How Much Does Owning Different Types of Pets Cost Over The Course of Their Lifetime?

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Written By Adrian Cruce






Pets bring joy, laughter, unconditional love and numerous other benefits, it’s not a secret that owning pets is rewarding. However, owning a pet also means responsibilities, expenses and time. If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, you have to consider the expenses to be sure you can properly take care of the pet and offering it the best life you possibly can. Different types of pets mean different expenses during the course of their lifetime and knowing approximately how much you have to spend for a pet will help you to make the best decision in terms of what pet is better for your household and current situation.

Dogs Cost Over The Course Of Their Lifetime

Dogs are probably the most loved pets in the world even though most people will say that owning a dog can be expensive. Of course, certain breeds have specific needs that require investments and there is also the size of the dog that you should take into account before making a decision.

The first thing to consider is the initial investment. Pure breed animals are more expensive than animals bought from back-yard breeders and puppy mills. It is recommended to buy a dog from a reputable breeder to be sure the animal is healthy and to avoid health problems. The initial investment can be anywhere between $300 and $2000 depending on breed and breeder. You can also consider adopting a dog from a shelter and in that case you will pay less. Also, if you adopt from a shelter you will most likely own a dog that was spayed and has all his vaccines up to date, unless you adopt a puppy in which case, you will have to pay for spaying the dog.

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One Time Cost:

  • Spay/Neuter – $100-$700

Yearly Cost:

  • Food & Treats – $200-$700
  • Veterinary care (for healthy dogs) and preventive medication – $200-$1500
  • Toys – $25 – $200
  • Leash and collars – $20-$100
  • Grooming – $30-$500
  • Other expenses (training classes, pet sitters, carrying crate etc) – $20-$300

Yearly Cost total – $495 – $3300

Life expectancy: 10-15 years

Lifetime Cost – $6000-$41000

Cats Cost Over The Course Of Their Lifetime

What we said about dogs applies to cats as well. The initial investment will vary based on the breed of the cat you want and where you plan to buy it/adopt it from.

One Time Cost:

  • Spay/Neuter – $50-$200

Yearly Cost:

  • Food & Treats – $100-$350
  • Veterinary care (for healthy cats) and preventive medication – $100-$200
  • Toys – $25 – $200
  • Litter and collars – $20-$100
  • Grooming – $30-$200
  • Other expenses (scratching post, carrying crate)- $20-$100

Yearly Cost total – $275 – $1150

Life expectancy: 12-20 years

Lifetime Cost – $3950-$16200

Small Fish Cost Over The Course Of Their Lifetime

Fish are clearly less expensive than cats and dogs throughout their lifetime but different fish have different needs and it all depends on how many fish and what types of fish you plan to have in your aquarium. The cost of small fish varies greatly, you can find tropical fish with $2 but also fish that cost $200.

One Time Cost

  • Fish tank – $50-$500

Yearly Cost:

  • Food – $30-$50
  • Other expenses (decorations, filters, medication)- $15-$50

Yearly Cost total – $45-$100

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Life expectancy: 10 year

Lifetime Cost – $500-$1500

Guinea Pigs Cost Over The Course Of Their Lifetime

Guinea pigs are cute and fluffy and they won’t cost you a lot of money but keep in mind they need company and you will have to buy at least two guinea pigs. The cost of guinea pigs vary from $10 to $40.

One Time Cost

  • Cage – $20-$200

Yearly Cost:

  • Food and treats – $70-$200
  • Litter – $200-$500
  • Other expenses (toys, decorations etc)- $15-$50

Yearly Cost total – $285-$750

Life expectancy: 4-8 years

Lifetime Cost – $1730-$4700