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You have heard people ask the question for centuries: do you like Cats or Dogs? What people don’t always ask is “How much do dog and cat owners spend on their furry little friend?
On average cats are cheaper than dogs, according to a study done by the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” on the average cost of owning a dog or a cat. However, small dogs breeds can be cheaper to own than cats. The group examined capital costs — one-time expenditures such as a leash, a carrier and the cost of getting the pet spayed or neutered. They also tallied recurring costs, including medical bills, food, litter for cats, licenses, toys/ treats and medical insurance.
1 Veterinarian bills
The SPCA recommends that cats and dogs should see a veterinarian at least once a year. The first year (when they usually require the most shots) is slightly more expensive.
Let’s break down how much it would cost for a new dog or cat.
- Recurring medical: S$150 – S$250
- Licensing: S$70 if unsterilised, S$14 if sterilised or under 5 months old*
- Spaying or neutering: S$150 – S$400
- Vaccination, deworming and micro-chipping: S$300 – S$700
- Recurring medical: S$150 – S$200
- Licensing: S$30
- Spaying or neutering: S$160
- Vaccination, deworming, and micro-chipping: S$150 – $256
Since most of these costs are one-time expenditures, your annual cost for seeing the vet will drop drastically after the first year. From the data above cats are significantly cheaper than dogs, but we need to keep in mind the different sizes dogs come in. A much smaller dog can equal out or be less than the cost of a cat.
You might be able to reduce some of the costs by comparison shopping. Some vets are always cheaper than others. Shop around, ask your friends and co-workers, and use our platform to compare prices! Also, be sure to compare the costs of both regular visits and emergency ones. Emergency trips — like the time my puppy ate a bag of pennies— can be very costly.
Also, check local animal shelters for discount spaying/neutering, shots or other medical services. Some offer them, others don’t, while others offer them on a sliding scale.
Does your pet need to take medications? You can often get them cheaper than the ones the vet will sell you by shopping around.
Owners should use Pet Insurance to save money on their veterinary bills for the expected and unexpected trips. Coverage isn’t always cheap but, using websites like Insurance Market you can compare different coverages and choose the best one for you and your furry little friend. Costs will range for the breed, age, and cats/dogs.
2 Food and supplies
The SPCA says the average yearly cost of food and supplies for a dog can range depending on size and on ingredients. Most cats are about the same size so the food really depends on the diet of the cat.
- Food: S$40/ month for canned and S$100/ month for fresh ingredients
- Toys, Collar, Leash: S$50 – S$100
- Treats: S$15/month
- Food: S$20/month for canned and $30/ month for dry
- Toys: $50 – $200
- Kitty litter: S$12/month
Spending more on healthier and more organic options is completely up to the owner. Most people with larger dogs can buy food in larger quantities at once so that they do not need to keep buying food multiple times a month. Spending on toys and treats can also range very differently depending on the owner. Cat owners will tend to spend more at one go for their pets. Whereas dog owners will spend less money at once but will come back more often to buy more because of how fast dogs go through toys. So if you want to save money on food, shop around at multiple stores and find a price that suits you.
3 Grooming and training
According to the SPCA, training, and grooming for a dog or cat breaks down like this:
- Grooming: S$50 – S$150 (depending on the hair length and type of grooming)
- Training class: S$100/ session – S$300/ session (can differ depending what you want to train your dog for)
- Grooming: S$15- S$100
- Training class: $110
Grooming and training will also depend widely on what you want out of your pet. Some owners will have their pets trained for therapy and assistant purposes which will cost a lot more. Grooming will also depend on what type of hair your pet has and how often you want to clean them. Since cats are much smaller they tend to be cheaper, but it will still vary.
Which Cost More: Cats or Dogs?
Here’s the deal:
Now, you at least know the difference in cost of owning a dog or a cat in Singapore. In addition to the 3 main cost areas you also should know that dogs will also require much more living area than cats. Owning a pet is and should be fun, but be aware of the cost. Are you thinking of becoming a pet owner, we also listed a few questions to ask yourself before you take that step. It is a smart move to buy a Pet Insurance to protect yourself from high cost when something happens. We listed 4 questions to ask yourself before buying Pet Insurance. Don’t forget to buy your Pet Insurance to save on medical expenditures for your furry little friends.