We promised our son if he earned straight A’s we would get him a dog as a reward for his efforts. Sure enough, Jackson proudly brought home straight A’s and we were on a quest to find a dog. We ended up with a beautiful German Sheppard, named Qwana. What I didn’t expect is the ensuing vet bills over the first month and one half due to diarrhea and environmental allergies, nor the cost of the “kennel” we built to keep her outdoors safely. That got me thinking, what does it really cost to own a pet? More than non-pet-owners probably realize (which we were prior to Qwana); although if you do own a dog, cat or fish, you probably have a good idea that they’re not cheap.
Start with the initial expenses. You can bring home a rescue pet—not just dogs and cats but also rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, reptiles and sometimes fish—for the cost of a one-time fee (sometimes $0) and, for the mammals, the cost of vaccines, spaying/neutering and a microchip, which can run upwards of $500. Purebred dogs and cats obviously cost more ( a lot more as we discovered). The website Rover.com puts the average one-time cost of bringing a dog home at $838.
What about ongoing expenses? Hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits need their bedding changed regularly, plus occasional toys and treats. Add in food, and the cost averages $600-$700 a year. Cats and dogs need food, treats and toys, yearly medical checkups, flea and tick prevention and licenses. Cats cost an average of $670 a year, while dogs can cost more than $1,000, depending on size and, therefore, food costs. Those figures don’t include the cost of walkers or sitters—or medical bills if your pet becomes injured or ill.
Of course, it’s hard to be logical about the financial decision of acquiring a pet that has become a loved family member like Qwana to us. Just be aware of the costs and budget for them ahead of time, and it doesn’t hurt to look into pet insurance plans either.(https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/)
Stay Diversified, Stay YOUR Course!