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Marino on Money: November 17

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How much does it cost to own a pet?

That is a great question.

Pets are wonderful, especially if you have children. However, like most good things in life, there is a cost. Before you get carried away with how cute and cuddly a new pet can be, be sure you can afford it. Saving an animal from a shelter is great, assuming you don’t end up bring it back to the shelter because the pet cost too much.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the average first year spending for a medium size dog is over $1,600. That equals $134 per month. Cats are much less expensive. Their first cost is a mere $860, or $71 per month. Even a cute little bunny rabbit costs over $1,000 during the first year.

Some of the expenses include food, vet bills, and pet toys and treats. The average dog owner spends $50 per year on toys and treats, and the average cat owner spends $25.

If you rent, there may be extra deposits for keeping pets. And if you travel, pet-sitting or lodging can cost $20-$40 per day.

Remember, these numbers are average. Which means approximately half of all first year medium size dog owners spent more than $1,600. Pets are wonderful, but please consider the cost before making a decision.

If you have a financial question for Ross, you can use the Marino on Money page.

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videoWhile many people show interest in adopting pets, some may not take into consideration the cost of taking care of them. In today’s Marino on Money certified financial planner Ross Marino breaks down how costly having a pet may be.

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