While pets can be a friendly and welcome addition to a home, the cost of pet care and the time requirement can quickly add up over the course of a pet’s life. The first year of pet ownership and the last year can be more expensive than the usual routine costs associated with having a pet. Below is an overview of the average costs and time required to care for popular species.

According to the 2013-2014 APPA National Pet Owner’s Survey**, basic annual expenses for dog and cat owners include:

**Note: APPA does not ask Survey Participants how much in total they spend on their dog or cats annually. The expenses listed above are not all inclusive and each category was asked separately of the survey participant.

Tips for reducing pet care costs for low-income or fixed-income pet owners  include:

1. Use local, low-cost vaccine clinics for annual vaccine updates for their pet

2. Investigate pet insurance to offset high veterinary bills

3. Ask friends, family, or neighbors to pet sit instead of boarding animals

4. Explore food pantries to see if they offer pet food and supplies

5. Ask for discounts (such as senior discounts)