Slide Show | September 2011

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The Cost of Owning 5 Popular Small Household Pets

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Jane Cockman

It seems simple enough to buy that cute bunny in the window or colorful fish in the aquarium, but they still come with high costs and, often, a long-term commitment.

The best way to prepare financially for these little guys is to talk to a vet beforehand, says Dr. Laurie Hess, owner of the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics in Bedford Hills, New York. Hess says that many people with small pets don’t think of health care at all until their pets get sick. By that time, however, the problem may have progressed to the point where care has become too expensive for the owner to justify. “Often, the species I treat don’t have the same emotional or financial value as a cat or dog might have,” says Hess. “You want to give your pet a good life, so it’s important to consider this ahead of time.”

We’ve researched the ownership costs for five popular small household pets. Click through our slide show to see if you’re prepared to foot the bill for a rabbit, hamster, bird, reptile or fish.

Sources: ASPCA, MyHouseRabbit.com, CostHelper.com, ExoticPetVet.com, PetPlace.com, ReptileCare.com, PetSnake.com, AvianExoticsVet.com

The Cost of Owning 5 Popular Small Household Pets
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