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How expensive is it to own a pet?

There are many great reasons to get a pet, and as many pet lovers will agree the good usually outweighs the bad. Pets are great companions, they don’t talk back, and can usually provide hours of entertainment with their antics depending on the breed of dog or cat.  However, the negative side about owning a pet is that at times they can be a bit destructive which leads to the next issue of pets being pricey for the home owner and especially for the renter.  The decision for the millennial renters to own a pet is a tough process because most owners/management companies either don’t allow pets or require a non-refundable pet deposit on top of the security deposit and then an additional fee per month on top of their rent.  Here are some important questions that potential pet owners should be asking themselves:

What is it going to cost me for my cute puppy named Pal?

The cost of a dog can vary widely depending on the breed and how much special treatment and care that it will need. Bull dogs for example, are very expensive not only to purchase but to manage their health problems as they get older.  So, the potential pet owner should do their research and try narrow their list candidates according to their needs.  For example, if a pet owner is living in a small apartment, trying to raise a Husky that needs lots of space would not be a good idea.  Listed below are some general costs of having a dog:

  • First, if you get a dog from a shelter or animal rescue the cost could cost about $350. Buying from a breeder will cost even more dependent on the breed, but can be in the thousands.
  • Another big cost is providing Veterinarian care to your dog.  Routine vet care can range from $500-$1000/year.
  • Spaying/neutering your dog can cost anywhere from $150 to $700.
  • Pet equipment like leashes, bowls, beds, and toys can cost up to $100-$200 depending on how much you want to spoil him/her.
  • Food and treats can cost from $250- $700 on an annual basis.
  • If you are renting, a management company will require on average a $200 pet deposit and then $25-$50 on top of your monthly rent.  Most companies will require the tenant to carry renter’s insurance with a dog which can average $100/year.
  • Preventative medicines or supplements can cost $100-$300 a year.
  • Pet sitters or boarding your dog can cost $100-$300 per year.

So, according to the above information owning a pet can cost from $2050-$6000 in that first year and then $1450-$3100 in each subsequent year less if the tenant stays in the same unit for more than a year.

How expensive is it for my feline friend?

The expenses for a cat are a little less than a dog but they still require the same costs:

  • According to Humane Society, the cost for adoption of a kitten is $75 and adult cat is $50.
  • Spaying or neutering a cat can cost up to $145.
  • The annual cost of a cat for vet care can be on average $130.
  • Cat equipment which amounts to a litter box, leash, scratching post, and carrying crate is about $100.
  • On an annual basis cat litter can cost up to $200, toys and treats $25, and food on average $145.
  • Usually property management companies will charge the same fees for a cat as a dog, so $200 pet deposit and $25 a month pet fee on top of your rent. Renter’s insurance will probably be about the same as dog at $100/year.So, as you can see the cost in the first year for a cat would be $1,420 if the tenant doesn’t move after that first year and $600 if the tenant doesn’t move every year after that.

With all of this information in mind, it is also a good idea to set money as a rule for emergencies and do your research before you impulsively fall in love with your furry friend.  In the meantime, perhaps a goldfish or hamster may fit your needs!

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