KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Some say you can’t put a price on love, but we’re willing to put the money out to help the ones we love, and that includes our pets. Which costs more, cats or dogs, and how can you save on both?
How much dog and cat owners spend on their four-legged friends varies widely. Cats are cheaper than dogs, according to an ASPCA study on the average cost of owning a dog or a cat, but small dog breeds can be cheaper to own than cats.
The group examined capital costs — one-time expenditures such as a leash, a carrier and the cost of getting the pet spayed or neutered. They also tallied recurring costs, including medical bills, food, litter for cats, licenses, toys, treats and insurance. Here are the average costs.
- Small dog: $470 in capital costs $737 in recurring costs per year
- Medium sized dog: $565 in capital costs plus $894 in recurring costs
- Large dog: $560 in capital costs plus $1,040 in yearly recurring costs
- Cat: $365 in capital costs plus $809 in recurring costs per year
The ASPCA says cats and dogs should see a vet at least once a year. The first year, when they usually require the most shots, is slightly more expensive.
The vet bills for a medium-size dog break down to $235 for recurring medical costs, $70 for other initial medicine, and $200 for spaying or neutering, for a total of $505.
The ASPCA says the average yearly cost of food and supplies for a large dog like breaks down to $400 for food and $75 for toys and treats, for a total of $475.
Then, there are training and grooming costs. For a small dog, long-hair grooming averages $264 and training class is $110, for at a total of $374.
However, you can save money on these pricey extras by not paying for them at all. Many learn to groom their long-haired dogs online. Of course, cats groom themselves and training them can be difficult.