Owning a dog or cat can be wonderful – they’re cute, cuddly and provide companionship but how much does it really cost to own a pet?

According to an article by The Age last year, the RSPCA estimates that a dog costs between $1000 and $1500 a year, on average; while the average cat costs about $1000 a year and with a lifespan of 15 years or more, total pet costs can equate between $15 000 and $22 500 or more. These costs factor in only the basic maintenance costs and don’t factor in added luxuries such as designer pet accessories, doggie day care or gourmet food and treats.

At the cheaper end, the cost of a (typically mixed breed) dog from the RSPCA starts at $130 for a fully-grown animal to $150 for a puppy. Pedigree dogs can costs hundreds to thousands of dollars.

At Snooty Paws we are advocates for animal welfare and every year thousands of animals are put down and dumped at shelters because their owners can’t afford to keep them.

So please, if you’re toying with the idea of buying a cute new puppy, can you afford the costs? Do you have the time to properly look after a pet for the next 15 years? Because if you’re not sure then don’t.

Do your research first, ring breeders or ask dog clubs or your nearest animal welfare league or RSPCA about the temprement and possible medical issues your new pet may have as some breeds are more susceptible to ailments than others.

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