The thought has crossed all of our minds at some point... wouldn't life be better with a furry friend to keep us company? While we all know someone that has probably made an impulsive decision to come home with a sausage dog or dachshund named Spencer or Ralph, it can be a good idea to check just how much this new addition to the family will cost you both up front, and over the long run.
It's no secret that a pet costs money, but just how much will it cost and for what type of pet? Is it more expensive to own a pug or a Labrador? How much are vaccines and pet-related bills? We have the answers here for you to make an informed decision.
The initial outlay
In the first year alone, a cat or dog will cost you anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000. This is heavily dependent on what animal you buy, as there's usually a significant difference between adopting and purchasing from a breeder. Typically, you'll end up paying between $0 to $500 if you decide to adopt a pet, depending on the situation (type/breed of animal and it's age). This can then shoot up quite dramatically, all the way to a few thousand dollars for pure-bred animals from a qualified breeder. Either way, after your first year, expect to continue forking out:
- $1,627 for a dog
- $962 for a cat
(Source: Animal Medicines Australia)
What's usually expected in the initial outlay for owning any pet is the cost of microchipping, vaccinating and desexing, which can set you back up to $1,000 in the first year. However, if you decide to adopt, this can sometimes be free.
The ongoing expense
After forking out the initial expense for your new cuddly critter, there are a number of ongoing expenses to be mindful of when caring for your pet which we've listed below:
- Veterinary expenses: about $450 each year, depending on your pet's health. It's recommended that you regularly take your pet to the vet to preempt any major health issues in the long run.
- Pet insurance: between $20 and $60 each month. Just like car insurance, your pet can be insured for a number of policies like accident-only, all the way to comprehensive. If you have comprehensive home & contents insurance, carefully read your PDS as accidents or illnesses to your pet could already be included.
- Flea, tick and worming medications: $300 to $450 each year, depending on your pet's size. These are particularly important expenses, and ones that can't be overlooked... if you want to keep costs low over time.
- Pet registration in Brisbane: between $110 to $150 depending on your pet's situation (desexed, age etc). Again, much like your motor vehicle, you'll need to make sure your pet is legally registered with the Brisbane City Council. Concessions are available for residents with pensioner cards, veterans affairs cards and more.
- Pet food: this can vary based on what size pet you have, but according to the national average, this will typically cost you around $800 each year for premium pet food. And, don't forget, you'll need to add more on for treats!
- Kennels and catteries: again, this varies based on the time of year, length of stay and location. Expect to fork out between $25 to $50 per night. We'd highly recommend befriending your next-door neighbour to take care of your pet, or phone a friend!
Although we hate realising it, owning a pet isn't just a great physical responsibility, it's also a fairly hefty financial one. However, none of these expenses take into consideration the endless amount of joy and abundance of happy memories a furry friend can bring into your life. So, at the end of the day, some would say owning a pet can be priceless... but a little budgeting and research is greatly worth it!
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