Get a Pet They Said: 15 Hidden Costs of Owning a Furry Friend Nobody Warns You About!

Sharing is caring!

Everyone talks about how furry, loving, and joyful pets are, but they rarely mention just how much they can actually cost.

Veterinary Essentials


Securing your pet’s health starts with essential veterinary care, which reputable breeders and shelters might initially provide. This care typically includes vaccinations and parasite treatments, but it’s important to confirm whether these are covered or if additional costs will be incurred once the pet is under your roof. 

For ongoing care, routine veterinary visits can range between $25 and $186 for puppies in their first year and decrease for subsequent checkups. Other veterinary costs like vaccines, microchipping, and parasite prevention can also add up, with prices varying based on the pet’s needs and your location. Additionally, essential procedures like spaying or neutering and dental care are vital for your pet’s long-term health but can cost several hundred dollars.

Costs of Bringing Your Pet Home


When you decide to bring a new pet into your life, it’s easy to overlook some of the initial expenses that can start to add up even before your furry friend steps paw into your home. For instance, transporting your new pet from the breeder to your house can be a significant hidden cost. 

If the breeder is not nearby, you might need to arrange for your pet’s travel, which could involve purchasing an airline-approved crate or carrier and paying substantial airline fees if you’re flying them home. Some breeders offer shipping services for a fee (often running into several hundred dollars) making the journey to pet ownership pricier than expected.



Grooming is essential for your pet’s well-being but is often underestimated in terms of both its importance and cost. Regular grooming sessions maintain your pet’s hygiene and overall health and can prevent future health issues. 

Costs for basic grooming services (such as bathing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming) usually range from $30 to $90 per session. This fee can vary based on your dog’s size, breed, and the complexity of the grooming needed. Regular grooming keeps your pet looking good and contributes to their physical health, making it an essential ongoing expense for pet owners.

Flea and Tick Prevention (and Treatment)


Protecting your pet from fleas and ticks is an essential but often overlooked expense in pet care. Various prevention options are available, ranging from over-the-counter products to prescriptions from your veterinarian, typically costing between $10 and $25 per month. 

Additionally, maintaining your yard by keeping grass trimmed and hedges neat can help deter these pests, although this might require investing in your own equipment or hiring a lawn care service, which can exceed $100 per visit. If fleas or ticks do infest your pet, the costs can escalate quickly. Treatment involves everything from purchasing specialized shampoos to potentially hiring an exterminator to address infestations in your home, which can range from $100 to $450. 

Housing and Licensing Costs


If you’re a renter, introducing a pet to your home might come with the need for a pet security deposit, which landlords impose to cover potential damages. This deposit varies, influenced by state laws and the size of the pet, and can be as steep as one month’s rent. 

For homeowners, a new pet may require notifying your insurance provider, potentially leading to an increase in your premium. Moreover, most states mandate pet licensing to help identify and recover pets if they get lost, with fees ranging from $10 to $50 annually (depending on the pet’s neutered status).

Pet’s Happiness and Comfort


Your pet’s comfort and stimulation are key to their happiness and health. Budgeting for items like beds, crates, toys, and even room barriers can add up surprisingly quickly. Dogs might need chew toys and puzzle feeders to stay engaged, while cats benefit from cat trees and scratchers. 

Don’t overlook the cost of baby gates or other barriers needed to create safe spaces at home—these investments help maintain a structured and enjoyable environment for your pet (happy pet, happy life!)

Behavioral Training Sessions


Investing in behavioral training is critical when your beloved dog isn’t responding well to commands or is struggling with changes in its environment. Professional dog training can be a significant expense, often overlooked by new pet owners. 

Depending on the trainer and the specific needs of your pet (such as basic obedience or more specialized behavior modification) the cost can range from $40 to $250 per session. Despite the price, incorporating training into your budget can dramatically improve your and your pet’s quality of life, making it a worthwhile investment.

Dog Walking and Sitting Costs


Many pet owners might not fully appreciate the extent of their furry friends’ exercise requirements or the costs associated with ensuring they’re well-cared for during travel or busy days. If a neighbor or relative isn’t available, the cost of a professional pet sitter or a boarding facility becomes necessary. For daily exercise, especially for dogs needing substantial activity, services like midday walks or doggie daycare are essential—though these can be pricier in large cities. 

Wag, a well-known dog care app, indicates that dog walking services typically range from $13 to $37, while overnight stays average $39 to $59 per night. (Consider this investment in preventing potential damages like a torn-up sofa—an all too possible outcome from a bored pet.)

Pet Cleanliness and Home Maintenance


Owning a pet affects how you maintain and clean your home. Pets shed fur and carry odors, requiring frequent vacuuming and the purchase of specialized cleaning equipment designed for pet hair. You may find yourself replacing vacuum bags more often or investing in a powerful, pet-specific vacuum cleaner. 

Beyond regular cleaning, homes with pets might need periodic deep cleaning of carpets and furniture, possibly involving professional services or renting a steam cleaner, which is unsurprisingly costly. 

Pet Fashion


Is there anything more adorable than a pet dressed in a colorful sweater? While not all pets need to don clothing, for some, a little extra layer can be a cute accessory and provide essential protection. 

Pets that benefit most from wearing clothes typically include those susceptible to cold or those living in damp climates. For these furry friends, a well-fitted sweater can keep them warm and cozy during chilly outings!

Costs of Traveling with Your Pet


For pet owners who travel, accommodating a pet can add considerable expense. Options include pet-friendly hotels, which often charge a non-refundable sanitation fee ranging from $75 to $150, or per-night pet fees that can add about $30 per night per pet. 

Additionally, leaving pets at a boarding facility or hiring an in-home pet sitter while traveling incurs costs, with kennel stays averaging $35 per night and in-home sitting up to $75. Each option comes with its financial considerations, impacting your travel budget and planning.

Emergency Veterinary Care


No one likes to think about it, but emergencies can happen. Unexpected illnesses or accidents can lead to significant veterinary bills, particularly if they require surgery or intensive care. 

To mitigate these costs, consider setting up an emergency fund specifically for your pet or investing in pet insurance. These financial safety nets can help absorb the shock of high expenses during critical times, ensuring that you can provide the best care possible without undue financial stress.

Chronic or Breed-Specific Health Problems


When welcoming a new pet, particularly a purebred, it’s critical to consider the potential for breed-specific health issues. Conditions like hip dysplasia are more prevalent among certain breeds. Although choosing a pet from a reputable breeder or opting for a mixed breed from a shelter might reduce these risks, no pet is immune to hereditary conditions. 

Investing in pet insurance, which can cost several hundred dollars annually, offers a safety net for covering unexpected medical expenses. Additionally, a DNA test—which can range from $60 to $200—might be a wise investment to identify potential health risks specific to your pet’s genetic background.

The Lifespan of Pets


The lifespan of pets, particularly cats and smaller dog breeds, is often underestimated by their owners. Cats, especially those kept indoors, can live to be 14 to 15 years old or even older, while smaller dog breeds frequently reach their teens. 

Acknowledging the potential long-term commitment of pet ownership is essential. Whether purchasing or adopting, understanding that you’re potentially committing to many years of care will help ensure you’re prepared for the journey ahead.

End-of-Life Care


The final stage of pet ownership, end-of-life care, includes considerations such as euthanasia, cremation, or burial. These services, while emotionally challenging, also carry financial implications. 

Planning for these costs in advance can help ease the financial burden during these difficult times, allowing you to focus more on grieving and less on the expenses.

Top 3 U.S. States That Almost No One Leaves (And for Good Reason)


Top 3 U.S. States That Almost No One Leaves (And for Good Reason)

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.