Here's the Truth When Comparing the Cost of Babies to Pets

Every bundle of joy is special, but babies, puppies, and kittens all come with a price. 

The question is, how much? Whether your newest family member learns to walk on two legs or four, money is unfortunately something everyone needs to consider. Those who are ready to take the next step to expand their families have a couple of options. Between babies and pets, there's a lot of love to go around. If your new addition is human, canine, or feline, the first year of their life will require a financial commitment.

SafeWise, one of the leading names in home security, wanted to know exactly how much raising babies and pets really costs. Their team of researchers searched Amazon looking for the highest-rated products every new parent needs. They estimated the annual average cost for items that need to be purchased more than once, and they added it all up to find total amounts for babies, puppies, and kittens. SafeWise left out medical fees, vet bills, and adoption costs from animal shelters. And obviously there will be extra costs if the dog has health issues. Some purebred dog breeds have more health problems than others. Here's what they found when it came to baby costs versus pet costs.

Even with the $1,700 for formula being optional, SafeWise proved once and for all human babies are far more expensive than fur babies. After formula, the second most costly item is diapers. Tack on essential gear like a stroller, baby clothes, car seat, and baby monitor, and you're looking at several thousand dollars to keep your little human happy and healthy.

first year costs of a having a baby

Second up on the list of most expensive family members is the dog. With dog food costing an average of $390 a year, dogs also need a comfy place to sleep, lots of treats, and basic grooming tools. And while SafeWise charts the annual cost of toys to be only $19, most dog owners spend more than that to keep their four-legged friends entertained.

SafeWise safety expert and copywriter Rebecca Edwards also pointed out to Wide Open Pets that keeping your pup comfy will cost you about the same as giving your baby somewhere safe to sleep. Expect to pay around $116 for a dog bed while your baby's bassinet costs only a few dollars more.

first year costs of adopting a dog

Finally, cats are the least expensive on the list of little family members. Unlike babies and dogs, feeding your new feline friend won't be the biggest charge on your card. SafeWise found a year's worth of kitty litter is more expensive than a year's worth of cat food, and that's not even including the litter box and scooper.

Once you deal with the smelly clean up of owning a cat, there's also the scratching post, cat bed, and cat carrier to buy. Add on smaller necessities like a collar and ID tag, and you're looking to spend just under $1,000.

first year costs of adopting a cat

Whether you're bringing home a new baby or have decided to adopt a puppy or kitten, there's no denying your bank account will need to be prepared. There are ways, however, to save a few dollars. Rebecca told Wide Open Pets:

"Whether you take home a little human or a baby animal, you can always save money by connecting with other people who can pass along gently-used items. Trading for things that you need only during the baby, kitten, or puppy phases can save a lot."

Besides physical items you can buy on Amazon, the cost of bringing up a baby, puppy, or kitten will also be affected by necessary services. There are some things you need a professional for, but there are ways to save money. Rebecca says;

"When it comes to pets, learn how to do things like grooming and nail trimming by yourself. If you don't outsource those care taking tasks, you can have more money to spend on things like toys or little doggies sweaters."

It doesn't matter whether your newest addition to the family wears a diaper or is covered in fur, you'll always have enough love to go around. They can be expensive, but they're worth every penny. SafeWise helps us understand a little more about the potential price tags to make sure every bundle of joy receives the care they deserve.

Is there anything you'd add to the list of expenses? Let us know in the comments.

Infographics courtesy of SafeWise

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