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By Christine DiGangi /
Updated: April 5, 2021 11:25 AM ET | Originally published: March 22, 2016
Thomas Galante / EyeEm—Getty Images

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. 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.

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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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1. Tibetan Mastiff

Price range: $1,000 to $7,000 (though one famously sold for $2 million in 2014)

2. Akita

Price range: $750 to $3,500

3. Hyacinth Macaw

Price range: $2,000 to $12,000

4. Chinese Crested

Price range: $400 to $3,000

halimqomarudin—Getty Images

5. Ball Python

Price range: $100 to $45,000

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6. Savannah Cat

Price range: $1,500 to $20,000

7. Capuchin Monkeys

Price range: $5,000 to $8,900

8. Squirrel Monkey

Price range: $3,000 to $5,000

9. Capuchin Monkeys

Price range: $5,000 to $8,900

Alper Tunc—Getty Images

10. Sphynx Cat

Price range: $300 to $2,500

11. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Price range: $1,000 to $3,500

12. Egyptian Pharaoh Hound

Price range: $1,200 to $5,000

English Bulldog

Price range: $1,000 to $5,000