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How much does it cost to own a pet?

Dog in Lake Wash

By Rita R. Robison

The kids have been nagging you to buy a dog or cat for years. Now, you finally think you’re ready.

However, before you take the plunge, think about the costs you’ll incur.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance offers the following on the costs of owning a dog, depending on size:

  • Initial expenses – Purchase price, $50 to $1,000; spaying or neutering, $190 to $220; initial medical exam, $70; supplies, $95 to $225; and training, $110.
  • Food, $55 to $235 a year.
  • Toys, $40 to $75 a year.
  • Routine veterinary care, $210 to $260 a year.
  • Emergency veterinary costs, $2,000 to $3,000 plus $3,000 to $5,000 if surgery is needed.
  • Pet insurance, about $225 per year, depending on the dog’s breed and age.
  • Groomer/grooming aids, $265 to $410 per year.
  • Travel care/kennel boarding, up to $700 a year.
  • Dog walker, $3,900 to $5,200 a year.
  • Lifetime ownership costs – First year, $710 to $8,730; annual, $310 to $7,100 plus unforeseen vet costs; lifetime, $4,070 to $101,070.

For more information on the cost of owning a pet, see Kiplinger’s “Nine Expenses Every Cat Owner Should Budget For” and “The Cost of Owning Five Popular Small Household Pets.”

Copyright 2011, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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Ann Hearn

Yes, owning a pet and properly caring for a pet can be costly. There is nothing like the love of a dog for me. My dog gets the best of care and it is well worth it. Thank you for the post.


it is cost a lot of money. it is worth it. i love my dog. it is a part of my life

cell phone buyback

I must say that this is a great post!It is very well written in a systematic is easily understandable...thanks a lot.

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