HIDDEN COSTS OF PET OWNERSHIP

Check out all the costs, and learn a few ways to save

AAA World Article

Pets bring joy to your life and provide great companionship. While adopting a pet may be a pivotal moment in your life, it’s important to prepare for the costs of ownership. Not only will your new best friend require affection and care, they will need shelter, food, medical attention, and more. Here are a few costs you should consider before adopting your new best friend.

Initial costs of owning a pet
When you first bring your new companion home, you’ll want to schedule a veterinary visit to get their initial vaccinations and check the condition of their health. You may also want to consider spaying or nurturing your animal if you don’t plan on breeding your pet. All costs will depend on the breed, size, and weight of your pet. Do your research in advance to make sure you have everything you need to bring home your new animal. Here are some initial costs you can expect:

  • Adoption or breading/stud fees
  • Microchipping to track your pet
  • Obedience training or puppy kindergarten
  • Food
  • Veterinary visit
  • Flea/tick/heartworm medication
  • Personal care items: Toys, brushes, leash, collar, crate, kitty litter, training pads, carrier etc.

Recurring costs of owning a pet
As a pet owner, you must schedule annual veterinary visits for vaccinations and to maintain their medication for fleas, tricks, and heartworm. If you enjoy traveling, you will need to find someone to watch your animal or place them in a boarding facility.

You will also need to maintain your animal’s coat, nails, and hygiene. Grooming costs will be based on your animal’s coat, weight, and breed. Here are a few additional recurring costs you can expect to pay over the lifespan of your pet:

  • Annual vaccinations and check-ups
  • Food
  • Medications: Flea/tick/heartworm
  • Feline Immunity Virus or FIV testing
  • Shelter: Additional rent fees for a live-in animal
  • Pet care and boarding
  • Grooming
  • Personal care items

Best ways to save on pet costs
Taking care of an animal can be expensive. Here are a few ways you can save on services and items you need for your companion.

  • Compare and research different service providers and brands prior to making a purchase or taking your pet in for a visit.
  • Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
  • Buy pet supplies in bulk.
  • Shop at stores that offer loyalty discounts or rewards.
  • Consider pet insurance. Purchasing pet insurance may increase your monthly expenses but it could pay for a costly medical procedure your animal needs in the future.