Learn about the responsibilities of being a pet owner.

Costs

 According to the Australian Veterinary Association, over the average lifespan of a dog, pet owners spend more than $25,000 per animal, on average.

In addition to the initial cost of adoption, there’s a long list of expenses that the average pet owner may incur within a year. The cost of dog ownership is generally greater than that of a cat. You’ll need to take these expenses into consideration before deciding to become a pet owner.

Here’s a list of fundamental needs for your new pet and how much it will cost.

The costs of owning a dog

Dogs can live for up to 20 years. So on top of the initial costs during his first year, you may also be looking at an additional $910 per year minimum for the duration of his life. The final figure may be more or less, depending on the dog’s age, breed, size and any accidents or illnesses.

Upfront costs (the first year)

Product or service and approximate cost*:

  • Bed and/or kennel: $100-$200
  • Car restraint: $30 upwards
  • Collar, leash or harness: $40-$100Council registration: $23-$201 (desexed or undesexed)
  • Desexing: $200*-$500* depending on age, gender and size
  • Flea and worming treatments, and heartworm prevention: $120-$300
  • Food and bowls: $800 each year depending on quality
  • Grooming: $70-$90 depending on breed, frequency and size
  • Microchipping: $60-$80
  • Name tag: $6-20
  • Puppy vaccinations: $170-$250
  • Puppy training: $170* depending on provider
  • Toys and treats: $50 upwards

*Please note, all figures are approximate and are purely a guide to what it may cost for dog ownership.

When you adopt a dog from RSPCA NSW, the cost of desexing, initial vaccinations, microchipping, and worm and flea treatments can be subtracted as these are done prior to adoption.

Ongoing costs

Product or service and approximate cost:

  • Annual vaccinations and veterinary check: $90
  • Flea and worming treatments: $120
  • Food: approximately $600 upwards
  • Grooming: $70*-$90* depending on breed and frequency
  • Toys and treats: $30 upwards

Total for consecutive years: $910 minimum

Costs of owning a cat

Cats can live for up to 20 years. So on top of the initial costs during her first year, you may also be looking at an additional $880 per year minimum for the duration of her life. The final figure may be more or less, depending on the cat’s age, breed, size and any accidents or illnesses.

Upfront costs

Product or service and approximate cost*:

  • Carry cage and bed: $50-$100
  • Collar and bell: $15-$50Council registration: $23-$201 (desexed or undesexed)
  • Desexing: approximately $115-$300 (male or female)
  • Flea and worming treatments: $100
  • Food and bowls: $370 upwards, depending on quality
  • Grooming: $50 upwards, depending on breed and frequency
  • Kitten vaccinations: $170-$200
  • Microchipping: $60
  • Name tag: $6-20
  • Purchase of cat: $0-$2,000
  • Scratching post: $20-$300
  • Toys and treats: $30 upwards
  • Tray and litter: $130-$180

Total for first year: $1,150-$3,570

*Please note, all figures above are approximate and are purely a guide to what it may cost for cat ownership.

When you adopt a cat from RSPCA NSW, the cost of desexing, initial vaccinations, microchipping, and worm and flea treatments can be subtracted as these are done prior to adoption.

Ongoing costs

Product or service and approximate cost:

  • Annual vaccinations and veterinary check: from $80
  • Flea and worming treatments: $100-$150
  • Food: approximately $370 upwards
  • Grooming: $50
  • Litter: $120 upwards
  • Toys and treats: $30 upwards

Total for consecutive year: $880 minimum