It’s Kitten Season!
As Spring rolls into Summer and we see all the shares on social media regarding shelter crowding and Kitten Season in Arizona you might be considering pet adoption. Even if that cute dog or cat is on an adoption special, do you truly know the real cost of pet ownership? Are you prepared to replace the laptop the puppy pulls off the table or worse, the vet bills associated with something serious? The ASPCA has the following PDF available and I’ve got to say, some of the estimates seem low, but that may be because my personal pack is 2 dogs and 3 cats!
What Does Pet Ownership Really Cost?
When Thinking about the costs associated with pets, they can really be broken down into food, toys/treats, and insurance. So let’s take a look at each.
Food! Let’s be honest, we all want what’s best for our animals and for me, that’s quality grain-free food. You can get fancy with Blue Buffalo, an example for my dogs: 24 lb bag of Blue Buffalo Wilderness is $48. I however, prefer to go more Costco pocketbook-friendly, Kirkland Organic Chicken and Chick Pea 30 lbs for $49.00 delivered! Either way, we know that good food makes happier animals.
For my cats I’m currently feeding mature adult cats and a kitten, which means I’m food mixing (this is me winging it, there may be a better way) so I buy a bag of kitten and a bag of adult and mix to make sure the kitten is at least getting some kitten food daily in her diet and the adult cats don’t bully her out of the (I imagine) tastier and fattier food. Both bags Blue Buffalo and at Petco ($50 each trip easy).
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Toys and treats! We spoil our animals and what goes for one, goes for all. We do stretch our bully sticks (all natural dog chew) by taking them to the band saw and dividing them up, cats get little dry treats as they never eat all the wet food. The ASPCA link at the top of this blog references toys and treats at $25 annually for cats and $55 annually for a dog. For dogs a tennis ball and some rawhides might fly, but quality treats that don’t damage teeth and digest easily cost a little more. One bag of bully sticks from Costco is $27. Cat scratchers in every room friends! It’s important and makes them happy. I’m looking at adding a cat tree +- $90. As for toys – my little guy is Mochi the destroyer and even the hardiest of plushies and balls only last so long. The cats have their toys last a bit longer, but if it has a feather…forget about it!
Insurance! It is an option to insure your pet against health issues. I wish I had done this for my dog that had Addison’s disease. I have not insured any of my dogs, but it is something that can save you a bucket. Assume a 40 lb mixed breed dog, about 3 years old at $36/month = 80% reimbursement after a $250 deductible. This is a middle of the road choice and advertised as “most popular” on Healthy Paws pet Insurance’s website.
And really aside from health and food care costs cats can chew cords, puppies can pull laptops off tables causing them to come crashing to the floor (ask me how I know), they can eat your sofa (we’ve all seen the Facebook memes, it’s real folks), but at the end of the day we love our animals, and giving them good care and training is worth it.
Here are some additional links to some resources to help you plan for the joy of pet ownership!
I listed some products above that are personal preference for my animals, but if your animals have any allergies or special needs, please consult a Vet!
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