[Infographic] The True Annual Cost of Owning a Pet

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[Infographic] The True Annual Cost of Owning a Pet

Are you going to buy a pet, or adopt one anytime soon? You may be wondering how much owning a pet actually costs. Apart from the cost of the pet itself, there are a plethora of expenses that you need to consider before you opt to bring a pet in your home.

CertaPet.com has created this excellent infographic that graphically represents the major costs involved with owning a pet dog, cat, bird, fish, guinea pig and rabbit.

Owning a dog:
According to CertaPet, owning a dog can cost you anywhere between $604 to $1043 per year in variable expenses, depending on the size of the dog.The one-time fixed costs range between $300 to $400, again depending on size.

The major annual costs are attributed to food bill, medical expenses and vet bills, toys and grooming.

As for the one-time fixed costs, you have to account for spaying/neutering, a collar or leash, crates and carriers, etc.

Owning a cat:
Owning a cat can be more cost-effective as you can expect your annual variable costs to not exceed $500 for an average-sized cat. The one-time capital cost for a cat is also a lot lower for a cat than for a dog.

Apart from food, vet bill and toys, you will need to dedicate a significant portion of the overall cost for pet litters.

Privileges if you own an emotional support animal:
If your pet is also your emotional support animal, you are likely to save on some costs. ESA owners are not required to pay pet fees or pet deposits when renting out an apartment. Better yet, ESA owners can keep their pets even when they are living in a no-pet housing. ESA owners also get to fly with their pets in-cabin in all US domestic flights, without paying any extra pet fee. (Learn more here: What is an emotional support animal?)

Owning a bird:
Owning a bird is a lot cheaper when compared to both dogs and cats. The annual expense will average to around $115 (which just comprises the cost of food and toys), and the one-time fixed cost would amount to about $70 (for the cage only).

Owning a fish:
Owning a small fish does not cost much. The average size pet fish will consume about $20 of food in an entire year. Better yet, it's not likely that you will ever need to take your fish to a vet.

Apart from food expenses, there is no other variable expense that you could possibly attribute to annual costs. As for one-time, upfront costs, you will definitely need to buy an aquarium, which can cost as little as $30 to as much as $200, depending on the size.

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