Here’s What It Costs To Own All The Pets Your Kid Says They Want

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Eventually, your kid is going to demand a pet, because you’ve been training them from the day they were born to think of animals as smaller, fuzzier versions of themselves, who talk and make great companions on awesome adventures. That’s on you. Also on you? All the money it’s going to take to keep said pet thriving so you don’t have to teach your kid about death too soon.

So, before you head to the pet store, you should know what you’re getting your wallet into. The following cost analysis comes courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and accounts for upkeep costs alone, not the price of the pet. Which brings up another point: Maybe skip the pet store altogether and rescue the pet instead.

That way, when your kid realizes the dog doesn’t talk (remember, your fault. You’re the one who showed them Up) and loses interest, the dog will still think you’re the best guy ever.

Small Dog

Before you buy a purse dog, turn off the Kardashians for a minute and think about what message that little ankle biter sends your kid. Animals are not accessories, and why are you carrying a purse?

Annual Costs

  • Food: $55
  • Recurring Medical: $210
  • Toys/Treats: $40
  • License: $15
  • Health Insurance: $225
  • Miscellaneous: $35
  • Annual Total: $580

One-Time Costs

  • Spay/Neuter: $190
  • Other initial medical: $70
  • Collar/Leash: $25
  • Carrier Bag: $40
  • Crate: $35
  • Training Class: $110
  • First Year Total: $1,050
  • Life expectancy: 11 Years
  • Lifetime Total: $6,850

Medium Dog

A wise man said that real dogs weigh no less than 25 pounds, and anything less than that is a cat. His name has been lost to the ages, so now you can tell your kids that you were the wise man. And if they really want a cat, read on …

Annual Costs

  • Food: $120
  • Recurring Medical: $235
  • Toys/Treats: $55
  • License: $15
  • Health Insurance: $225
  • Miscellaneous: $45
  • Annual Total: $695

One-Time Costs

  • Spay/Neuter: $200
  • Other initial medical: $70
  • Collar/Leash: $30
  • Carrier Bag: $60
  • Crate: $95
  • Training Class: $110
  • First Year Total: $1,260
  • Life expectancy: 11 years
  • Lifetime Total: $8,210

Large Dog

Sure, moving past the 80-pound range with a pet will increase your costs — a Great Dane doesn’t just look like a horse, it eats like one, too. But at this size, you’re getting more than a pet; you’re getting a home security system and an amusement park ride for infants.

Annual Costs

  • Food: $235
  • Recurring Medical: $260
  • Toys/Treats: $75
  • License: $15
  • Health Insurance: $225
  • Miscellaneous: $65
  • Annual Total: $875

One-Time Costs

  • Spay/Neuter: $220
  • Other initial medical: $70
  • Collar/Leash: $35
  • Crate: $125
  • Training Class: $110
  • First Year Total: $1,435
  • Life expectancy: 8
  • Lifetime Total: $7,560

Cat

The ruler of the Internet and conqueror of boxes does not care what you or your kids think of it, which is actually not a bad life lesson for the kids. They’ll have more respect for any real animals they might encounter in the wild some day, and also be more prepared for their first romantic disappointment.

Annual Costs

  • Food: $115
  • Recurring Medical: $160
  • Litter: $165
  • Toys/Treats: $25
  • Health Insurance: $175
  • Miscellaneous: $30
  • Annual Total: $670

One-Time Costs

  • Spay/Neuter: $145
  • Other initial medical: $130
  • Collar/Leash: $10
  • Litter Box: $25
  • Scratching Post: $15
  • Carrier Bag: $40
  • First Year Total: $1,035
  • Life expectancy: 15
  • Lifetime Total: $10,415

Rabbit

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They’re cute, harmless, fuzzy,and delicious. In one of the animal kingdom’s most effective PR campaigns, rabbits have been working their way off our menus and into our hearts for years now. So, don’t expect to get a meal out of it when it croaks.

  • Food: $190
  • Recurring Medical: $70
  • Litter: $415
  • Toys/Treats: $40
  • Miscellaneous: $15
  • Annual Total: $730
  • Spay/Neuter: $160
  • Litter Box: $25
  • Cage: $100
  • Carrier Bag: $40
  • First Year Total: $1,055
  • Life expectancy: 10 years
  • Lifetime Total: $7,625

Guinea Pig

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“Run, eat, sleep, run, eat, sleep, die.” — The Most Interesting Guinea Pig Ever

Annual Costs

  • Food: $105
  • Recurring Medical: $70
  • Litter: $415
  • Toys/Treats: $30
  • Miscellaneous: $15
  • Annual Total: $635

One-Time Costs

  • Carrier Bag: $70
  • First Year Total: $705
  • Life expectancy: 5 years
  • Lifetime Total: $3,245

Small Bird

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Your child will absolutely love having a bird for a pet … if your child is a 75-year-old woman named Beatrice.

Annual Costs

  • Food: $75
  • Litter: $85
  • Toys/Treats: $25
  • Miscellaneous: $15
  • Annual Total: $200

One-Time Costs

  • Cage: $70
  • First Year Total: $270
  • Life expectancy: 9.5
  • Lifetime Total: $1,970

Fish

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Sure, a fish has the lowest barrier to pet entry in the whole animal kingdom, but there are some real downsides here: They take up counter space, are surprisingly labor intensive to keep clean, and they just swim in circles all day. Your kid will be so bored, they probably won’t notice when you flush it down the toilet.

Annual Costs

  • Food: $20
  • Miscellaneous: $15
  • Annual Total: $35

One-Time Costs

  • Aquarium: $200
  • First Year Total: $235
  • Life expectancy: 2
  • Lifetime Total: $270

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