Preparing a Budget for your Pet

Sharing our lives with a pet is a wonderful luxury that over 50% of Canadians are lucky enough to enjoy.

The last Ipsos-Reid study in 2001 indicated that are over 7 million cats and 5 million dogs living in Canadian homes.

Canadians spend over $3 billion annually on pet food and veterinary care.

As veterinarians, we recognize that owning a pet can be expensive.  Especially if your pet is in an accident or develops a serious medical condition.  Emergency care or a visit to a veterinary specialist can cost thousands of dollars.  Sadly, many pets are euthanized simply because their owners can not afford to pay for the veterinary care that they need. 

We want to help our clients recognize that there will be costs associated with the care of their pets, and we want to ensure that clients are well-informed and prepared financially to pay for these costs.

One important way that you can manage the costs of unforseen accidents and medical conditions is to purchase veterinary insurance for your pet.  This way, you pay a monthly fee to the insurance company to ensure that should something happen, funds will be available for you to treat your pet with the best veterinary medicine possible.  Please see our link on veterinary insurance for more information.

The preventive medicine and daily care for your pet is something that can cost a fair amount of money over the course of your pet's life as well.  These are costs that include annual wellness examinations, vaccinations, deworming, heartworm and flea prevention, fecal analysis, routine blood and urine tests, dental care, pet licensing,  food and grooming.  All of these things are essential for the optimal well-being of your pet.  The first year of a puppy or kitten's life is even more expensive, because of the number of vaccinations that are required and the cost of a spay or neuter surgery.  At the other end of the spectrum, you can expect to pay more annually for a senior dog or cat since they often require annual dental cleaning, more extensive diagnostic tests, and many need daily medications for conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and declining kidney function.

The Ontario Veteirnary Medical Association has created an information sheet on the costs of dog and cat ownership which is extremely useful and can be located here.

The OVMA estimates that:

The total cost for the first year of a healthy puppy's life is approximately $2600.00 ($217/month)

The total cost for the first year of a healthy kitten's life is approximately $1900.00 ($158/month)

The total yearly cost for routine health care for a 40 lb dog is approximately $1900.00 ($158/month)

The total yearly cost for routing health care for a 10 lb cat is approximately $1600.00 ($133/month)

These numbers may surprise you - and remember, they do not include the cost of any emergency care or cost of veterinary care associated with an illness.  So the actually annual amount you may need to budget for could be quite a bit higher. 

At Bay Cities Animal Hospital we put our focus on Preventive heatlh care - meaning that we want to ensure we keep pets as healthy as possible with the hopes of avoiding illness and accidents.  At your annual wellness exam, your veterinarian will make recommendations for you to follow to keep your pet's health at it's best. 

We follow the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association's Suggested Fee Guide for Small Animal Procedures, which is a publication prepared in partnership with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association to provide a list of fess considered fair and just. 

We recognize the importance of the Human Animal Bond, and hope that pet ownership can be a possibilty for as many people as possible.  Please remember to consider the costs of owning a pet before you decide to adopt one, and do your best to budget your money each year so that you will be able to afford the care your pet needs.