Some Unexpected Costs of Pet Ownership

Thinking of adding a dog or cat to your family? Getting a pet means taking on all of the responsibilities of caring for it, including financial costs. All new pet owners should be prepared for the unanticipated costs of pet ownership, such as medical emergencies, besides the everyday costs of food, supplies, and an annual checkup at the vet. Here are some facts about the costs of pet ownership every new pet owner should know.


Puppies and Kittens

According to the ASPCA, the first year costs of new pets can be over $1,000, especially if they are young. Puppies and kittens will need to visit the vet more often than adults, especially for vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery. Puppies and kittens rescued from less than perfect living conditions might need extra medical care for parasites and infections. A puppy may also require training classes.


Small Animals

The initial start-up costs when you get pets like rabbits and guinea pigs can be more than you think. Expect to pay about $100 for a rabbit cage and $70 for a guinea pig cage. Did you know that bedding/litter for these pets can cost over $400 a year? Compare that to around $150 for kitty litter.


Unexpected Veterinary Expenses

Have you heard of the term “economic euthanasia?” This is when pet owners are forced to make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize pets because they cannot afford the costs of critical veterinary care. The costs of surgery to repair broken bones or remove intestinal blockages can be several thousand dollars. If you don’t have an emergency fund set aside, consider getting pet health insurance or veterinary financing like CareCredit.


Property Damage

Renters with pets may lose their security deposit if the pet does damage to the rental property. This includes everything from stained carpets, torn window screens, and chewed or scratched walls and doors. And don’t forget your own personal property. Some mischievous pets like puppies can do a lot of damage to your clothes, shoes, and even furniture by chewing.


Older Pets

Medical costs can go up as our pets age. Older pets are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions that require long-term care and medications. These include dental problems, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, and arthritis. The annual costs for older pets can be over $2,000. Financial hardship is one of the main reasons why older pets are surrendered to shelters.


Make sure you are prepared to care for your new pet as you would be for any other beloved member of your family!



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  • Aaron Seminoff
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