“Awww, look at that puppy! Can we keep it?”
“Look what followed me home! Can we keep it?”
When it comes to animals, especially cute and fluffy animals, we humans have a serious lack of willpower. We can’t resist wanting to bring home the first fluffy animal we see.
Pets are great for the family and provide numerous benefits including companionship, entertainment and teaching life skills and responsibility. We might want to bring home that cute puppy we see in the animal shelter immediately, but we often forget about the financial impacts of pet ownership.
Before you fall for those puppy dog eyes, here are some financial considerations of pet ownership.
To make sure your pet is healthy and doesn’t spread disease, you need to take it to the vet on a regular basis. Vet bills can get expensive, especially if your pets need surgery or tests. You’ll want to make sure they are up on their vaccinations and have flea and tick medication. Even these routine things can be an expensive part of pet ownership.
Boarding Costs and Hassles
If you travel a lot or plan to take a vacation and can’t take your beloved pets, boarding a pet can get expensive. It can also be a hassle. Depending on the place you board them, you can pay a hefty price and you may even have add ons for extra playtime, treats, etc. There are pros and cons to this, so do your homework before choosing a pet boarding location.
This is a fairly new concept. It’s like daycare for children but for your pet instead. Doggie daycare can help socialize your animal and make sure he or she doesn’t tear up your couch while you are gone all day at work. Also like childcare, this can get expensive. But luckily, it is not a requirement for your pet like it may be for human children. With proper training, your pet should be fine at home alone until you return.
There are so many different varieties of food, it can be difficult to choose one for your pet. Is organic better than plain ole’ food? Maybe or maybe now. It is a personal preference of how you live that you apply to your pet. Pet food can get expensive but there are ways to save on this pet expense.
Long-haired pets need more care and grooming. Taking your pet to a groomer can be pricey. Decide if you can DIY it or if you need to hire a professional. Keep in mind that doing it yourself may be cheaper in the long-run but you’ll likely still need to buy some equipment to get started.
Pet Type and Breed
Keep in mind what type of pet or breed you are considering getting. You need to make sure it’s the right pet for your lifestyle. If you live in a dinky apartment in a crowded city and are never home, it may not be the smartest idea to get an active dog. Certain breeds also have shorter life-spans and may develop health problems. Other breeds aren’t great with children. Do your research to make sure you get the right type of pet for your life.
Pet insurance is another non-necessity of pet ownership, but it’s something to think about. Pet insurance is like your own health insurance, it covers bites, injuries, wounds, etc. depending on the plan. Insurance for pets is fairly new, and there aren’t a lot of vets that take insurance, so make sure you look a these things before signing up for a plan.
Pets are expensive and can be full of hidden costs. If you are considering pet ownership, be sure you are able to care for the pet and have time for them. Certain pets need more attention, and depending on your career, may not be a good fit at the present moment. If you do have a pet, make sure you add that to your household budget as you are sure to have some extra expenses.
Do you own a pet? Have you seen an financial impacts of pet ownership?
Photo courtesy of: thatsphotography