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How Much Does it Cost to Own a Pet?

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You should always consider the costs of having a companion animal. Food and collars are only two of a whole litany of expenses that the average pet owner will incur within a year. The ASPCA wants you to be ready to care for that new companion in all the ways he/she needs. We've compiled a list of expected annual costs for your new friend.

Small Dogs: They may be pocket sized and lovable but they're no small cost. While crate costs and spay/neuter fees are lessened, a smaller dog, like a Yorkshire terrier and pugs, can still cost nearly $800 annually.

Food Medical Toys License Misc.
$150 $150 $50 $15 $35
Collar Carrier Crate Grooming Spay/Neuter
$25 $30   $50  $200 $75
Total  $780

Medium Dogs: Coming in a close second, medium-sized dogs, like beagles and cocker spaniels, are nearly the most costly pets, fetching up to $1,115 annually.

Food Medical Toys License Misc.
$250 $175 $60 $15 $45
Collar Carrier Crate Grooming Spay/Neuter
$30 $50   $90  $300 $100
Total  $1,115

Large Dogs: Big dogs like golden retrievers, labrabors and Dalmatians may have a special place in your heart but get ready to make room for them in your wallet. Obvious expenses like food and crates for large dogs are high and first year total expenses can reach $1,500.

Food Medical Toys License Misc. Spay/Neuter Collar Carrier Crate Grooming Total
$350 $200 $70  $15 $65  $125 $35 $80  $160  $400  $1,500 

Cats can provide warmth and companionship with considerably fewer demands than their canine counterparts. However, every furball comes with a price tag. Total first year costs for a cat can reach upwards of $640.

Food Medical Litter Toys Misc. Spay/Neuter Litter Box Collar Carrier Total
$120 $150 $150  $50 $30  $75 $25 $10  $30  $640

Rabbits may require even less attention than felines but costs for a floppy eared friend can exceed $885 for the first year. Where a rabbit may not require walking, litter costs for your pet can more than double that of cats.

Food Medical Litter Toys Misc. Spay/Neuter Litter Box Cage Carrier Total
$110 $125 $400  $25 $15  $75 $25 $80  $30  $885

Guinea Pigs don't even need to be spayed, but litter costs for these furballs are as high as for that of a rabbit. Costs for a guinea pig can exceed $645 in the first year.

Food Medical Litter Toys Misc. Cage Total
$75 $50 $400  $25 $15  $80  $645

Gerbils and Hamsters qualify as small mammals and incur the least in costs for quadrapeds. Again, spaying is not a problem with small mammals but there are other costs to consider, such as cages and litter, which can bring the tab up to $330 in the first year.

Food Litter Toys Misc. Cage Total
$50 $220  $10 $15  $35  $330

Small Birds such as parakeets or the cheapest pets to keep but that doesn't mean free. One must provide toys and treats and a cage for their feathered friends. That can cost up to $170 in the first year.

Food Toys Misc. Cage Total
$50  $30 $15  $75  $170
 

Fish have their own costs and concerns. Tanks, trinkets and playgrounds for your fish can raise costs up to $185.

Food Misc. Aquarium Total
$20 $15  $150  $185

Copyright © 2004 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All rights reserved.