Any type of pet ownership has its costs: visits to the vet (the planned and the oh-so-expensive unplanned), food, grooming, toys and boarding costs all add up. Even if you're a pretty frugal person, you still probably need to dedicate a portion of your budget to caring for your non-human family members. But depending on what sort of pet you want, your biggest expense could actually by what it takes to acquire the animal.
Pet costs are a huge aspect of Americans' finances. About 65% of U.S. households have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association, and in 2015, it was estimated that those owners would spend more than $60 billion on collective pet expenses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average U.S. household spends $500 annually caring for their pets, though it wouldn't be hard to find some owners who exceed that in a single month.
Click through for photos of the 7 most expensive pets:
Things like pet insurance or an emergency fund can help soften the blow of an unpredictable visit to an animal hospital, but it's not unheard of for people to go into debt over pet care. Careful budgeting can help you avoid letting your pets make a mess of your finances. (You can see how your pet overspending is impacting your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)
An exotic animal can definitely drive up your costs, but even so-called typical pets like cats and dogs sometimes come at a steep price. Keep in mind prices vary widely by seller and the specific animal for purchase, but we've rounded up general ranges of what these pets can cost. Based on information from breeders in various locations, as well as online pet-shopping sites, here are some of the most expensive pets out there. (Note: Not all these animals are legal to keep as pets in some states. No matter what pet you're looking into, remember that pet sales are a common scam tactic, so be careful about choosing a breeder and how you choose to pay. Many animals are available for adoption at local shelters, as well.)
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.