Over at Her Every Cents Counts, she has a blog post about the costs of pet ownership. Within the article it sites a 2001 survey that estimates the costs as this
Dogs cost about $730 per year.
Cats cost about $355 per year.
Rodents cost about $160 per year.
A tank of fish costs about $200 per year.
Birds cost about $770 per year.
Lizards cost about $745 per year.
Snakes cost about $520 per year."
Since this was in 2001, now 8 years old, we can only assume these costs have increased. Although, given current economic conditions they probably are not as high as they might have been in say 2007. Anyway, I'm not an economist I just follow what my own price points are telling me. I can say that I have noticed an increase in the cost of pet food, which is probably related to overall increase in food prices. For instance when Iams Premium Protection was first introduced it was 4.99 a 4lb bag. Three months later it was 7.99. Now the 3 dollar price hike was probably for a variety of reasons but still that's a rather large jump for a 4lb bag of dog food that is going to last maybe a week.
Now I am not going to get into the argument of is the cost worth it. My position on this is obvious as I am a pet owner. But in a way I find the "it's too expensive" argument to be similar to the "child are too expensive" argument. Yes, it will cost you money. Does it cost you exactly what the estimates above show? Well that depends on several things. The biggest I think is your own spending style. For instance, if you like to buy yourself accessories and stay on top of the latest trends and styles are you going to let your dog wear the same collar for it's entire life? Maybe, but chances are you will probably buy them several. I know this because my own sister has bought her beagle more collars than I care to count. Does this mean she is wrong in doing so? No. It just means that her costs of pet ownership are probably going to be higher than someone who buys one collar and that is the only collar their dog will ever have for it's lifetime. I know that my first year of pet ownership I spent a lot more $730 dollars thanks to vet bills alone. But now I am curious as to what my cost of pet ownership is going to come in at for the year. So starting in April, I am going to track my monthly pet costs right here on Frugal Beagle.
I hope that with this blog you can find ways to enjoy pet ownership without breaking the bank. Even if you are not a pet owner but a pet lover, there are still ways you can give back to the pet community without breaking your budget.