How much do cats or dogs cost to own?

It’s the age-old war of cats vs. dogs. Who will win? We examine the cost of owning a dog per year, and the cost of owning a cat per year.

Are you getting a puppy for Christmas? Or a kitten? Cute … but expensive!

According to the Animal Health Alliance (AHA), the Australian pet industry is worth around $8 billion each year. That’s a big number – so how does it break down for you personally?

According to the Animal Health Alliance’s most recent Pet Ownership in Australia report, dog or cat owners can expect the following pet ownership costs.

Cats vs Dogs - ASIC on cost of pet ownership

Source: ASIC Infographic.

Cost of owning a Dog

The average household spends $1,051 per year on their dog. That’s means you’re looking at the cost of owning a dog per month being around $87.

But naturally, many households have more than one dog, so the overall average spend by dog-owning households is $1,471 per year.

The main costs of having a dog are expenditure for dog food ($530) and veterinary costs ($358). In detail, the cost of owning a dog per year is as follows:

What $ per dog, per year
Pet food $379
Veterinary services $256
Healthcare products $133
Clipping/grooming $71
Accessories $66
Pet insurance $37
Boarding or minding $35
Competitions, memberships $19
Behaviour training $18
Walking $11
Transport $11
Other $15
Total $1,051

Source: AHA, Pet Ownership in Australia Report, 2013.

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Cost of owning a Cat

There’s no denying it – cats are cheaper than dogs! The average annual spend per cat is $705. That rounds out to the monthly cost of owning a cat being less than $59.

The average cat-owning household, however, has more than one moggie, and will spend $1,057 combined on their cats in a year.

Proportionally, cat owners spend significantly more on food for their pet than dog owners though, with cat food making up nearly 50% of expenditure. Of course, while we know that cats can be fussy eaters, in pure dollar terms they still do not chow down as much as dogs do.

Of course, it’s important to remember that cats don’t actually need a lot of accessories or fancy toys or scratching posts. Most cats love a plain, old cardboard box best of all!

Source: mugumogu, owner of Maru the cat

As with dog owners, veterinary costs were the second biggest expense for cat owners.

In detail, the average yearly cost of owning a cat is as follows:

What $ per dog, per year
Pet food $326
Veterinary services $147
Healthcare products $92
Accessories $39
Boarding or minding $35
Pet insurance $20
Clipping/grooming $14
Competitions, memberships $8
Behaviour training $5
Transport $5
Other $14
Total $705

Source: AHA, Pet Ownership in Australia Report, 2013.

 

With veterinary expenses one of the top costs for both cat and dog owners, remember to look into pet insurance. You can compare pet insurance policies on our website.

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Cost of owning a Fish

Source: Better Homes and Gardens | Dr Harry

You might be surprised but in fact the most common pet in Australia is the humble fish! According to PetSecure, there are 20.5 million pet fish swimming in bowls and tanks all around the country. (That’s almost as many fish as people!)

If you’re looking for a cheap pet, it’s hard to go past the goldfish, or the Siamese Fighting Fish if you like a flashier tail. The average fish-owning household spends $264/year, and the average spend per fish is a mere $29/year.

Even if the aquarium tank costs a bit to set up, that’s some seriously cheap fish food.

Cost of owning a Bird

The cost of owning a bird is just $104/year, but birds are social animals and will quite often get stressed, depressed, or physically ill if they are left on their own for any period of time. They need feathered friends around!

For this reason, bird-owning households have multiple Pollys or Budgies and spend an average of $491/year for their aviary.

 

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