Whether they’re dogs or cats, owning a pet comes with plenty of responsibilities and expenses. Regular expenses such as foods, toys, supplies, and annual checkups with the vets should always be monitored. By tracking your pet’s expenses, you will know what you spend and how you spend it. 

Your pet’s monthly expenses usually depend on its age, size, behavior, and health conditions. It also depends on your location and the brand and type of supplies you buy.

The best way to track your pet’s expenses is to develop a system to know how and where every dollar is spent. 

This article will provide expert tips on how you can easily track your pet’s expenses without straining your personal finances.

According to several statistics, the cost of owning a pet isn’t free as pet owners spend between $400-$700 yearly on food, medical care, training, and other supplies. 

Below are five important reasons why you should track your pet’s expenses:

  • It can improve your relationship with your pet. 
  • It reduces financial stress. 
  • You will be more mindful of spending at the moment.
  • Tracking your pet’s expenses helps you to notice some spending mistakes before they can affect your personal finance and cause more financial problems.
  • Set financial goals for you and your pet. 

You can track your pet’s expenses through the following ways:

Using the Pen and Paper Method 

Using the old-school pen and paper approach of tracking expenses is one of the best options here. In this method, you need to be committed to writing things down on a consistent basis.

However, this doesn’t mean that you must always carry a notebook every time you go out and write down whatever you spend money on. You can simply save the receipts from every transaction and write everything down when you finally get home. This will enable you to be more conscious of when and how much you spend on your dog or cat.

This will come in handy whenever you want to start saving more or make changes to your monthly budget. Tracking your pet’s monthly expenses is usually the first step towards creating a budget.

Categorize Your Expenses 

Tracking where you spend your money involves categorizing your pet’s expenses (similar to a pay stub). By diligently grouping your expenses, you could find that you’re paying for some supplies or services that you could do without.

Here are the most popular expense categories for most pets. It includes where most pet owners spend their money.

  • Food
  • Routine Veterinary Care
  • Toys
  • Surgical Vet Visits
  • Kennel Boarding
  • Emergency Veterinary Costs
  • Grooming
  • Vitamins 
  • Pet insurance 
  • Food Treats
  • Pet Walking
  • Ownership costs

Track Your Shopping 

A good and effective way of tracking your pet’s expenses is by choosing the types of stores you shop at. Do you normally shop for your pet’s food, toys, or other supplies all at one superstore? Having a special category with the name of the store might work better for you.

While there’s no right or wrong category, you still need enough categories to track your pet’s spending accurately.

Creating Spreadsheets

You can create your own Excel spreadsheets to track your pet’s expenses. You can either choose to log your expenses once per week or once per month.

One of the disadvantages of using computer spreadsheets is always getting to your computer to track your pet’s expenses. If you fail on these daily visits to enter expenses, then you’re not serious about tracking your spending. 

Using Expense Tracker and Budgeting Mobile Apps

These mobile apps make it easier to track your pet’s expenses. Whether it’s free or paid, these apps provide a range of great features to help you monitor how much you spend on your cat or dog and how you can make improvements. Unlike the pen and paper method, you can employ these apps to automate the entire process.

Most expense tracker and budgeting apps will do all the logging for you. Do you often forget to record your purchases? Then consider using an app that syncs to your credit card and bank accounts.

Most of these apps will also categorize your spending. This could prove helpful if you often forget about the one-off purchases. 

The most important thing to manage your finances is finding the right expense tracker and budgeting apps for you. Usually, you want to get something that will sync with your bank and work across different platforms.

Some of the best expense tracker apps today include:

  • Toshl Personal Finance
  • Goodbudget
  • Expensify
  • QuickBooks Online 
  • You Need A Budget (YNAB) 
  • Pocket Guard
  • Mint 
  • Personal capital


Owning a pet is a huge responsibility, so you must go into it with your eyes wide open. If you can’t track and monitor your expenses judiciously, you might overspend and end up running into debt in the long run.

When you choose not to track your pet’s expenses, you lose control over your money and may put your pet friend at risk. As you keep tabs on your pet’s expenses, be ready to make the necessary adjustments because of what you might uncover.

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