Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Tips for Budgeting Your Pet Care Costs


They might be small, but your pets can end up costing you big if you aren't careful.
They might be small, but your pets can end up costing you big if you aren't careful.
Martin Poole/Getty Images

You love your pet like a child, but that doesn't mean you can afford to spend your entire life savings caring for it. Pets aren't quite as costly as children, but they do have to be fed and cared for -- and that can be expensive. In a single year, one large dog can rack up nearly $2,000 in feeding, grooming, and health care costs [source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals]. Over the course of a pet's life, an owner might spend as much as $14,000 on everything from kibble to pet insurance [source: Consumer Reports]. Multiply that amount by the number of pets in your house, and you'll see how quickly pets can overrun your bank account.

You have two options: Buy a cheaper pet (fish only cost $235 a year to maintain and pet rocks are free), or carefully budget your pet's care [source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals].

Just like you clip coupons before making your weekly trip to the supermarket and buy your clothes off the sale rack, you can save money on pet care without compromising the health of your furry best friend. Here are five easy tips for saving a few bucks on pet care costs.


More to Explore