Cost of a dog or cat in US or Canada

Costs of Owning a Pet in 2022

Want a pet, but aren’t sure if this is something you can afford?

Go on and read, you’ll have an idea about them.

And then you can start planning!

Pets bring so much joy to a home and they are great for keeping you company. They are a wonderful addition to any home and are faithful companions, if you’re living alone or even living with others.

However, most pet owners are not aware of the many hidden costs and continuous upkeep that is required for their pets, including the many vet appointments, food, grooming needs and toys, to name a few.

Pet ownership has proven benefits to both the physical and mental health of pet owners.

Should you budget before getting a pet?

Whether you’re considering adopting a dog, a cat, a bird, a snake or a fish, it is important to be committed to caring for your new pet for the entirety of its life. Adopting or adding a new pet can be exciting and frustrating but it is also very rewarding.

Thus, it is important to understand the commitment you are making in doing so. Pets require your love and attention, but also require food, shelter and bedding, among other things.

You will also have to be prepared to give your new pet the required veterinary care necessary so that they can live a long, healthy and happy life. 

Pet ownership traverses almost all demographic boundaries and pet owners spend substantial amounts of money caring for their pets each year. On average, U.S. households spend over $500 a year on their pets.

Pets can almost be considered an extra family member, thus, budgeting for your pet ensures that both you and your pet get the best possible experience and keeps you prepared for anything that may come up in the future. 

Pet ownership in the United States

The 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey states that 70% of U.S. households own a pet. However, in 1988, this survey stated that only 56% of U.S. households owned a pet. 126 million households own a pet that is either a dog, a cat or freshwater fish, and these pets are seen to be the most commonly owned among all pets.

On the other hand, birds, reptiles, horses and saltwater fish are not as commonly owned, with only 27.3 million households owning one or more of these pets. 32% of these pet owners are millennials, with baby boomers and Gen X following, at 27% and 24% respectively.

What are the costs involved in the US?

If you plan on getting a cat or a dog, you should be aware of the upfront costs, the cost of essentials and the unexpected costs, so that you will always be prepared. These costs vary for a cat and a dog, and each pet has their specific needs. For instance, it would cost approximately $750 to adopt a dog and prepare your home for them, whereas it would cost $625 to adopt a cat.

Additionally, the average yearly expenditure to keep your dog happy and healthy is estimated at $2,175 and $1,385 if you have a cat. When considering unexpected costs incurred, it is estimated that it may cost around $200 per year if you have a dog, with an additional $500 or more if your dog is injured or needs to be hospitalized.

On the other hand, the unexpected costs for a cat vary depending on the circumstance, however, it is advisable to save at least $725 per year.

Further, to help you along this journey and to ensure that you know what to expect, we have put together a list of things you need to keep in mind before you get a pet (these are included in the approximate costs mentioned above).

Pet Ownership in Canada

57% of Canadian households own pets, this is equal to 7.5 million households. Cats are also seen to be more popular pets than dogs, and 37% of Canadian households owned one or more cats, compared to 32% who owned dogs. 9% of Canadians own other types of pets, including fish, birds, hamsters, sugar gliders and reptiles.

Among Canadian pet owners, 18% report that they obtained a new pet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Further, pet owners between the ages of 18-24 are most likely to have purchased a pet since the start of the pandemic (38%), with baby boomers being the least likely (9%). However, these results are consistent across demographics.

What are the costs involved in Canada?

If you plan on getting a cat or a dog, you should be aware of the upfront costs, the cost of essentials and the unexpected costs, so that you will always be prepared. These costs vary for a cat and a dog, and each pet has their specific needs. For instance, it would cost approximately $3,934 to care for a puppy within the first 12 months. On the other hand, it would cost $2,516 to care for a puppy after the first 12 months

These costs include the cost of adopting the pet but does not include additional expenses like grooming or boarding fees for pet sitting agencies. 

The main bulk of the costs to care for a dog or cat are incurred through the initial essential purchases, such as pet beds, collars, leashes, crates, and other toys. There are also ongoing expenses that include food and litter, as well as annual pet licensing fees that are required by most municipalities to own a dog or cat.

Veterinary costs, which are a significant chunk of the cost initially, can also decrease over the years. However, as your pet ages, these costs are likely to increase. When considering adopting a dog, the cost can depend on the breed you choose.

The size of your pet does have an impact on the budget needed for their food, for instance. Some breeds may have genetic health issues which may lead to extra vet visits on the long run, whereas other breeds may need lots of exercise and you may have to consider hiring a regular dog walker.

Further, to help you along this journey and to ensure that you know what to expect, we have put together a list of things you need to keep in mind before you get a pet (these are included in the approximate costs mentioned above).

Home preparation

Pets rarely stay in one place, especially puppies and kittens. Puppies chew most things in the house, kittens like to climb everywhere, and dogs tend to get into food storage and trash cans. Thus, it is important to ensure that you lock up any hazards (pest control products, cleaning products) in your house that may be harmful to your pets.

It is advisable to rearrange these items and keep them locked away or out of reach from your pets. You could even invest in storage products that have a hard exterior so that your pets would not be able to easily access hazardous items that you own and turn them into their chew toys.

Choosing a vet

If you decide to adopt a pet from an adoption agency, they may require you to list your veterinarian on the adoption application. So, it is wise to be prepared and ask around for recommendations from other pet owners.

It is also crucial to visit or at least telephone your new vet’s office to inform them that you are adopting an animal.

Make it a point to learn your vet’s working hours, save the contact information, and also check about emergencies after hours and how they are handled. As some pets may require regular vet visits, you can use Unaagi to ensure you never miss an appointment.

Pet Supplies

Dogs usually require the greatest number of supplies and here are some of the supplies that you will need to consider when budgeting for your new pet:

  • Food
  • Food and water dishes
  • Collar and leash
  • ID tags (or implanted ID microchip)
  • Dog bed
  • Baby gates if you’re keeping your dog within certain parts of the house
  • Crate
  • Treats and toys

 

However, if you’re adopting a cat, you’ll need a litter box and litter. It is ideal to have a climbable play area to keep your cat entertained, so that your cat can climb and use its claws. Smaller sized pets will require a safe, appropriately sized cage, bedding and specialized food for their development and growth.

Adoption Costs

These costs vary but it is rarely free. Most shelters will refund part or all of the cost of spaying or neutering your cat or dog. Some animals also receive their initial vaccinations before they’re put up for adoption.

Day to Day Expenses

Budgeting for pet food will take practice and will ultimately need to become a habit for any pet owner. This cost will also have to include cat litter for your cat or even bedding for your smaller pets.

Unaagi can ensure that you have reminders to buy your pet food on time and keep track of anything else that your pets may need on any given week.

Training

Training your dog may be an unnecessary expense, especially if you are adopting a small dog. However, budgeting for training is a smart and effective way forward for any dog you adopt, even if your dog comes already trained.

Basic training classes cost $100 on average and will help you establish your household’s ‘chain of command’. Training your dog is well worth the investment, particularly if you live in an apartment complex or any other environment where your dog may regularly encounter other people and pets.

Veterinary Care

Budgeting for your first veterinary evaluation is essential for your new pet. Your vet can then alert you to any pre-existing health problems, ensure your pet is properly vaccinated, help you with flea or parasite control and also arrange spaying or neutering if necessary.

These procedures ensure that your pets have a long and healthy life. You should ensure that your pet’s vaccinations are updated yearly, and you should budget to set aside a portion of money for any unforeseen veterinary expenses.

Adopting a new pet can be one of the most rewarding events in your life. Budgeting for your pet is crucial as it ensures that your pet will receive all the care it needs and deserves for a happy and healthy life.

There are many aspects to keep in mind before adopting a pet, it truly is a financial investment that should be given due consideration on your part.

Hence, if you budget properly and make a commitment to provide a safe, healthy and happy home for a pet, the rewards are truly priceless.

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