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How Much Does Owning a Pet Cost?

Of course, we all know that measuring the cost of a pet depends on the animal and a lot of other things, but they’re just so cuddly-wuddly that we really don’t want to think about it at all before we buy them, do we, because you're such an adorable widdle oobsy-woobsy snookums … <em>I’ll take this one, please!</em> But, we should, because those little bundles of cuteness can add up to big bucks, and all of a sudden things have gone from photogenic puppies playing in wrapping paper to calls to the pound. That’s some sad stuff right there! Avoiding these heartbreaking moments is as easy as knowing the costs up front. And, since one can never predict how long a pet will live we’ll break it down as an annual expense. <strong>Dogs = $750 - $1,500 / Year</strong> That is a lot of dough, and the bigger the dog the higher the cost. There are the daily expenses like food and treats, but then there are big-ticket costs like veterinary visits and random dog “stuff” (<a title="Training Aids" href="http://www.atgstores.com/dog-training_3895.html" target="_blank">training aids</a>, <a title="Dog Grooming" href="http://www.atgstores.com/dog-grooming_3896.html" target="_blank">grooming</a>, medications, etc.) Oh, you want to own a dog in the city? If so, you might find yourself tacking on expenses for rental deposits and dog-walking services, too. <strong>Cats = $600 - $700 / Year</strong> Cats have a lot of the same expenses as dogs, although less maintenance makes them cheaper to own. But, get this – cat lovers are known for, you know, <em>really loving their cats</em>, and a recent report featured in “The Atlantic” showed that Americans actually spend more on cat health care than dog health care every year. <strong>Birds = $200 - ? / Year</strong> For $200, you’re getting the bare minimum for the smallest and most manageable of birds – think parakeets. That will cover the cost of the bird (about $20, believe it or not), the <a title="Bird Cages" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bird-cages_2108.html" target="_blank">cage</a>, food, a few toys and an annual wing clipping. If you want something like a parrot, though, there’s no telling how much you might spend. First, there’s the bird, which will cost you thousands. Then there’s premium food, a big cage, fancy smart-bird toys and veterinary checkups so your investment doesn’t go belly up. What that adds up to isn’t exactly chicken scratch. <strong>Fish = $200 - ? / Year</strong> Again, $200 will cover the basics – for a 20-gallon <em>freshwater</em> tank. You’ll spend this much on the <a title="Aquariums" href="http://www.atgstores.com/aquariums_2432.html" target="_blank">aquarium</a>, lights, filter, thermostat, chemicals, food, gravel and décor, and the fish. But if you want saltwater and fancy fish that look like Nemo, get ready to drop some major coin. The fish are more expensive and keeping them alive is a whole other kettle of … well, fish. <strong>Small Animals = $330 - $1,000 / Year</strong> The range is so large because your options are so many! Things like mice, hamsters and lizards can be kept happy and healthy for pennies a day, but a guinea pig or ferret could easily put you into the big money. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes this handy guide will help you budget better for your next pet adventure.
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