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Real Cost of Owning a Pet October 3, 2023

October is recognized as “Adopt a Shelter Dog” month and many families will welcome a dog or cat into their lives during this time. Unfortunately, dogs and cats are often returned to shelters due to the new owner’s misunderstanding of the expenses involved.

New pet owners should be aware that adoption comes with financial responsibilities that go beyond food and toys. Below are the various costs associated with owning pets and tips on managing your furry friend's expenses.

When you decide to bring a pet into your home, these are the top expenses to consider immediately:

  • Adoption or purchase fees
  • Vaccinations and microchipping
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Licensing and registration


These ongoing costs can vary depending on the type and age of the pet:

  • Food and treats
  • Regular veterinary check-ups
  • Preventive medications (flea, tick, heartworm)
  • Grooming (if applicable)
  • Training Classes (if applicable)
  • Toys and enrichment


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Unexpected medical expenses

Pets can get sick or injured, leading to unexpected vet bills. It's wise to have an emergency fund or pet insurance to cover these costs. Emergency surgeries or treatments can be expensive.

Housing and Pet-Friendly Modifications

If you rent your home, you might encounter additional fees or deposits for having pets. You might also need to make modifications to ensure your pet's safety and comfort, such as fencing for a yard or pet-friendly furniture.

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Boarding and Pet Sitters

When you travel, you'll need to arrange for pet care, which can include boarding services or hiring a pet sitter. These costs can add up, especially for longer trips.

Training and Socialization

Proper training and socialization are essential for many pets, especially dogs. Investing in training classes or hiring a professional trainer can improve your pet's behavior and prevent costly damage to your home.

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Long-Term Care

As pets age, they may require more specialized care, including medications or treatments for chronic conditions. It's essential to plan for their long-term needs.

Tips for Managing Pet Costs

  • Budget Create a dedicated pet budget to track expenses and ensure you're prepared for both expected and unexpected costs.
  • Compare Costs Research prices for pet supplies, food, and services to find the best deals without sacrificing quality.
  • Consider Adoption Adopting a pet from a shelter can be more cost-effective than purchasing from a breeder.
  • Pet Insurance Consider getting pet insurance to help cover unexpected medical expenses. (Nymeo offers pet insurance)
  • DIY Grooming Learn to groom your pet at home to save on grooming expenses.
  • Regular Exercise Keeping your pet healthy through regular exercise can prevent health issues down the road.



Owning a pet is a wonderful experience, but it's crucial to be financially prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. The love as well as companionship from your pet is priceless, and with responsible financial management, you can enjoy a fulfilling life together.

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Category: Financial Literacy & Safety

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