Adding a pet to the family can be one of the most rewarding experiences—and the most shocking to the wallet. Do you know how much owning a dog, cat, horse or other pet costs per year? Take a look at these annual estimates for common household pets:
Hermit Crabs | ~$80 initially, plus $180+ annually
Perhaps the least expensive pet you can own (other than a pet rock), supplies, food and toys for hermit crabs are cheaper than a fancy crab dinner. Plan to spend at least $40 on cage setup, up to $25 to purchase/adopt, and monthly food and supplies around $15-$20. Veterinary (if needed) care can run you around $50 on average.
Gerbils and Hamsters | ~$180 initially, plus $150+ annually
Plan to spend at least $160 in starting costs for setting up the enclosure, including supplies and toys. Purchasing from a reputable pet store will run you an average of $20-$25. You’ll likely spend an average of $150 per year on litter, bedding and food. Veterinary care (if needed) varies between $70-$300.
Fish | ~$160 initially, plus $520 annually
While needs vary depending on the kind of fish you get, let’s take a common favorite among amateur fish owners: Betta Fish. Sunk costs include an aquarium, filtration equipment, heater, test kits, decorations and lighting (which can run $150 or more). Purchasing your finned friend will generally cost $5-$20, depending on species. Experts recommend a balanced diet of pellets and live/frozen food, which may run you up to $10 per week, or $520 per year.
Leopard Gecko | ~$149+ initially, plus $290+ annually
Purchase cost of your gecko plus aquarium and setup will run you between $149-$565 (including enclosure and accessories, heater, lights, bowls, hides and décor, etc.). Annual veterinary checkups will probably be $50 or more, while food and supplies will cost about $20 per month, or $240 annually.
Birds | ~$295 initially, plus $185+ annually
Despite their relatively small size, pet birds are not cheap. Even for non-exotic small birds like parakeets, expenses like cages ($70), food ($75), toys and treats ($25), medications and vet bills ($85) add up quickly.
Cats | ~$1200 initially, then $800+ per year.
Annual medical costs of $400 or more are just the beginning. Kennel and boarding fees average $337 per year, followed by food ($203), grooming ($20), toys ($23) and other supplies ($92).
Dogs | ~$1,500+ initially, plus $1,500+ annually
On average, owning a dog can cost over $1,500 per year. However, costs can vary widely based on the age, breed and health of your dog. Geography and climate can mean costly flea products. And size matters: to some degree, the bigger the dog, the higher your expenses will be.
Horses | $3,800+++
Whoa, Nelly! It’s not easy to rein in those equine expenses. Depending on whether you’re boarding or not (full-care, pasture, or self-care), total costs to keep your horse housed, fed, groomed, exercised, and regularly cared for by a veterinarian, run an average of nearly $4,000 annually … about the same average cost of a car payment.
Ensure your pet is covered for the inevitable and the unforeseeable. Get a quote on affordable pet insurance today!
Read more: Ready to bring home a new family member? Here’s how to pet-proof your place in a weekend.