You have done the research on the initial costs of bringing home a new pet– kudos to you!  But have you taken a look at the long-term commitment of getting a new dog or cat?  

If you haven’t considered the yearly costs and how those factor into your income, we’re here to help you figure out a baseline for what to expect. These are not the one-time expenses, like an initial adoption fee or the cost of the actual pet themselves, but the recurring expenses that will need to be factored into your budget for the next 10-15 years (or the lifetime of your pet).  

If you like to plan ahead, which you should do when considering a new cat or dog (or any pet, for that matter), then congratulations… you just hit the jackpot. We’ll make sure you don’t miss any considerations on your list!  

Routine Wellness Care
Let’s take a look at the expected veterinary expenses first. At the very least, you will want to have your pet seen by a veterinarian for a routine wellness check once a year (maybe more, if your pet has any underlying medical conditions). At these visits, you can expect them to do a physical exam, perhaps collect a fecal sample, and update your pet on any necessary vaccinations. With all of these things combined, you can expect to spend $60-$100, or sometimes more if any additional testing is recommended, or if your pet needs various vaccines at once. 

vet giving medical care to a bunny

By Motortion Films//Shutterstock

Some veterinary practices offer wellness care packages that will ultimately save you money on these visits in the long run. Do some shopping around and see what works best for your budget, and choose a practice where you feel most comfortable.  


Pet Insurance
Is pet insurance completely necessary?  No.  

Can it alleviate veterinary costs and give you peace of mind?  Yes. 

Insuring your dog or cat (especially at a younger age) can really be beneficial as they get older and are more at risk of developing health conditions. There are many levels of pet insurance to choose from. Some may cover emergency expenses, and others may pick up the slack should your pet develop a chronic condition (if you insure them before it’s pre-existing). Some insurances may even cover a portion of your pet’s vaccinations! It all depends on the level of coverage you seek out, but pet insurance is something you don’t want to take off the table.  

Feeding Your Pet
You bought the initial bag of food…. But it runs out three weeks later. Finding food that agrees with your pet is the first step. Then, figure you will spend anywhere from $30-$60 on food for your pet monthly at least. If your pet requires a special or prescription diet, maybe more. It doesn’t seem like much, but these costs add up, and you just want to make sure there’s room in the budget for them.  

Collage of closeup portraits of poodle before and after grooming against aqua background

By: Kasefoto//Shutterstock

Grooming (if Applicable)
Are you considering a dog breed that will need regular haircuts? Does your dog HATE baths, so you leave it to the groomer? Does your cat need their nails clipped?  

It’s important to consider what type of upkeep you will end up outsourcing, how frequently, and what the going rate is in your area. Do a round-up of groomers in your neighborhood and get pricing in advance. Decide about how often your pet will need grooming care, and add it to the budget!  

Emergency Costs 
Welp, we all know… life happens sometimes. It’s beyond our control, and things just “pop up” unexpectedly… like emergency veterinary care. Emergency care can sometimes be pricey, and while you won’t be able to predict what is going to happen or when you can still start setting aside an emergency fund for your pet should something arise. Choosing how much you will put aside monthly is up to you, but this is definitely a consideration and something you don’t want to get caught off guard dealing with.   

Just the fact that you’ve made it to this part of the article proves you are VERY invested in budgeting properly for your new pet. With these tips in your back pocket, you’ll be extremely prepared for pet ownership!