Day 16: Pampered Pets

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | e-mail

Columbus, GA (WTVM) -- A dog may be man's best friend, but that pup has a price tag. There are kennel fees when you travel, extra charges on apartment rentals, and even higher insurance premiums. A small dog can cost you about $800.00 a year. For you cat lovers, a kitty eats way over $600.00 of your budget.

Just by considering the breed and size of your dogs you'll have more money to play with. We mentioned the smaller pets first, for a reason. That's because larger pets are harder on the wallet. They can cost you an extra $1500.

There are ways to slice the price tags a little. Starting with a major expense, medicine. Reports say some vets mark up drugs they sell an average of 150 to 175%. Pet experts say you can get around this,simply by asking for a prescription and not the medicine itself. You can then check around with your pet supply stores, even search sites like for a bargain.

After the vet bills, food is the most expensive item for pet owners. Individually,Americans spend about $250.00 on food. That is almost a $15 billion industry. Some folks swear by gourmet grub, saying they help keep their pets healthy and cut down on medical bills down the road.

We'll leave that up to you and your vet to decide, but even generic foods are tested by control officials. You're usually on the safe side if you look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials seal.