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What a better time to add a new member to your family than the holiday season. Whether you are 4 or 74, animal lovers everywhere are welcoming new furry friends into our homes and into our hearts with wagging tails and purrs galore. They make us smile, make great companions, and can lighten up even the dreariest of days with a wet kiss or a cuddle.

That said, many say that money can’t buy you love, but Petfinder.com proves otherwise. You can buy a bundle of love anywhere from $400 for adopted pets to upwards of $2,000 for purebreds from top breeders. So, yes, in many cases four-legged love has a rich price tag. Plus, purchasing a pet is just the beginning.

Other expenses include one-time expenses like spaying or neutering and a carrying crate, plus annual expenses like food, medical exams, and toys. Also, will you need to hire a dog walker because of your work schedule? That’s $10-15 a walk. The dog may need obedience training. Vet bills that include annual check-ups and vaccinations, can be in the hundreds of dollars. If you can’t travel with your dog or cat, you’ll need to pay for a kennel or pet sitter – about $25-$75 a day depending on your options. Even if Amtrak or an airline carrier allows pets, they all charge an additional fee of $25-$100.

All these expenses add up. The first year of pet ownership can cost more than $1,500, according to a report by moneyunder30.com. Here are expenses break down according to the report.

One-time pet expenses

Adoption Process: Dog: $400 / Cat: $75

Breeder Fees: Dog: $1,500 / Cat: $800

Spaying or Neutering: Dog: $200 / Cat: $145

Initial Medical Exam: Dog: $70 / Cat: $130

Collar or Leash: Dog: $30 / Cat: $10

Litter Box: Cat: $25

Scratching Post: Cat: $15

Crate: Dog: $95 depending on size

Carrying Crate: Dog: $60 / Cat: $40

Training: Dog: $110

Total One-time (Adoptive) Costs: Dog: $965 / Cat: $440

Annual pet expenses

Food: Dog: $120/ Cat: $145

Annual Medical Exams: Dog: $235 / Cat: $130

Litter: Cat: $200

Toys and Treats: Dog: $55 / Cat: $25

License: Dog: $15

Pet Health Insurance: Dog: $225 / Cat: $175

Miscellaneous: Dog: $45 / Cat: $30

Total Annual Costs: Dog: $695 / Cat: $705

Best credit cards for pet owners offer more back on a regular basis.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

A great value for your pet spending is a travel rewards card. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® earns 2X miles on every single purchase. This card makes earning miles easy and redeeming even easier for free travel on any airline or hotel. Combine your bonus miles valued at $400 along with the monthly spend of an average pet owner – this card will have you planning your next vacation in no time. An extra value is you’ll get 5% of your miles back to use for your next redemption. You won’t even have to worry about pet fees for traveling or paying for a pet sitter with the cash back and travel rewards you earn with this card.

Here’s what we like about the card:

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card earns you TWICE on every purchase. Make your purchases and earn 1% cash back. Then pay off the balances and earn another 1% cash back. Use it for pet food, toys and treats, and vet bills. You’re not limited to any type of category making this a very simple solution to earning more cash back. By carrying this card you will be making a simple lifestyle change for the better.

Here’s what we like about the card:

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% – 23.49% based on your creditworthiness.
  • Click ‘here‘ to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee.

Welcoming a pet into your life is a wonderful experience, and although pet ownership isn’t free, it’s worth it. And with the right credit card, you’ll save on purchases you were already going to have to make.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers.

Bonus
40,000 miles

Balance Transfer
0% Intro APR for 12 months

Ongoing APR
16.99%, 20.99%, or 23.99% variable

Annual Fee
$0 first year; then $89

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.