How much does it cost to keep a pet in India

Can you afford a cat or dog?

Owning a pet is considered one of the most rewarding experiences in a person’s life. Pets offer companionship, help reduce stress, and can even help with socializing. In India, pet adoptions, especially for cats and dogs, increased considerably between 2020 and 2021. Indians were looking to their furry friends to provide companionship through the months of home seclusion and lockdowns. But before rushing out to adopt, we must consider whether we can afford to keep a pet. 

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Owning a pet is rarely a cheap endeavor. The question of how much does it cost to own a dog or cat depends on the pet’s needs. Considering the monthly and yearly expenses involved, you may spend upwards of Rs. 3,00,000 ($3,866) on your dog over 10-12 years. In the case of a cat, the expenditure may come up to Rs. 2,00,000 ($2,577) to Rs. 2,50,000 ($3,222) over the lifetime of your cat. This article will explore how much it will cost to own dogs and cats in India.

How much does a dog cost?

The first expense to keep in mind is the cost of adopting a puppy. In the case of purebreds, puppies generally cost between Rs. 10,000 ($128) and Rs. 50,000 ($644). These costs may increase depending on the lineage of the puppy.

Further, breeds like the Akita and the Bernese Mountain Dog tend to be rare in India; these dogs may carry a premium. In addition, breeders may set higher prices for show-quality dogs that meet the breed standards. On the other hand, the native Indian pariah dog comes for free and would make an equally adorable pet. 

How much does a dog cost per month? 

The monthly costs of owning a dog can be broken down roughly into expenses for food, visits to the vet, grooming, and toys. 

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First, there is the day-to-day cost of feeding your dog. Exactly how much you will spend on dog food depends on the kind of dog food you use. Many Indians like to prepare food for their dogs at home, which minimizes the expenditure. In case you prefer to buy store-bought dog food like Pedigree, expect to spend around Rs. 1,500 ($19) per month. This amount may increase if you prefer premium brands like Royal Canin. 

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Secondly, certain medical expenses may be incurred on a monthly or annual basis. The medical expenses for dogs include routine visits to the vet, vaccinations, and deworming. Usually, veterinary expenses come up to Rs. 5,000 ($64) per year if you visit a private veterinarian. In addition, you can choose to get your pet spayed or neutered. This is a one-time expense that can cost up to Rs. 5,000. Alternatively, you can take your dog to a government-run veterinary hospital. Here the consultation charges and treatment costs will be minimal. 

In addition, some dogs need grooming every month. You can choose to groom your dog on your own, but you will have to pay the cost of shampoo, clippers, scissors, brushes, etc. In the alternative, you can opt for professional grooming services, which usually cost around Rs. 500 ($6) to Rs. 2000 ($25) per visit. 

Another routine expense would be toys. Dogs need toys to remain mentally stimulated, and you may have to spend around Rs. 500 ($6) every few months on toys. In addition, you can get a cozy bed for your dog; beds usually cost around Rs. 2,000 ($25). 

So the average monthly cost of owning a dog would come up to Rs. 2,000 ($25)- Rs. 2,500 ($32).   

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How much does a dog cost per year?

The annual cost of owning a dog may range between Rs. 25,000 ($322) – Rs. 40,000 ($515). This figure may increase in case you hire a trainer or a dog walker. 

You can also consider getting an insurance policy for your dog. These policies cover medical expenses, mortality, and third-party liability. The premiums are calculated based on the dog’s age, size, and breed. The premiums range between Rs. 4,000 ($51) – Rs. 18,000 ($232) per year.  

How much does it cost to own a cat?

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Let us first consider how much it costs to adopt a cat. The native landrace, which is affectionately called the “Indian Billi” or the Spotted Cat, may be available to adopt for free. Purebred cats like the American Shorthair or the Persian cat may cost between Rs. 10,000 ($128) – Rs. 40,000 ($515). Rarer breeds like the Savannah cat or the Sphynx cat may cost upwards of Rs. 1,00,000 ($1288). 

How much does a cat cost per month?

To determine how much a cat will cost you every month, the monthly costs like food, grooming, and toys have to be considered. So you can expect to spend around Rs. 500 ($6) per month in case you go for store-bought brands like Whiskas. In addition, you can choose to purchase a litter box for your cat’s sanitary needs. Cat litter may cost up to Rs. 1,000 ($12) per month.  

For mental stimulation, cats tend to be satisfied with household objects like cardboard boxes, tassels, and twine. But you may have to purchase some toys or teasers. They tend to cost between Rs. 200 ($2) – Rs. 1,000 ($12). In addition, you can buy a scratching post or cat tree. This is a long-term investment, and you can get one for Rs. 1,500 ($19). One more related expense is a bed for your cat. You can purchase a comfortable bed for around Rs. 1,500 ($19).  

Cats don’t need much grooming since they are capable of taking care of themselves. However, occasionally it may be worth taking your cat for professional grooming. It would come up to Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 per visit. 

How much does a cat cost per year?

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In terms of veterinary expenses for cats, you would have to account for routine veterinary checkups, spaying or neutering fees, vaccinations, and treatments for fleas, ticks, or worms. Cats also need vaccinations on a yearly basis. The vet costs for a cat may come up to Rs. 3,000 ($38) per year. Spaying/neutering are one-time expenses that cost between Rs. 2,000 ($25) to Rs. 4,000 ($51). 

To sum up, it would cost you around Rs. 15,000 ($193) to take care of a cat for a year. Over the course of its lifetime, owning a cat may cost you around Rs. 2,00,000 ($2,577) to Rs. 2,50,000 ($3,222).

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