Having a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and it’s hard to put a price tag on the happiness a pet can bring. However, taking care of a pet is not always cheap, and it is important to consider your budget before adopting a new furry friend. Keep reading to see how much it costs to adopt a new pet.
If you ask any pet owner, they’ll likely say that the benefits of having a furry friend are priceless. It’s true, pets can provide companionship, anxiety relief, cure depression or loneliness, and give endless cuddles, so it’s hard to put a price tag on that. But the reality is, taking care of a pet can rack up your bills with the cost of food, supplies, toys, and vet bills. So it’s important to take this responsibility seriously before you decide to adopt a new furry friend.
Before you jump the gun and head to the pound, you should take a little time to make sure you can afford to take care of a pet, and see how you can properly budget to do so. Remember, adopting a new pet is a serious commitment. You’ll be responsible for your pet for the next 15 or so years. The sad reality is that a lot of owners don’t realize the financial burden of owning a pet, so they often abandon their pet and drop them off back at the pound. Animal shelters are already overrun and underfunded, so those poor pets end up living in cramped cages and end up getting euthanized if they don’t get adopted again.
So How Much Does It Cost?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the cost of owning a small dog for the first year is over $1000.  And that’s just for the first year! Each year after that, you’ll still have to consider food, treats, toys, health insurance costs to make sure your pet is living the best life possible.
To give you a better idea of where all these costs are coming from, let’s break it down.
Adoption & One Time Fees:
The initial costs to adopting a pet can depend on if you are choosing to adopt from the shelter or if you purchase a dog from a breeder. If you purchase a pet from a breeder, that can cost you anywhere from $500 to $5,000, and that’s not including any other initial fees like first medical exam, vaccinations, neutering, etc. If you adopt from a shelter, you can end up paying anywhere from $30 to $600 depending on where you’re located.
Here are some one time cost estimates broken down for when you first adopt your pet:
- Initial Medical Exam: $70 dog/$130 cat
- Spaying/Neutering: $200 dog/$145 cat
- Collar or Leash: $30 dog/$10 cat
- Litter Box: $25 cat
- Carrying Crate: $60 dog/$40 cat
After all the fees you pay upfront just to adopt your new furry friend, you’ll have to consider how much it’s going to cost you every month after that. Every month, you’ll have to pay for food, toys, grooming, and health insurance. Food usually ends up being the most costly, and you can expect to pay at least $60 a month. Health insurance can range anywhere from $10-$100 per month. 
While most people take food and water costs into account, they often forget about medical bills for their pets. A young healthy pet probably won’t have high medical bills to start out with, but health problems do arise later on in their lives, and that can cost you a lot of money if you aren’t prepared. A lot of times, these costs can incur from emergencies that are unexpected, which makes it all the more important to have pet health insurance.
For the most part, you can expect to pay around $500 a year for your pet’s preventative medical bills each year. That includes things like, routine vet checkups, flea or tick medication, and vaccinations.
However, in the case of unexpected emergencies for your pet, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared beforehand because medical bills can add up to thousands of dollars. You never know when your furry friend might get sick, encounter an emergency vet visit, or end up with a chronic illness. This is why you should make sure you have some type of emergency medical fund set aside for your pet, just in case something does come up.
How To Save:
There are a bunch of ways you can save on pet expenses, so you can make sure that your pet is well taken care of without draining the bank account. One easy way is to make your own toys, and this can even be a fun family activity. You can easily find tutorials online, and use supplies that are already laying around you house like empty toilet paper rolls, old t-shirts, or cardboard boxes.
Another way to save is to groom your pet at home. This sometimes can be a bit tricky if your pet hates baths, but make sure you give them treats before and after so that they associate baths with a positive reward. Also, if you adopted a puppy or kitten, start giving them baths at a young age so that they can get used to it early on.
Pets deserve proper care, respect, and love from all owners no matter what. There should be no circumstance where it would be okay to abandon your pet, and that includes not having enough money to take care of them. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to budget wisely each month and to think twice before adopting a new pet.
1. https://lifehacker.com/this-aspca-chart-shows-you-the-cost-of-owning-a-pet-1700938002 2. https://www.valuepenguin.com/pet-insurance/average-cost-of-pet-insurance 3. https://www.moneyunder30.com/the-true-cost-of-pet-ownership 4. https://www.nation.com/can-i-afford-to-keep-my-pet/ 5. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/cutting-pet-care-costs 6. https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/adoption/adoption-fees