There’s a reason some company benefits now include pet insurance: Owning a pet can be a serious expense.
In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) — and as recently charted on this infographic — the average annual cost of owning a pet can reach $580 for a small dog, $670 for a cat or $875 for a large dog.
Personal-finance management service Mint.com estimates the average cost of pet ownership as $112 a month (or $148 in San Francisco, an expensive city) — adding up to an average of $1,344 per year. Multiply that by the median lifespan of a dog — 12.8, according to WebMD — and you could expect to spend roughly $17,200 throughout your pet’s life.
How do these numbers break down? The ASPCA’s conservative estimate of $695 for a medium size dog includes:
- 34 percent ($236) for medical expenses.
- 32 percent ($222) for health insurance.
- 17 percent ($118) for food.
- 8 percent ($56) for toys and treats.
- 2 percent ($14) for a pet license.
- 6 percent ($42) for miscellaneous expenses.
Of course, with their incredible ability to lower anxiety , a pet may actually save you money, since you may no longer need psychotherapy sessions or anti-anxiety medication. So ultimately, Boomer may be paying his own way.
How much do you think you spend per year on your pet? Are your pet expenses budgeted?