recommend a succulent plant. They’re affordable, low maintenance, and only need water.