When you’re thrilled about picking up your new family pet from the local shelter or breeder, it can be easy to overlook the financial investment of being a pet owner—especially the long-term expenses involved. If you’re thinking seriously about owning a pet, you might want to consider the overall expenses required to take care of your pet for life. Anasazi Animal Clinic, your local vet in Gilbert, Arizona, knows that once your pet steps foot in your home it will become part of your family, which means you’ll do anything necessary to ensure its wellness.

Initial Purchase

You’ve probably done your research and you already know how much the purchase price of your beloved pet will be. These prices will vary greatly, depending on the breed and where you choose to purchase your pet. If you are buying it from a breeder, we recommend selecting a Reputable Breeder, as opposed to a Backyard Breeder. Not only will you receive a fairer price through a Reputable Breeder, but you will also have the confidence that your animal was treated humanely and did not come from a puppy mill.

If you’re choosing to rescue an animal from a shelter, you should still expect to pay something for your pet. The shelter has likely kept your four-legged friend’s vaccinations and treatments up-to-date, and possibly even neutered or spayed them.

Included in the cost of acquiring your new pup or feline will be the cost of an initial checkup with the vet, which can include shots and vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and/or flea and heartworm treatments.  

Lifetime Medical and Emergency Care Costs

Medical costs for your pet will arguably be the largest expense over its lifetime. Depending on the age and health of your pet, you can anticipate making one to two scheduled checkups at the vet each year, which will include any necessary shots as well as flea and heartworm treatments. If your pet remains healthy, this might be the only medical expense incurred annually. However, it’s a good idea to save a little money each month for unexpected vet visits or emergency care.

Food Costs

Whether you opt to go high-end or budget when buying pet food, feeding your cat or dog throughout its lifespan will make up another large portion of your monthly cost of owning a pet. If you’re wondering about selecting the right food, click on this link to a previous blog post for more information.

Equipment Costs

The cost of equipment for your furry friend varies widely, depending on the pet. If you require a fence for your outdoor dog, then the upfront cost will be higher. Additional equipment can include food and water bowls, toys, leashes, chews, and treats.

Additional Miscellaneous Costs  

  • Training: This is more applicable to dogs; if you want Fido to be on his best behavior, you may consider investing in a trainer. The alternative is training him or her yourself, which will require a higher level of emotional energy and a greater time commitment.
  • Boarding: If you have no friends or family who enjoy keeping Fido or Fluffy when you’re out of town or on vacation, you may need to place your pet in a kennel. And the cost of boarding a pet at the local kennel can add up quickly, especially if you travel frequently.
  • Walking Services: Another cost that will only apply to dogs is a walking service. If you work long days and have to leave your pup at home, you may need to enlist the help of a neighbor or even a professional dog walking service.
  • Grooming: When purchasing a specific breed of cat or dog, take into consideration the cost of any ongoing coat maintenance that may be necessary.

These categories are not an exhaustive list of possible expenses over the lifetime of caring for your pet, but they’re a good place to start. If you have further questions about the financial investment of owning a pet do not hesitate to contact Anasazi Animal Clinic, your local vet in Gilbert!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/7/2018) Yukiko Matsuoka (Flickr)