The Cost of Owning a Dog, Cat, or Other Pet: Prepare to Be Shocked

The cost of owning a dog, cat, or other pet might not be the first thing on your mind when contemplating bringing one of these furry balls of love home, but it’s best to know what your financial responsibilities are upfront. Petfinder averages the costs of owning a dog at around $766–$1,350 the first year, and $526–$9,352 each year after. The cost of a cat is a bit less, but similar.

Much of that money will go toward vet bills and pet food, but one oft overlooked financial drain is on your home. News flash: Dogs and cats can do a decent amount of damage to furniture, rugs, and other things in your home. So if you’ve just bought a gorgeous new couch or redone your hardwood floors, it’s best that you know what could happen now that Travis the terrier or Humbert the Havana brown in the house. Here’s a rundown of what to expect, and how to curb the damage.


There’s no way around it: Carpets take a serious beating when it comes to pets. We have had to get rid of every carpet we have ever owned within a year or so, thanks to our 17-year-old dog. Over the course of his life, I would guess we’ve disposed of about $1,000 in rugs (we always buy cheap ones for this reason). But for those with wall-to-wall carpeting, the costs are even worse.