Bringing a furry friend into your home can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to consider the financial aspects before taking on the responsibility. From initial breeder or adoption fees to long-term expenses, the costs of pet ownership can add up quickly. Here are some key factors to consider before bringing a pet into your family.

According to the Pets in Australia report, a cat or dog will likely cost you between $3,000 to $6,000 in the first year of ownership. After the first year, the average annual cost to care for your fur-friend is likely to be around $3,218 for a dog and $1,715 for a cat. These costs generally consist of:

Adoption fees and initial costs:

Many people choose to adopt pets from shelters or rescue organisations, which often charge adoption fees to help cover the cost of vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other medical expenses. These fees can vary depending on the type of pet and where you adopt from. For example, adopting a dog from a shelter might cost anywhere from $29 to $800, while purebred puppies from a reputable breeder may cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Veterinary care:

Regular veterinary care is essential for keeping your pet healthy and happy. This includes vaccinations, check-ups, flea and tick prevention, and unexpected medical expenses for injury or illness. According to the report, vet expenses can set you back up to $630 each year depending on your pets health, however any emergency vet visits or after-hours care can quickly drive up the costs.

Food and treats:

Food is another ongoing expense that can vary depending on the size and dietary needs of your pet. Larger dogs and high-energy breeds may require more expensive, specialised diets, while smaller animals may have lower food costs. While you can buy a range of high-quality pre-packaged food for your pets, some owners may choose to prepare meals and treats for their pets themselves which can help improve digestion and skin issues and help with picky eating. Cost can vary greatly, however the report suggests the average amount for premium dog food and treats can be around $2,024 each year. 


Things such as toys, beds, collars, bowls, litter trays and grooming tools are essential for providing a comfortable and stimulating environment for your pet. The cost of supplies can vary depending on the type of pet, how big they are and your personal preferences. For example, a basic dog bed can cost anywhere from $20 to $120 while an orthopaedic bed could cost up to $500. The same goes for toys with many heavy-duty or interactive options being on the more expensive side. Depending on the type of dog you have, you may also need to invest in professional grooming every 6-12 weeks to ensure their comfort during warmer seasons and to stop hair from matting and causing irritation or infection.

Behaviour training:

Proper training and socialisation is important for pets to become well-behaved members of the family. Whether you enrol your dog in obedience classes or hire a private trainer, these services can add to your overall pet expenses costing upwards of $250 for puppy school. Depending on how receptive your pet is to training and how well you enforce the techniques learned, additional training can sometimes be required down the track to help.

Pet insurance:

Medical bills can be expensive at the best of times and an unexpected visit to the vet can easily overstretch your household budget if you’re not prepared for it. Pet insurance can help give you peace of mind and while premiums can vary based on factors like your pet’s age and breed, having insurance can help offset the cost of those expensive treatments or surgeries.

Boarding or pet sitting:

If you travel frequently or have plans to go on holiday, you may need to budget for pet sitting or boarding services. Depending on your location, the time of year and the level of care required the costs can differ, but it’s important to factor these expenses into your overall budget which can range from $25 to $105 per night.

Long-term care:

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can live for many years. Consider the long-term financial commitment of caring for a pet over its entire lifespan, including potential age-related health issues and end-of-life care.

Other considerations:

If you’re renting, you may also need to budget for additional cleaning, such as carpet cleaning and flea treatment, as part of your exit clean. If you own your house, consider whether you need to install a fence or extend upon an existing fence to keep your pup, and others, safe.

While the love and companionship of a pet are priceless, it’s important to be financially prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership. By carefully considering the costs involved and budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that you’re able to provide the best possible care for your furry friend for years to come.


Auswide Bank Ltd ABN 40 087 652 060, AFSL No. 239686. This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances.