How Much Does It Cost To Own A Pet?

A young girl and her puppyAdding 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 CrabHermit Crabs | $45

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.

GerbilGerbils | $109

Supplies and food are the biggest costs for these little critters (about $82 per year). Toys are $16, while vet bills average just $11 annually.

Betta FishFish | $150

Sunk costs include an aquarium, filtration equipment, test kits, decorations and lighting (which can run $100 or more), but after that, average annual expenses dip to $150 per year.

Spotted GeckoLizards | $190

Trust these little reptiles—geckos included—not to burn a hole in your wallet: food, medications and supplies can total less than $200 per year.

Blue ParakeetBirds | $400+

Despite their relatively small size, pet birds are not cheap. Expenses like cages, food, medications and vet bills add up quickly.

Brown Tabby KittenCats | $900+

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).

Sheltie DogDogs | $1,000+

On average, owning a dog can cost over $1,000 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.

Warmblood HorseHorses | $4,200+++

Whoa, Nelly! It’s not easy to rein in those equine expenses. Prepare to pay $1,811. Then expect to spend an average $2,392 annually on horse care, with $2,202 eaten up on food. Tack on up to $7,036 in boarding costs.


Ensure your pet is covered for the inevitable and the unforeseeable. Get a quote on affordable pet insurance today!

Ready to bring home a new family member? Here are 10 things you should do first to prepare for a new pet.

By Allison Ellis

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