A Few Expenses to Keep in Mind Before Buying a New Pet

by Cameron on September 18, 2011

Pets make great companions. They can keep us company, make a great transition into starting a family, teach responsibility, or just be some fun. Eventually, our pets become part of the family. Some people choose to have unusual pets. The majority of people pick the common domesticated animals: dogs, cats, gerbils, birds, etc. Kids and spouses can beg relentlessly for a new pet. Besides the responsibilities that accompany a new pet, your new friend may be much more expensive than you realized.

Purchase Price: If you purchase a dog from a breeder, the dog can cost you a pretty penny, depending on what kind of dog it is, breeder quality, and the dog’s family heritage. Most dogs from breeders will range between $50-$1,500.
Save: Adopting an animal from the pound or someone from craigslist can help you avoid the initial purchase price. There might be a small fee for adopting a dog from the pound, but it will be minimal compared to the fee for a breeder.

Medical Procedures: Depending on your vet, prices can range from $25-$300 for your pet’s initial exam and shots. These shots are crucial to the animal’s long-term health. Spaying or neutering your animal will probably cost between one and three hundred dollars. Long-term medical expenses will depend on the overall health of your animal, as well as breed of animal and living conditions. These medical expenses later in the animal’s life can really add up.
Save: Other than shopping around, there is no way to avoid the cost of the medical exam and shots. Regular exercise, good diets (possibly science diet foods), and clean living conditions will help prevent unnecessary illnesses.

Training: Hyper animals can just be pests. They can scratch, bite, steal food, and just be annoying. Unfortunately, training for your animal can cost between $50-$125.
Save: Train your own dog. Don’t let your animal do whatever it wants.
Food: Dog food can cost you as much as $600 per year depending on its size. Cat food costs will be much less than dog food, but still cost about upwards of $200/year.
Toys: Your animal’s toys can cost any amount. The cost is dependent on how much you want to spend on your animal’s toys.
Save: Animals will gladly play with old items around the house such as used tennis balls.

Groomer: Animals need to be bathed just like you and I do. You can choose to take your animal to a groomer for a bath, shave, and nail trimming. Grooming can cost $10-$50, depending on what you have done.
Save: You can purchase products to do these three activities yourself.

Travel Expenses: If you are going to go on an overnight trip, your animal will need a place to stay. You may choose to have them stay in a kennel or take them with you in a cage. Your animal’s size, as well as difficulty in handling, will be the primary factor in the price of keeping it at a kennel. Purchasing a cage can cost upwards of $150 if you have a large dog.
Save: Have your pet stay with a friend on short trips.

Housing: If you live in an apartment or rent a house, there may be an additional deposit of a few hundred dollars to have an animal on the premises.
Save: There’s not much you can do about this one if you are renting.

This article does not take into consideration unusual arrangements. Traveling by plane, contracting diseases, and chewing furniture or flooring are all examples of unusual arrangements or considerations.

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