The true cost of a pet - how to calculate if you can afford a new addition?
Whether you’re single or you have a family, a new pet can bring joy to just about anyone. But owning a pet goes way beyond having a dog or cat to cuddle. Pet ownership is a big responsiblity and can be expensive so it’s important to be prepared for the costs involved, especially if you’re already living from week to week, or you don’t have any money saved for emergencies in case it’s needed.
Let’s take a look at the true cost of a pet and how to calculate if you can afford a new furry friend...
- One of the main expenses of pet ownership is the amount of money that needs to go to food. A cat will tend to be less expensive to feed than a dog, but they’re both still pricey. According to ASIC's Money Smart, on average it costs $622 a year to feed a dog and $576 a year to feed a cat. Broken down, you can expect to spend an average of over $50 a month on food alone for a dog.
- The next most expensive category when it comes to owning a cat or dog are the vet costs. Vets provide the necessary preventative care to animals in order to keep them healthy and prevent more expensive problems from happening. For a dog, this will cost you around $400 a year and for a cat, a little under $300. Keep in mind, these costs are just for standard care and it does not include the costs that would be associated with an emergency such as broken bones, the animal swallowing a foreign object, or any other unexpected events. Animal surgery is expensive and typically starts in the thousands.
- After food and vet care, there are a variety of other expenses to take into account. There are health products such as medications, vitamins and supplements; grooming costs, and boarding costs in the event that you go away on holiday and you can’t take your pet with you. Plus you may want to consider pet insurance for added protection and peace of mind.
If you add everything up, it costs around $1,500 year per year to own a dog and a little over $1,000 to own a cat - just for the basic necessities. And, if you do decide to insure your pet, the average yearly cost of pet insurance in Australia is just under $300. While the cost of owning a pet shouldn’t sway you from adding a furry addition to the family, it’s important to keep these costs in mind so that you can be financially prepared for them before making this important decision.
And if you ever have a medical emergency with one of your pets, make sure you check out our flexible mini-loans from $1K - $5K to find out how easy it is to get some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours - so you can stop stressing about those vet bills and focus on getting your pet well and back home with you!