Which are more expensive, cats or dogs?

Some people are cat people, and some people are dog people, and no one can ever change that. The actual cost of maintaining your pet probably never enters into your mind, when deciding which pet you want. For the most part, pets satisfy a primal urge in people for companionship and love, a relationship that has no monetary meaning.

But pets do cost money, and before entering into an emotional relationship with one, you should be prepared to pay for the care that your pet will require.

If you can’t afford to provide the proper care for your furry friend, please do not get one. Shelters all over the country are overflowing with animals whose owners could not or would not care for them.

The ASPCA estimates that it costs approximately $1,314 for the first year of owning a small dog, which includes the initial medical fees (spaying or neutering, all vaccinations) as well as food, license, toys, and other necessities. After the first year, the cost drops to $580. Likewise, a medium dog costs $1,580 in its first year, and a large dog costs $1,843. Compare those expenses to the cost of owning a cat, which is as low as $1,035 in the first year, and $670 per year after that.

Routine vet care tends to be similar in annual expense for both dogs and cats, as long as the animals remain healthy. Purebred animals are more prone to health problems than mixed breeds, and certain breeds of dog are prone to far more health problems than others, so this should be an issue you consider carefully when picking out your new pet.

In general, dogs are both higher maintenance and more expensive than cats, and larger dogs are more expensive than smaller dogs. This is in part due to the food expense, because larger dogs tend to eat a lot more than smaller dogs and cats.

One way to keep costs down is to adopt an animal from a rescue organization or a shelter, rather than to purchase your animal from a breeder or a pet store. This can be extremely inexpensive, as adoption fees are far less than store costs and they include initial medical care as well.

A typical dog adoption, which includes neutering or spaying and all required initial vaccinations, costs in the range of $150-200. The typical adoption fee for an adult cat, already neutered or spayed, costs about $75, and a typical kitten costs $125.

Another area where you may be tempted to cut corners is with your pet’s food. Unfortunately, cheap food for pets is about the equivalent of fast food for humans – it’s cheap, it tastes great, but it’s not really that good for you.  Your pet can certainly live a decent life eating cheap grocery store food, but many health conditions have been linked to poor quality food, including kidney troubles. While you don’t have to go all out for the most expensive food on the market, it really is advisable to do your research and find a food that is both nutritious and inexpensive.

So if you want a pet and you are not already inclined toward either a dog or a cat, consider the financial ramifications of your decision. A cat is, in the long run, a less expensive option.

But this decision really should not be made on the basis of money. It should be made on the basis of love.

Author Bio: Simon hails from Europe as a Blog owner and regular contributor for various financial Blogs, among others the financial Blog of the fast pay day loans provider Poundaccess from the UK.  He also likes to write in various other topics and fields and prides himself in being a versatile professional writer.
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