Let’s Get Real: The Cost of Pet Parenthood

Pets bring immeasurable joy and love to many families, but the decision to welcome one (or two) in your home means more than just exciting times.

Taking care of a pet is a significant commitment, both emotionally and financially. Since they can be with us for 15 years or more, the expenses accumulate over time.

We did a little math to find out the average cost* of having a furry friend by your side. Whether you buy, adopt, or take in a stray, there are numbers to think about and budgets to consider.

*Costs are average and based on Singapore Dollar.

One-Time Costs


Dogs in Singapore are required to have their microchip registered, and soon for cats too. Microchipping increases the odds of finding them if they ever get lost or stolen. The tiny chip could be your ticket to a happy reunion! This can go from S$50 to S$100.

Register your pet’s microchip, details, and your information with places like AVS, NParks, vet clinics, Petcall, and SPCA. An updated microchip allows for easier contact.


In Singapore, having a pet licence is a must for dogs. This way, pets are accounted for and can be traced back to their pet parents. Licence fees differ, but there’s a S$35 one-time fee for neutered dogs, lasting their lifetime.

Spaying and Neutering
S$150 to S$600, not including tests and post-surgery medication
To avoid surprise litters and help reduce animal overpopulation, spaying or neutering is the best way. This also lowers the number of strays on the streets. Getting your pet spayed or neutered can run you around S$350 to S$500, maybe even more, and that depends on how much your furball weighs.

Ongoing Costs

From S$20-S$150

How much you spend on food is largely based on your pet’s size, breed, and what they love to eat. Some dine on wet, raw, or dry food. Premium and quality nutrition may come with a price tag, but the benefits for your pets’ overall health make it worthwhile. Feeding hamsters or bunnies costs less and ranges from $20 to $50 monthly. Just a heads up, that doesn’t cover the fancy treats or snacks for your little buddy.

S$50 to S$150

Regular grooming is necessary for your pet’s health. While this can be done at home, sometimes a pro is best for the job. Depending on size, breed, and fur, this can cost between S$50 to S150. Cats are meticulous groomers but they might need a trim every 4-6 weeks, while dogs need grooming more frequently.

Vet Visits
S$40 to S$120

Regular vet check-ups are crucial. During these visits, your vet makes sure everything is in shape and tries to spot sneaky issues early on. The bill for these are usually S$40 to S$120. It can still be more, depending on the health issue you’re dealing with. Don’t forget to save some extra cash for medical emergencies!

From S$50

Keep preventable ailments away with regular vaccinations. The price will vary on what vaccine you will get, but it will mostly be around S$50 or more per visit. Talk to your vet to make sure you’re getting the correct shots for your furry friend.

Deworming, Fleas, and Ticks Prevention

Don’t let parasites worm their way into your furry friend or you! Deworming is a preventative care that helps reduce parasites (internal and external). Even before birth, dogs can contract different types of worms. The cost of deworming depends on the clinic, product, and your pet’s weight. But be ready to shell out S$20 or more.

If you bring your cats outdoors, it’s advisable to consider spot-on preventive treatments, such as Revolution®. This can help protect your felines from pesky pests.

Pet Supplies

Setting up a cosy space for your pets comes with a price tag too. Beds and toys need changing every few months, especially if your pets are prone to biting and chewing. For pet parents who drive, investing in a protective car seat cover is ideal since most dogs and cats are prone to fur shedding. Plus, it saves your car seat from those unintentional scratches. Win-win.

Emergency Medical Bills
S$150 to S$800

Sadly, our pets getting sick is an unavoidable reality. Medical emergencies can be quite costly, so it’s best to be prepared. On average, emergency exams cost S$150 to S$800. It can even climb up to a higher price, depending on the case and procedure needed. Building an emergency fund allows you to give the best care in case of any unexpected health issue.


Relocating pets in Singapore involves careful planning for a smooth transition for your pets. The average cost is around S$4000, permits and airfare included. Factors such as the size of the pet, the destination, and the level of assistance required can affect your final total. Budget for these expenses and research well before making the big move!

The Real Reward
Pets are always a welcome addition to the family. And while they come with their fair share of costs, the joy and companionship they generously give makes it all worth it. The time we spend together, the memories we make with them, is a constant reminder that love is truly beyond any price.

Understanding Your Pet’s Life Cycle

The time we have with our cats and dogs will never be long enough. But just like us, they grow old and their habits change. Understanding our pets’ life cycle allows us to enjoy each stage and cherish every moment with them.

Our pets’ life stage is one of the most important factors in their overall wellness and health. As they grow, their bodies change, and so do the nutrients from their food—such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Knowing what to expect with your pet’s different life stages won’t leave you surprised when they start showing signs of odd behavior. But before we dive in, first thing first.

Your pet’s nutritional needs

Good nutrition is the cornerstone of lifelong health for our pets. One of the most important feeding fundamentals to remember is that dogs and cats do not have the same nutritional requirements. Cats are obligate carnivores, while dogs are considered omnivores. Dog food lacks some of the essential nutrients cats need (the opposite may be true as well).

In general, dog food may have a combination of meat, fruits, and vegetables. On the other hand, cats need a higher amount of protein in their diet. Both cats and dogs break down protein during digestion and absorb amino acids from it. Dogs require 10 essential amino acids while cats require 11 proper growth and development.

Besides the nutritional component, taste is a big difference between dog food and cat food. Cats may not appreciate some elements found in dog food. Meanwhile, dogs may enjoy cat food because of its high protein content, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for them. Plus, protein levels in cat food might upset your dog’s stomach, so best to keep it out of reach.

Your pet’s life stage

Now that we’ve covered your pet’s nutritional needs, here’s a brief guide on what to expect as your pets move through different stages of life.

Puppies and kittens

The most crucial stage of growth is the puppy/kitten stage. Feeding them properly will avoid stunted growth and deficiencies. 

Both puppies and kittens need food higher in calcium and phosphorus, which help good bone health. But for the first four to five weeks, it’s essential to let puppies and kittens nurse for as long as possible. They get essential protection from germs through antibodies in their mother’s milk. If their mother isn’t around, milk replacement formulas, commercial or homemade, would suffice.

By the fourth or fifth week, puppies will start getting their teeth, and the weaning process will begin. Puppies may eat solid food at about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 weeks old. They become mobile at this age and will start to explore their environment. If you see your puppy sampling food from their mother’s bowl, it’s usually a sign that they are ready to try solid food.

On the other hand, kittens usually start weaning from three to four weeks old, taking two to three weeks to complete. This is the time to start setting out moistened food for them. Kittens typically have sensitive tummies so a longer food transition period is recommended.  By the time your kitten is five to seven weeks old, they are ready to get nutrition from solid food.

Adult cats and dogs

Adult pets require a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, fibre, and carbohydrates. Their diet should have just the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight.

For dogs at this stage, the food they need will largely depend on size and breed, and to a lesser extent, how regularly they exercise. Ensure you’re not overfeeding or underfeeding by keeping portion sizes consistent, which helps maintain your dog’s ideal weight.

Meanwhile, cats are creatures of habit so getting them into a fixed feeding routine as soon as they reach adulthood is most effective. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet that’s ideal for ALL cats, but they do need food that’s high in protein. Cats break down amino acids faster than dogs, but they’re also unable to make their own. Their bodies’ metabolism does not adjust the rate of protein breakdown (like other animals do), so they consistently need a high amount of protein in their diet.

Senior pets

Senior/mature pets have no medically clear definition. The label ‘senior’ or ‘mature’ generally refers to dogs older than six to eight years, but it depends on the dog’s breed. For example, smaller breeds are considered seniors when they are 10 to 12 years old, but bigger breeds become seniors at five or six years old.

Senior or mature dogs usually require reduced fat and calories but with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and supplements. This is to help their immune system and promote healthy kidneys and joints. Some may need more protein in their diet because the protein stores of a senior dog run out more quickly than those of younger dogs. Dogs start to lose muscle mass as they age—just like us—but extra protein may supply the amino acids to help make up for that loss.

Cats mature between 7-10 years while senior cats are generally classified as ‘senior’ between 11-14 years old. Like dogs, cats use less energy as they age so they won’t need as many calories to keep them going. Plenty of cat food is formulated with protein that’s easier on a mature cat’s stomach and gentler on their teeth.

What we recommend

Made for all life stages, earthmade products are easily digestible and nutritious. It’s naturally made without using artificial preservatives.

Dogs run the gamut of ‘I want to eat everything’ to ‘eating isn’t fun,’ but earthmade Free-Range Grass-Fed Lamb Adult Dog Food is brimming with tasty protein, iron, and essential nutrients that they can’t say no to. It boosts your dog’s vitality, strength, and energy. With added rosehip for coat care, manuka honey for antioxidants and healthy digestion, and kiwi for vitamin C, it’s great for both adult and senior dogs.

It also has glucosamine, which helps support joint health and slow down the progression of arthritis, and chondroitin, which improves mobility in your senior pet’s arthritic limbs. It’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids for a more robust immune system and enhanced brain development. 

Cats can be picky eaters but not with earthmade New Zealand Mackerel Cat Food. It’s an ideal addition to their diet as it’s rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that can lessen allergic reactions and develop better skin and coat, to name a few. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and kiwi for vitamin C. Kiwi also contains a good amount of fibre that can help with digestive issues and hairball control.

You can browse our other protein options here

As always, speak to your vet when making major changes in your pet’s diet. They can guide you with what’s best for your pet inside and out.

Each stage of your pet’s life has its own challenges but it also comes with joys and experiences to remember. Make every moment count and be proactive in supporting them as their health and needs change.