How Much It Costs to Own a Small Pet
All pets cost money. There are a variety of costs associated with owning and caring for animals, even small animals. However, in general, a small pet will cost you much less than their larger counterparts. There are also a large number of small pets to choose from who make excellent furry, fluffy or scaley companions or family pets.
If you are on a budget, new to pet ownership and want to start small, or interested in adopting a small pet, the information in this article will help you.
Popular small pets and their associated costs
Selecting a pet is a big decision. Cost is just one of the factors you need to consider. Yet, it is a factor that is often overlooked by potential pet owners. While all of the numbers presented below are estimates, they can give you a good understanding of the costs associated with owning a small pet.
Small pets come in a variety of wonderful shapes, sizes, and species. They can also be very costly or fairly inexpensive to own. Two main categories of cost are associated with small pet ownership: one time and lifetime.
One time costs are the ones you spend upfront. The cost of purchasing the small pet, vaccinating them, and initial equipment purchase. On the other hand, lifetime costs are ongoing. For the entire life of your small pet, you will need to spend money on food, vet visits, toys, treats, etc. Many small pets can live a long time, so the lifetime costs can add up quickly. Here we’ve broken down the costs for different animals:
Rabbits as pets are growing in popularity. You can still purchase them relatively cheaply from a pet store, breeder, or adopt them from a rescue. As long as you purchase a common breed rabbit, it will likely only cost $20-$50 from a store. You need to purchase a good rabbit hutch as well, which can be considered a onetime cost.
Rabbits live between 8-10 years as pets. Often they will live much longer. The lifetime costs of a rabbit will be less than other long-lived small pets. But, you will still need to purchase food, treats, and pay vet bills.
A pet rabbit will likely cost around $300-$500 per year.
Obviously, dogs come in a variety of sizes. A dog breed is considered small if it typically weighs less than 22 lbs. or stands shorter than 16 inches. There are currently ninety-four small dog breeds to choose from. We have some beautiful small and big dogs available for adoption - have a scroll through here.
Small dogs have some of the longest life spans of any dog breed. On average they will live from 15-20 years, sometimes more. The one-time costs for a small dog will depend on the breed. Some small dogs are very costly to acquire, some are more affordable. Vet costs also tend to depend on the breed. Your food cost will be less than with large dog breeds, but toys and treats will likely cost the same and potentially more when you factor in the dog’s long life.
Factoring in one time and lifetime costs, you are looking at around $700-$2000 per year.
Cats are considered small pets. They typically cost much less than dogs. In fact, if you adopt a cat, it could cost you $75 or less. Purchasing a kitten from a breeder is similarly inexpensive; although, it may run between $100-$200.
Breed will make a difference in the lifetime costs of cats. Their lifespans are about the same as small dogs. Some breeds are more prone to health issues, which will raise your yearly vet bills. Most cat breeds, however, will not cost nearly as much as dogs per year. In general, you will likely pay between $500-$1000 per year to own a cat.
A final extremely common small pet is the ferret. These fun-loving weasels make great pets. The price of a ferret can vary, but will likely be between $50-$250. They live between five and fifteen years as pets. You will also need to purchase a habitat for them to use when not supervised. They are just too inquisitive to be left unattended.
Ferrets generally have fewer lifetime costs than other small pets. You will likely pay between $200-$500 per year to keep them.
The variety and diversity of small pets make them ideal for any family. No matter the type of pet you are looking for, you can find it in this category. A major advantage of small pets is that they tend to be less expensive than large pets. As seen in the list above, costs vary by type. Make sure to research the one time and lifetime costs of owning your chosen pet. That way you can enjoy your pet without worrying about the associated costs.
Just rescued a beautiful new member of the family? Find out about our veterinary clinics and our low-cost spray and neuter centres. Or, browse through our lovely pets currently available for adoption here.