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How much does having a pet cost?

PicodiJune 17, 2021

According to Google’s statistics, people’s interest in getting a pet has increased by 67% during the pandemic. Therefore, the Picodi.com analysis team has decided to check roughly how much it would cost first-time pet owners to get a new furry friend.

Man’s best friend

In the beginning, a new dog owner has to deal with some one-off costs. We put them into two categories: a dog purchase and a starter kit.

How much money dog owners have to spend on their pets?

You can either adopt a dog or buy a kennel club registered puppy. The most popular puppy breeds cost around RM2,500.

The expanded kit includes services that are not obligatory but have a positive impact on the health and safety of a dog. These are neutering, microchipping and obedience training — RM610.

Some things are essential for every dog, such as a collar, harness, leash, ID tag, bed, brush and two bowls: one for water and one for food. The cost of that starter kit amounts to around RM260. Buying a special safety harness and belt for the car, designer clothes for rain protection, as well as a muzzle, LED collar, and the carrier cost an additional RM291.

The recurring expenses to be expected when keeping a dog are divided into 6 categories:

  • food,
  • care & beauty,
  • toys,
  • veterinary care,
  • licence,
  • and additional services.

The cost of providing a proper diet range from RM1,440 (for small dogs) and RM4,850 (for bigger breeds). However, if a dog owner decides to buy premium food which means wet, grainless food without chicken, the cost of such a diet may increase to RM2,530 for small dogs and as much as RM9,040 for large dogs.

The care & beauty category includes cyclic deworming (at least two times a year), protection from ticks and fleas, shampoo for the dog’s coat and a year’s supply of poop bags — altogether RM261. There are also groomer costs in the expanded kit, including grooming, trimming and wash with a blow-dry. Assuming that we use these services once every two months, you would spend an additional RM2,180 a year.

Every dog needs toys: squeaky teddy bears, knot ropes and some basic balls. However, such toys are quite vulnerable to a dog’s teeth, and their yearly cost amounts to around RM91. For those willing, there are also activity toys that are supposed to develop a dog’s intelligence (RM86).

We can’t forget about the physical health of our pet. Annual vaccination against rabies and other infectious diseases, as well as a one vet check-up (assuming that the dog is healthy), cost around RM300. If a dog has a problem with plaque, and the dental sticks available on the market don’t work, there may be a need for a dental cleaning (additional RM150).

The formalities include a dog licence. The amount varies depending on the place of residence: in Kuala Lumpur, an individual dog licence valid for 1-years costs RM10.

The last category is additional services such as pet sitter, dog hotels, and health insurance (RM1,289). Although these are not obligatory, they make life easier when dog owners decide to go on vacation or the dog suddenly falls ill.

The price of a basic kit, which includes only necessary products and services for a dog, ranges from RM2,102 in case of the small dogs to RM5,512 in case of large ones. For the expanded kit, dog owners would have to pay up to three times more (RM6,897 for small breeds and RM13,407 for large dogs).

Let the cat out of the bag

The most popular cat breeds in Malaysia cost around RM2,000. Additional costs including neutering and microchipping increase the price of the starter kit by RM230.

How much money dog owners have to spend on their pets?

The price of a cat’s basic starter kit amounts to RM377. It consists of: a litter box, scoop, scratching post, bed, brush, three bowls, nail trimmer and a carrier. The expanded kit (+ RM215) also includes a leash and harness, clothes, a big scratching post with hideouts and an automatic feeder.

Regular expenses that a future cat owner has to be prepared for, are divided into 5 categories:

  • food,
  • toys,
  • care & beauty,
  • veterinary care,
  • additional services.

Annual cat food would cost its owner around RM2,170. In case of premium grainless food, this cost may increase up to RM2,760.

The toys category which includes squeaky mice, feather wagglers and balls, cost around RM100 in the basic kit, and RM134 when expanded by the activity toy.

Care & beauty is one of the more expensive categories. Annual expenditure from the basic kit amounts to RM1,871. This includes litter, carrier insert pads, shampoo, ticks and fleas collar and deworming products. Grooming and washing from a professional cost another RM319 a year.

A preventive check-up at the vet costs RM200. Vaccination and dental cleaning, non-obligatory but positively affecting the wellness of a cat, cost an additional RM250.

The last category includes health insurance and pet hotels. Such expenses amount to RM509.

To summarise, the annual cost of keeping a cat is around RM4,341. If the cat owners decide to buy products and services from the expanded kit, they would have to pay an additional RM6,043.

Methodology

The increase of interest in having a pet was based on Google Ads data for search queries connected to the adoption and buying of a cat or a dog for 2019 and 2020. The cost of buying a dog and a cat was based on prices from online marketplaces. Prices of products and services come from online stores, veterinarians, and groomers. The whole list of products and services can be found in the following link.

Public Use

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