young woman petting her cat and dog at home

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Pet in Canada?

When it comes to adopting a pet, one of the biggest considerations to keep in mind is how much it will cost to take care of your furry friend. As many pet owners can attest, pet care does not come cheap. So, to help better make an informed decision, Pets Plus Us partnered with the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) to sponsor the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Cost of Care Study. This report provides us with insights on the estimated annual expenses for owning a dog and a cat.


Man’s best friend. When planning to bring a new dog home, it’s good practice to plan for the costs.

Vet Bills – estimated annual expense – $1,287

Licensing – estimated annual expense – $25

You may not know that many municipalities require you to register and license your pet. License fees help to fund animal welfare and control services in your community. Your pet’s license tag can also help your municipality identify your dog if they become lost. Be sure to check your city’s website to learn what the licensing requirement are in your area.

Obedience classes – estimated expense – $475

Though optional, many may choose to enroll their dogs in obedience classes. These classes are meant to train pets on how to behave properly. You may consider doing so while your dog is a puppy, however, be mindful of the cost associated with doing so.

Dog food – estimated annual expense – $940

The cost of feeding your dog will depend on many factors, including their size, energy levels and individual nutritional needs. Some pet food brands come with premium price tags, while others are a little easier on the wallet. Some pets have medical concerns that must be addressed with special prescription foods. Your veterinarian is a good resource for advice on which diet is appropriate for your dog. No matter what you feed your pet, you can be sure their food will comprise a good portion of the annual cost of caring for them.

Pet Insurance – estimated annual expense – $914

Pet insurance is highly recommended as a tool to help cover the costs of veterinary care for unexpected illnesses and accidents like fractures, if they eat something unhealthy, and cancer. As an example, the price above reflects the national average for Pets Plus Us Accident & Illness More coverage with 80% co-insurance and a Level 2 deductible. Be sure to speak with an agent to learn more about this plan, and if it is right for your dog.

Download a printable version of the guide here.


Cat people know that when you share your home with a feline, it can be hard to tell just who’s in charge. While your cat may be the master of the house, it’s you who will be paying the bills. When preparing to care for a new cat, consider the costs you may be faced with.

Vet Bills – estimated annual expense – $1,094

Licensing – estimated annual expense – $15

Like dogs, cats also require to be licensed for the same reasons – to help your city manage the needs of the pet population, and to help them connect your pet to you in case they get lost.

Cat food – estimated annual expense – $544

There are many options available for cat food, and a variety of prices too. Like dogs, some cats have preferences, or even medical needs that dictate the kind of food you will choose for your pet. Be sure to consult with your vet to make sure your cat is getting the best food for their needs. From premium to budget brands, canned food to kibble, and everything in between, cat food is sure to make up a significant portion of the annual cost to care for your cat.

Cat Litter – estimated annual expense – $195

While you may not need to take your cat for a walk, they do require an area to do their business. Cat litter, much like their food, is a fundamental expense to consider when bringing home a new cat.

Pet Insurance – estimated annual expense – $470

You’ll find that pet insurance is also available for cats. This estimated price reflects the national average for Pets Plus Us Accident & Illness More coverage with 80% co-insurance and a Level 2 deductible. To learn more speak with an agent.

Download a printable version of the guide here

Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Northbridge General Insurance Corporation, distributed by PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. & Société d’Assurances Collectives (Sodaco) Inc. in Quebec. Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance is available in all provinces and territories.

This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.

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