Nov 23

What Are The Ongoing Costs Of Caring For A Pet?

The first year of bringing home your pet is always going to be expensive. There are lots of one-off costs that luckily won’t pop up again! That said, caring for a pet is for life, and with that comes a lifetime of expenses. We don’t just mean the food shop, either.

When it comes to looking after a pet for life, there are a lot of ongoing costs to consider (worth every penny, obviously):

Monthly costs

  • Parasite protection (fleas, ticks, heartworm, worms): Dogs depending on size and type $15-20. Cats $12. What’s needed will also depend on your location and physical environment.
  • Cat Litter: Averages $10. Depends on type that suits your cat.
  • Toys and treats: Let’s say $10-20. It’s important to change things up and keep play fun, so worth investing here.
  • Food: Approx $60 for a dog and $30 for a cat. Cost here varies greatly according to the quality of the food provided.
  • Pet insurance: If you’re worried about being able to afford large non-budgeted-for vet bills, this is a great option. Cost varies with the cover you need and the insurance you’ve selected, but on average, budget for about $40 per month.

2-3 monthly costs

  • Grooming: This all depends on the length of hair, size of pet and whether you do frequent mini grooms or the full shebang. A ballpark range is $40-105.

Yearly costs

  • Council registration: Depending on your council, this could be $20 or more like $200. It’s also more expensive for non-desexed pets.
  • Vaccinations and/or yearly vet: Even though some vaccines are triannual, there should still be an annual check up. Again, this varies depending on where you live––the real estate affect is active here. Ballpark cost is $70-$120.
  • Obedience training: This ranges from $20 to $250 depending on format (local groups in parks vs. one-on-one help).
Pooch’s ballpark (not including insurance)
TOTAL: $1,300 (+~$320 with clipping small dog)
Kitty’s ballpark (not including insurance)
TOTAL: $900 (+~$150 with clipping)
The Ballpark Cost Series
So how did we arrive at these totals? And what other costs come with caring for a pet?
Read the Vetchat Ballpark Cost Series. It goes into detail on the price of buying a pet upfront, the things you’ll need to pay for in the first year, plus ongoing expenses like pet foodvet visits and grooming.

About The Author

Claire is a QLD graduate with 19 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of VetChat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.