Thinking about adding a furry friend to your family this spring?
Besides the time and emotional commitment (trust me: You’ll develop ALL the feelings when you look into those loving eyes for the first time), you also have to account for the financial obligations.
Even if you adopt a shelter animal — which you should probably, definitely, please do — the first year of pet ownership comes with many costs you may not have considered.
Which is why — before getting a new pet — it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to be a responsible and financially solvent owner.
To help, The Simple Dollar created a pet cost calculator.
How Much Does a Dog Cost?
This new tool makes it easy to determine how much your fuzzy bundle of joy is going to cost.
First, select whether you’re getting a dog or a cat.
Based on average costs for each, the calculator spits out an estimated cost for your first year of pet ownership.
So, if I finally adopted that adorable little pitbull puppy I’ve been dreaming of, my first year’s costs would be around $1,160. More than I expected — but not terrible.
Now if only I could get over my fear of commitment…
Your Turn: Do you want to get a pet this year? Did this calculator help?
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.