How to Spend Less on Your Pets—While Still Totally Spoiling Them

You may feel like you won the lottery having your fur baby in your life, but your checking account probably doesn’t reflect the sentiment. In fact, one recent survey revealed that one in five pet owners have actually gone into debt to pay for their pets, and for 21% of them, the debt is more than $1,000. From hulking bags of kibble that get gobbled up within weeks to adorable squeaky toys that get micro-shredded within minutes, pet parenthood and its many accouterments can definitely come with a hefty price tag.

Here’s an eye-opening breakdown of some of the numbers you’ve deliberately avoided crunching: Owning a dog can run you an average of $480 to $3,470 per year, depending on factors like the breed and where you live, according to Rover, an online network of pet sitters and dog walkers. (And those costs tend to be much higher in the first year, as anyone who’s acquired a pandemic puppy can attest.) A cat can be less spendy but can still run you an average of $634 a year, according to the ASPCA.


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