Pet Ownership: What It Really Costs to Own a Dog or Cat

What's the true cost of pet ownership? Here's how much you should expect to pay when adopting a new furry friend.

A dog and cat sit together on a floor.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re considering pet ownership, whether for yourself or for your grandkids, it helps to be aware of all the costs associated with owning a pet. To help potential pet owners understand the financial responsibilities of owning a dog or cat, Rover has released its fifth iteration of the True Cost of Pet Parenthood. The report sheds insight into just how expensive it is to raise a pet, especially now that inflation has increased prices on many essentials. 

In fact, Rover found that pet inflation is even outpacing other categories — 58% of pet parents say the cost of pet specific goods and services has increased more than the cost of other frequently purchased items. Those elevated costs will take a bite out of your budget. 30% of pet parents claimed they reduced spending in other areas of their life to make sure they can afford the items and services their pet needs. 

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Upfront Costs
ItemAverage cost range
Adoption fees$0 to $600
Vaccinations$167 to $515
Spay or neutering$250-$525
Wellness exam and parasite prevention$275-$435
Poop bags$10-$90
Food and water bowls$5-$80
Brush and nail trimmer$15-$125
Potty pads$5-$70
Cleaning supplies$5-$55
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Ongoing costs
ItemAverage cost range
Flea and tick prevention$225-$265
Poop bags$65-$85
Treats and chews$20-$380
Annual check up$105-$130
Annual Pet License Renewal$20-$125
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Common additional costs
ItemAverage cost range
Emergency vet bills$0-$2,985
Dog boarding$50 per night
Professional Grooming$55-$195
Apartment pet deposit$150-$500
Pet insurance$10-$100
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Upfront costs
ItemAverage cost range
Adoption fees$0-$185
Spay or neutering$165-$250
Microchip $20-$95
Initial vet exam and vaccinations$200-$390
Food and treats$40-$155
Food/water bowls$5-$90
Litter box$10-$550
Claw trimmers$5-$40
Scratching post$20-$300
Pet license$15-$95
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Ongoing costs
ItemAverage cost range
Annual vet appointment$105-$155

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.