Thinking About Owning a Pet? Here Are the Costs You Might Incur Throughout Its Lifetime

By Brittany Hawthorne


As good of companions as pets are, they can be incredibly costly. From pet insurance, adoption costs, recurring food expenses, and much more, there’s no way around spending hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars on your animal. Before deciding to bring a pet home and have it become apart of your family, it’s important to consider not just the one-time costs, but the annual costs as well. CreditCardCompare recently conducted a study on the cost of owning different pets around the world. From Japan to the United Kingdom and the United States, they’ve calculated most of the associated costs that come with pet ownership. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on pet costs in the United States. 



Dogs are unique in that they have unique yearly recurring expenses such as grooming, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and typically a larger amount of food depending on a dog’s size. The most expensive one-time cost for dog ownership is the cost to adopt and buy at $250 and the most expensive annual cost is flea/tick/heartworm prevention at $300. 

One-time: $700

Annual: $1,180

Lifetime: $14,860 



Owning a cat seems to be a more cost-effective way to go compared to dogs if you are thinking of owning a pet. The most expensive one-time cost for cat ownership is the spay/neuter cost at $145 and for annual costs, flea/tick/heartworm prevention is the most expensive at $300. 

One-time: $400

Annual: $775

Lifetime: $10,862



Overall, birds land as the least expensive pet to own in the entire analysis. Food, toys, and annual vet costs tend to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum comparatively. 

One-time: $135

Annual: $369



As small as they are, reptiles surprisingly have high annual and one-time costs. A tank and other accessories will put you out $500 and annual food costs will cost about $400. 

One-time: $500

Annual: $560

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