The Financial Implications of Fluffy: Costs of Becoming a Pet Owner

Before you bring that adorable dog or cat home, make sure you can afford it over the long run. Here are some of the typical costs of pet ownership to consider first.

A gray cat nuzzles the face of a golden retriever.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Animals are just plain cute and can bring so much joy to your life, but like children, they are not cheap – especially if you care for your pet properly.

Whether you choose to adopt or buy a pet from a store or breeder, there are several costs to consider over the life of your pet. The first one being acquisition cost. You can adopt a dog for around $60 to over $200 depending on the shelter (this usually includes having them spayed/neutered and all their vaccines), but I have seen French bulldog puppies through breeders for $7,000. You would want to do your research on breeds and make sure you get a healthy pet.

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Roxanne Alexander, CFP®, CAIA, AIF®, ADPA®
Senior Financial Adviser, Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial Wealth Management

Roxanne Alexander is a senior financial adviser with Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial handling client analysis on investments, insurance, annuities, college planning and developing investment policies. Prior to this, she was a senior vice president at Evensky & Katz working with both individual and institutional clients. She has a bachelor’s in accounting and business management from the University of the West Indies, she received an MBA at the University of Miami in finance and investments.