How Much Does it Cost to Own a Small Pet?

Both people who live alone and in big families can benefit significantly from owning a small pet. Sure, they will chew on your furniture now and then or knock over a flower pot (yes, we are referring to cats) but in the end, having a faithful animal companion will bring joy to your life.

So, if you’re considering a pet hamster, rabbit, or rescuing a dog, cat or another small pet, it’s important to be aware of potential costs. Here we’ll look into the total annual cost of owning and caring for different pets, so it will be easier to decide which pet suits your living standard.

And of course, if you are looking for a furry friend to enrich your life, click here.

Owning a cat ($500 – $1,000 dollars annually)

If you like a pet who likes to cuddle and purrs in your lap, then cats are the ideal choice. Cat food is not so expensive today, especially if you bulk buy it. Apart from food and litter (which is also fairly affordable), there are no major daily expenses of owning a feline friend but there are annual expenses. These mainly concern medical needs or grooming if you want your cat to look its best.

A big factor in deciding whether to get a cat is your home. If you own a house, then the cat is bound to spend time outside, increasing the total medical cost because they will need to be vaccinated more often. On the other side, if the cat never leaves the apartment, you won’t have to spend as much.

Owning a hamster ($300 – $500 dollars annually)

On average, cats live up to 15 years and each year of joy with them means a year of financial spending. Hamsters, on the other side, have a significantly shorter lifespan which means you will spend less on feeding them.

Because of this, hamsters are ideal pets for children, who adore their little snouts and their innate love to running inside a hamster wheel. Since they live in a cage and can eat so much food, they make for ideal first pets. As far as medical costs go, they are virtually non-existent.

Owning a bird ($200 – $400 dollars annually)

Speaking of cages, birds are another species that are fairly cheap to own. Whether it’s a parrot or a canary, their upkeep is more than affordable. Bird seeds don’t take up a lot of space in the house and they can be purchased from any pet store for a bargain.

What is more, you can feed them with seeds you already have in the kitchen, lowering the already low cost of owning them. Unlike hamsters, birds tend to live longer so you will enjoy their melodious twitter for many years and even decades.

Owning a rabbit ($600 to $1,000 dollars annually)

In terms of cuteness and suitability for children, no animal is better than a rabbit. However, these Bugs Bunnies come with a cost, literally. Bedding and litter and alone will set you back hundreds of dollars annually.

Furthermore, you need to take special care about rabbit food because their diet needs to be balanced. If a rabbit consumes unhealthy food on a regular basis, they risk various health issues, including death. Also, if they become sick, you can expect a huge bill from the vet.

Owning a dog ($700 – $2,000 dollars annually)

No list would be complete with the man’s best friend, the dog. Not only are they intelligent and playful but dogs are loyal to their owners which makes them ideal pets. However, this loyalty does come with a hefty price tag.

Depending on the size of the dog and its breed, you will have to put away annually at least 1,000 dollars for an average-sized dog. In general the bigger the dog, the more “upkeep” it requires, both in terms of food and medical bills.

The most expensive dogs to keep are purebred ones, who cost a lot to purchase to begin with. They are usually used for dog shows and in some cases racing. Alternatively, we suggest taking a trip to the local animal shelter to get a rescue dog. There will be a lot of medical care at first in the form of vaccinations, but they will reciprocate the love you gave them for decades to come.

11 Comments. Leave new

  • We have adoption events every Saturday and Sunday
    Please check our social media for more information.

  • Jeannette Ramirez
    August 6, 2020 12:23 pm

    I would like to send a picture of the puppy we adopted in May 2020 from paw works..

  • MaryLynn Suchan
    August 21, 2020 4:51 pm

    This was very helpful! Thank you!

  • Dora Zavala
    March 9, 2021 6:51 pm

    do you have pet’s now to adopt

  • Can we adopted one dog? For the firsts experience on my daughter it’s 10 years old

  • Michelle Mehall
    August 21, 2021 1:57 pm

    Love your rescue/agency! Thank you for posting approximate yearly costs of owning each type of animal as pet. Some people just don’t think past feeding, which is why sooo many animals end up in high kill shelters! Some of us committed adopters (purposely) only adopt from high-kill shelters, to spare a life and insure space at the shelter! Also…I totally understand the rising costs of caring, vetting, treating, housing all these beauties! It would be hugely helpful for “pawworks” if you would continue to remind viewers/potential adopters, that adoption fees not only pay for costs of care, housing & vetting, transportation. Those adoption fees help pay for ongoing Vet care balances and help insure that the Paw Works Rescue can continue to (be ready) to rescue at risk, sick and injured animals from county shelters! Thank you for all you do and for doing it so well!!


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