Does this sound familiar? You promised your girl you will get her the dog or cat she adores at a pet shop if she does well enough in her PSLE exams to get into the famous, desired school of elite students. She succeeded. As a responsible parent, you now need to keep your end of the deal. However, what you may not have anticipated is the recurring high costs of maintaining a pet in Singapore. Below are some key expenses of maintaining a pet.
1. One-Time Expenses
- Licensing (dog only): S$70 if unsterilised, S$14 if sterilised or under 5 months old*.
- Spraying or Neutering: This process may be a simple process but it can set you back by S$150 to S$400 depending whether it is a cat or dog and the clinic you go to.
- Vaccination, deworming & micro-chipping: these procedures may cost between S$300 and S$700 depending on the clinic you go to.
- Training: You want your pet to be toilet-friendly, listen to your commands and not destroy your favourite sofa-set. However, this training comes at a price of S$500 and above for a basic course.
* under AVA regulations, it is compulsory for dogs to be licensed
Total: S$1,020 to S$1,670
2. Annual Expenses
- Food: this can come in form of simple canned pet food which costs as little as S$40 a month to specially cooked food with all the correct fresh nutrients that can cost over S$100 a month. Hence, depending on the food you buy, just to keep the pet well fed will amount to over S$480 to S$1200 annually
- Annual Medical Check-up: it is definitely a good idea to monitor a pet’s health condition. However, this will cost the owner between S$150-S$250 each time.
- Grooming: some basic grooming for your pet can go a long way making you a proud owner, getting praises of how cool it looks. However, all these do not come free unless you are a self-taught pet grooming expert. Each session can set you back around S$60, once every 3 months.
- Pet Insurance: depending if you opt for a starter plan (S$350) or more comprehensive (S$750), eventually it helps out in covering vet-bills.
Total: S$1,220 to S$2,440 annually
3. Medical & Hospitalization Expenses
- Medical Expenses: like humans, pets can also be down with simple ailments that need medical attention. Every veterinary consultation can come up to S$100 to S$500 per visit and this does not include medicine or surgery expenses.
- Hospitalisation Expenses: a pet can also injure a leg, be down with distemper (a viral disease that affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems in dogs) or the pet is affected by cancer. All their treatments can cost anything between S$1,000 to S$20,000. Ouch! Alternatively, it is an option to take out Pet Insurance, some of which include coverage for medical expense. This will avoid nasty situations where you have to choose between the welfare of the dog (and the love of your girl) and your wallet. Most policies also include insurance against action of the dog for which you may be held liable. Another comforting idea.