While some pets, such as fish and birds, cost less than $200 per annum to care for, other animals such as cats and dogs can cost more than $1,000 a year, and Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) chief executive Martin Fahy says these costs need to be considered when planning for retirement.
“With the cost of a dog or cat being tens of thousands of dollars over its lifetime and in some cases much more, depending on diet, health issues and age, it’s worth checking your super calculations to make sure you have fully factored in your furry, feline, feathered or fishy friend,” Mr Fahy said.
“Many people would find it difficult to contemplate ditching the dog at retirement due to cost factors, but it does happen and it’s a tragedy for the pet and owner. Ideally, one’s retirement shouldn’t mean your pet’s untimely retirement from the household budget.”
Based on the expenses associated with housing, feeding, grooming and vet fees, ASFA estimates the additional sum needed at retirement to care for a dog would be around $34,500.
Keeping a cat would cost less, at an estimated $25,600, while budgies and fish require additional sums of $2,400 and $1,200 respectively.
“Many Australians would not consider their retirement as comfortable without their pet so boosting your super savings to cover pet costs can add to both your creature comforts,” Mr Fahy said.