How Much Money Do You Need To Spend When It Comes To Owning A Pet?
Owning a pet is one of the biggest investments in life. Depending on what type of pet you decide to adopt, many don’t come at a cheap price. Added to that, factors such as food, housing, healthcare, grooming, toys, etc. have to be considered in the overall cost. In addition, depending on the average life expectancy of your pet, these costs have to be considered annually for at least two years (for hamsters) and up to 15 years (for cats and dogs)! Your heart may be ready to welcome a new pet into your life and home, but is your wallet ready for such a commitment?
Pedigree breeds: Minimum Fee of RM250
Dogs: Minimum Fee of RM150
Cats: Minimum Fee of RM70
Typically, prices depend on the cost of care your pet receives whilst at the shelter as well as healthcare services such as neutering/spaying provided by the adoption centre. Prices for adoption and the services they provide are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than buying from pet shops and/or breeders (who prioritise profit over animal welfare, charging up to RM5000 for pedigree puppies!). With the cost of one puppy from a pet store and/or breeder, you can adopt 20 dogs from your local shelter (that is 20 lives saved!) Therefore, it is a no-brainer why you should adopt rather than buy a pet.
Note: This varies depending on your pet’s breed! And usually, these services (alongside vaccinations and de-worming) would already be provided prior to your pet’s adoption. Other healthcare services such treatment for any disease/illness and injuries also depend on how critical it is. Routinely check-ups (at least 3 to 4 times a year) are also a necessity to ensure that your pet is healthy, and usual vet check-ups may cost around RM200 per visit.
This includes visits to grooming centres (check out our article on pet groomers around Malaysia), as well as grooming products such as shampoo, conditioner, combs, etc.
Prices vary according to:
- Size of your pet
- Length of your pet’s hair
- Type of pet
- Grooming brand you use
Typically, you can expect to pay around RM975 for dogs, and RM690 for cats per year.
Toys & Accessories:
Miscellaneous costs such as toys and accessories (collars, leash, litter pan, bed, etc.) may cost around RM100 to RM200 each depending on the quality and brand.
It is important that you feed your pet food that is safe, healthy, nutritious, and appropriate for their breed and age (check out our other articles which touches upon food that can damage your pet’s health). Prices vary widely depending on:
- Food brand
- Wet or Dry food
- Whether you buy in Bulk
- Type of pet
- Breed of pet (and therefore Size of pet)
- Age of pet
For more well-known brands (such as Royal Canin and Whiskas), annual cost of food for dogs can reach up to and around RM1,800 while cat food can reach up to and around RM1,200. Check out https://waggymeal.com/ for an easy way to compare prices of different pet food as well as save time and money by buying online!
With the implementation of the animal welfare law in Malaysia, it is MANDATORY for all dog owners to register their dog and obtain a license in order to continue caring for your pet as well as avoid paying a hefty fee. Dog licenses are not expensive to acquire, with prices typically around RM10 per year. In order to get the license, you will need to show:
- A Full body photo of your pet (3R size)
- Photo of your house’s exterior (including the roof; 3R size)
- Photocopy of proof of vaccination from the vet
- Completed dog license form (which can be obtained at the local city hall office or municipality office)
So how much will it cost annually to own a pet in Malaysia? Based on the figures above, it can cost around RM3000 – RM4000 per year. However, this is just a general reference for the AVERAGE cat/dog owner. Depending on how much you travel, how often you visit the vet, and the brand of food and grooming products you purchase for your furkids, costs may be much lower or higher.
In addition, it is also important to remember that the value of a pet extends beyond monetary values, and that to be able to afford a pet means having more than just financial and capital resources but also time, care, attention, and an endless abundance of love.
Tips to save more:
- ADOPT, don’t buy!!!
- DIY pet toys
- Consider getting a pet insurance
- Participate in your local pet shop’s loyalty or referral programmes to receive discounts!
- Ensure your pet is healthy (good food, sufficient exercise, updated vaccines, routine dental care, etc.) so as to limit the amount of visits to the vet.