From designer breeds to adoption shelters, our vets investigate what it actually costs to bring home a cat or dog these days.
Obviously this depends on what kind of dog or cat breed or cross you’re looking at. It also depends on where you source your new baby from. Designer breeds will be more expensive than a pet you adopt from a shelter, for example.
Should my pet come microchipped?
Of course. It’s a great idea to ask what’s included before you buy. These days, most dogs and cats should come to you already microchipped. Some are desexed and might’ve already had vet checks and genetic testing. Some will be wormed and cared for; others will not. Shelter and rescue pets will come to you desexed, wormed and microchipped. Most importantly, make sure your details are updated to your pets microchip records. A pet with a microchip and incorrect contact details is very difficult to get back home.
Ballpark prices of breeders vs. shelters
- Direct from a breeder: Golden Retrievers are upwards of $3000, Chihuahuas sit around $2000. Rag Dolls are $500-$1000. Designer breeds (e.g. Cavoodles) are even more: $3500+.
- ‘Backyard’ breeders: There’s huge variation here. Generally, expect to pay between $500-$2000. Some are ‘free to a good home’ (although rare). If you’re considering this path, we strongly recommend thorough investigation before you buy. Take note of the living conditions and try to visit in person. It’s important to make sure you support only those who truly care for their animals.
- Adopt from a shelter: This comes inclusive of desexing, vet checks and treatment. Ballpark is $400 for a dog, $200 for a cat. Plus the added bonus of the feeling you get through making a difference by saving a life and providing a wonderful home.
Pooch’s ballpark cost TOTAL: $400 (Shelter, rescue) to upwards of $3,000 (breeder)
Kitty’s ballpark cost TOTAL: $200 (Shelter, rescue) to upwards of $1,000 (breeder)