Adopting a dog or cat involves costs. The first expense is the purchase itself, but maintaining your pet comes with a price tag of its own. What expenses should you expect?
Prepare for the costs of a pet
A dog or cat makes for a great addition to your family. But just like any other family member, your pet comes with a price tag. Purchasing a pet may involve a considerable lump sum, including the purchase of the pet itself as well as a basket, litterbox, toys and such. Then there are costs for food, vet visits, etc. Prepare yourself for these expenses and make sure you understand what to expect. It is important to be aware of these costs to make sure you can give your pet the care it needs.
Purchase cost of a dog
How much a dog will set you back, depends on several factors, such as:
- The age (pup/adult/senior dog)
- The breed
- The seller (breeder or shelter)
The price range of pups is huge. Prices have gone up considerably because of increased demand associated with the corona crisis, Unfortunately, the inflated demand for dogs and especially puppies has also caused professional breeders and illegal dog traders to flourish. Do your homework before purchasing a dog and make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy seller. Now, about the costs:
- Age: pups tend to be more expensive than adult or senior dogs.
- Breed: pedigree dogs tend to be more expensive than crossbreeds. And prices vary greatly between pedigrees.
- The seller: you can buy a pup from a breeder but consider adopting from a shelter instead. Shelters house dogs of different ages and breeds that deserve a golden basket just as well.
As you may have figured, there is no single answer to the question: ‘How much does a dog cost?’. From around €100,- for a rescue up to a thousand euro or more for a pure-bred (with or without pedigree). Purchasing a dog is a considerable investment, so make sure you prepare and don’t make any rash decisions. Always try to visit various sellers/breeders several times.
Maintenance cost of a dog
Once you’ve purchased a dog, you will begin to incur other costs such as the vet and maintenance costs. We will divide them into several categories:
- Incidental costs
Once again, these costs are variable and different for every dog. We will discuss these categories one by one.
You’ll have to take your dog to the vet. Not just in the case of illness, but for vaccinations and castration or sterilisation as well. When it comes to castrating or sterilising your dog or pup, you can count on the following costs: sterilisation around €200 to €250 and castration around €75 to €125. You can also have your dog vaccinated against various dangerous diseases. Almost all of the vaccinations must be repeated annually and cost around €50 per shot. And it is important to have your dog treated (or treat it yourself) on a regular basis against fleas and worms. In addition to these costs, your dog may fall ill or have an accident. A veterinary consultation can get quite pricy, so it is a good idea to set aside a budget in advance. It is also highly recommended to have your dog chipped and registered, which will set you back around €35.
Cost of dog food
Some dogs eat more than others but one thing is for sure: they all need food. Use our food calculator to calculate how much food your dog will need. In addition to the standard kibble and/or standard wet food diet, you may want to give your dog some tasty and healthy treats. When it comes to dog food, think around €30 a month for small dogs and around €75 a month for larger dogs.
Monthly grooming costs depend on the type of dog. Dogs with a long or double coat will require more grooming. One option is to take your dog to a grooming salon. Plus, you’ll have to provide toys, a basket, blanket and other accessories. Tip: don’t skip the thrift store! You might find some great accessories there that are just begging for another round. A solution that is sustainable as well as a great money saver. And of course, you can make some DIY toys of your own.
Incidental costs of a dog
Then there are costs that aren’t structural in nature, such as a course or puppy training. Going on vacation and taking your dog to a kennel or dog sitter? These are all costs you’ll have to take into account.
Purchase cost of a cat
People love cats so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that lots of households have one. When you want to purchase a cat, there are several things to take into account when it comes to costs. It is important to conduct proper research into the seller before buying a cat.
- Age: a kitten will set you back slightly more than an adult cat.
- Breed: there are various breeds of cats. Some cats are pure-bred and come with a pedigree. Of course, these cats cost more than a ‘regular’ housecat. A kitten without a pedigree or a clear background that was born on a farm may cost as little as a couple of tenner’s, whereas a pure-bred Ragdoll will set you back thousands of euros.
- Breeder/shelter: you’ll pay more for a cat from a breeder. This is because they are selling you a pure-bred cat, often with a pedigree. Consider going for a rescue cat or kitten from a shelter instead, they house fantastic cats that really deserve a loving home. On average, a rescue cat will set you back around €100 to €150. This amount includes the cost of vaccination, chipping and neutering.
Maintenance costs of a cat
After the purchase, begins maintenance. You’ll be making costs throughout the life of your cat. We will divide them into the following categories:
Buying a cat means you’ll be incurring veterinary costs. It is recommended to vaccinate your cat against contagious diseases such as feline panleukopenia and cat flu. Cats also need regular treatment against fleas and worms. Vaccination and treatment against fleas and worms are recurring costs. Vaccination takes place annually, deworming four times a year and flea treatment is repeated four to twelve times a year, depending on the product. In addition, you may want to sterilise or castrate your cat, which will set you back around €75 for a male and around €125 for a female.
Cost of cat food
The costs of cat food vary depending on the type of food. You have a choice between kibble and wet food and all kinds of extra snacks on top of that. If your cat is allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients, you may want to consider special diet food. In terms of budget, expect to spend anywhere between €20 and €30 a month on cat food.
When purchasing a cat, you’ll need to buy some accessories. From a simple scratching post to a gigantic play tower and from a basket to a luxurious bed; the sky is the limit and these decisions will have a major effect on the size of the investment. Then there are structural costs, such as cat litter. There are various types of cat litter, each with their own price tag.
Costs of an ageing cat
As your cat grows older, its body changes. Your pet may begin to suffer from old-age ailments and you may need to budget for additional visits to the vet. Your pet might also develop different dietary needs. As it ages and becomes less physically active, it will usually reduce its food intake. Yarrah has developed special food for senior dogs and cats that will give your senior cat or dog everything it needs.
A pet owner’s worst fear is for their dog or cat to fall ill or get injured. Accidents happen and bone fractures or poisoning are things that can happen to your pet too. Plus, your pet may contract a disease. Veterinary consultations can get pricy. For example, most vets take a surcharge for evening and weekend service. Plus, treatment and operations quickly amount to hundreds or even thousands of euros. In order to avoid sudden, large, unforeseen expenses, it is recommended to set aside some funds on a savings account. Another option is to have your dog or cat insured. Various insurance policies are available, each with their own price tag and conditions. Compare these policies and what they cover before making a purchase. Consider asking your vet to recommend an insurance company, to make sure your insurance matches your needs.
Financial distress and pets
Pets cost money, there is simply no way around it. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of reasons why you may not be able to cover the costs of your pet (for a while). That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to say goodbye to your pet. Some municipalities offer good schemes for minimum incomes and pets. Consult your local government to see if they can help. Plus, you might be able to find a pet food bank nearby. They will provide food and other necessities for your pet (almost) free of charge. If you are certain that you can no longer cover the costs of your pet, do take it to the shelter. You’ll pay a small fee but you can rest assured that your pet is properly cared for.