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5 Costs of Pet Ownership and How to Plan for Them Plus Your Roving Lifestyle

The true expenses of owning and traveling with a pet.


With a household budget that’s a bit near the bone, especially when taking your plans for travel into account, you’d still like to have a pet to call your own. To keep things simple, let’s talk about humankind’s favourite pet: the dog. You can easily translate these principles to any other kind of pet. Here’s how to know whether you can afford to keep a dog, and what type of items you should include in your budget. However, take note: if you plan to be away for more than a few weeks each year, stop right here. Pets are not for you!

1. Veterinary Costs

Veterinary costs for your dog will include microchipping, vaccination, and treatment for any illnesses or injuries he or she might sustain. To get a clearer idea of routine costs, decide on a dog breed you’d like to own and contact a veterinary surgery to enquire about the annual costs of vaccinations and checkups. Since you can’t predict the cost of treating an illness or injury, consider getting inexpensive pet insurance to tide you over if anything should go wrong with your soon-to-be beloved pet. 

Pet insurance also makes it easier for you to leave your pet with a house sitter and pet-sitter. Make sure that they know all about your pet insurance, know which veterinarian to go to, and inform the vet’s offices of your travel plans and who will be caring for your dog. 

2. Feeding Costs

Buying dog food will impact your grocery budget, and large dogs can be quite expensive to feed. While going for the very cheapest dog food may not be the best decision, you don’t have to go for the most expensive brands either. Check out the cost of the dog food, the weight of the bag, and the recommended portion size for the dog you’re hoping to get based on their weight. Using this information you can work out just how long a bag of dog food will last and what your monthly cost will be. Factor in a little extra for doggie treats!

3. The Cost of the Dog or Puppy

Even if you adopt a rescue, which we recommend, there will still be adoption fees to pay. Most animal shelters will expect you to spay or neuter your dog, a course of action which we highly recommend. There are simply too many unwanted dogs in the world today, and spaying or neutering has been shown to reduce the risk of pets suffering a range of illnesses and mishaps

4. Regular Treatments to Combat Parasites

Deworming is relatively cheap but should still be factored into your pet ownership costs. The big ticket item here is tick and flea control. With so many illnesses being carried by these parasites, opting for the best possible products for tick and flea control is the least you can do. Once again, your veterinarian can advise you on the latest products and what works best. Be warned: you might find this “little” item surprisingly expensive, but it’s a must. 

5. Factor in This Pet-Related Add-On to Your Travel Budget

One of your biggest pet-related expenses occurs when you want to go away for a time. You’ll either need pet sitters or you’ll have to pay for time in a boarding kennel. Don’t be one of those pet owners that turns over their dog for adoption and possible euthenasia just because they want to go on holiday! Check out the costs and factor them into your holiday budget as an absolute must-have. 

Can You Afford It? Enjoy Your Pet!

With all the totals totted up and a margin of safety added, you’re confident that you can afford pet ownership. Now, all that’s left for you to do is to find your dog in a million. Enjoy each other! The relationship between a person and their pets really can be something unforgettably special. You’ll miss them while you’re out exploring the world, but the welcome home will be unforgettable!


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