Are Small Pets Less Expensive to Own?

So you are aware that pets can be expensive to own. A cat can cost something around $12,000 a year to own and the dog can cost twice as much. So surely if you went with one of the small pets – a bird or a rabbit or something – surely that wouldn’t really hurt financially, would it?

Well, before you actually go for one of the small pets, you really need to sit down for a talk with your vet. To most people, it seems hard to imagine that these little things can actually have healthcare needs; they learn quickly enough when their pet fall ill though. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to spend big bucks on small pets the way they are with a cat or dog.

For instance, let’s say that you choose to buy a cute little bunny. How much could that little guy possibly cost you? About $1000 over his lifetime? Well, you’d be surprised. Assuming that your rabbit lives as long as the average rabbit does, that should be 10 years and $10,000 spent over a lifetime. Rabbits need lots of preventive care.

They tend to get urinary tract infections cancer in general; and neutering or spaying are important. Rabbits food costs run to $200 a year (you may actually have to start a little vegetable garden just for your rabbit). And since rabbits have teeth that constantly grow your rabbit will need enough hard food to cut his teeth on. Otherwise, you’ll have expensive tooth-grinding appointments with the doctor.

Well, if you just that owning a rabbit would cost $1000 over the lifetime of the pet, you were way off base. Perhaps you were thinking of a pet hamster. A hamster usually lives around three years. And the cost of taking care of a hamster usually runs to $1000 over the entire lifespan. If you’re looking for pets that are completely low maintenance, check these little guys out.

A pet bird doesn’t seem like anything that could cost money. Well, that’s not the word on the street. You could actually pay $4000 over the 15 years that a bird usually lives. Birds like parakeets tend to have medical expenses that average at around $200 a year.

Owning an exotic pet like an iguana on another reptile can be quite expensive – especially in the first year. The thing about reptiles is that they can be very particular about the temperature of their surroundings and the kind of lighting they have. Heating and lighting can cost about $100 to set up, the aquarium itself can cost $300 to set up, and so on. And since they can be quite disease-ridden at first, a vet visit to have the pet cleaned up with cost something. And some reptiles need to eat things like mice. When you order a package of frozen mice, you can’t very well leave them in your fridge (hint: you’d get food poisoning). You have to factor in the cost of buying and running a fridge just for your pet reptile.

In short, small pets aren’t that small when it comes to cost of maintenance.

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