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Yearly Cost of Owning Pets

Today, I’m sitting down to calculate the cost of owning my pets.

I’m not including any cost like worm pills for the dog, vet visits or grooming expenses.

We currently have 1 dog (a chocolate lab), 1 cat, 2 hamsters and 1 1/2 fish.  With the fish, sometimes we get new ones when the fish dies and sometimes we don’t, thus the 1 1/2 number…  We really like having pets, but they do require a lot of work (I hate cleaning cages) and if you add up the cost per years, it’s ends up being a little over $1,000 dollars.

Obviously, the most expensive pet for us is our dog.  She eats about 1 bag of dog food a month (@ $45 per bag).  We got unlucky with our dog because she has a food allergy that requires us to spend $45 per bag.  Our cat goes through about 1 bag of cat food every 3 months (@ 10 per bag).  Cat litter usually runs about $12 a month.  The cost of the hamsters and fish pale in comparison to the dog and cat from a food perspective.  But the hamsters do require frequent bedding changes (once a week, but we stretch it to 2 weeks).  So the bedding cost for a hamster usually runs about $5 per month.   The fish cost about $3 a year. 

When we go on vacation, we only board up the dog.  We get away with the cat because we bring out extra litter pan for her, and she use all 3 until we return.  Note, we only take 1 week vacation, 2 weeks and we’d have a problem…

Yearly Pet Costs  
 FoodCat LitterBoardingBedding
Hamster40 060
   Total Cost:$1,017
 *bedding for the fish is water changes


My kids really enjoy there pets though, so for the time being, this is an expense that I can’t get out of. 

If you do want a pet, that isn’t expensive, fish are the way to go.  We currently have 2 beta fish, and they are both pretty and easy maintenance.


3 Responses to Yearly Cost of Owning Pets

  1. Looks like my first pet is going to be a fish! 🙂

    All of the apartments that I have lived in don’t allow dogs and if you have a cat you have to pay a $30-$45 fee so I have stayed away from pets. I hope to one day have a cat or dog. But that will be when I get a home. Which is a loooong time in the future.