Owning a pet can be one of the most rewarding things you or your family does. In fact, some would suggest it isn’t about ownership so much as welcoming another, furrier member to your clan. That is how I felt when I picked up my current two cats. They just made my heart melt and I now
Bringing a new pet into a home is a great thing, however there are costs attached to bringing a pet into the family and these aren’t always the first thing you think of when you see those big eyes look up at you for the first time. So before you head down to get your first puppy or kitten, here are some tips on what costs you’re likely to be incurring with this addition.
Now, this will look mostly at the cost of the two most common types of pet ownership, cats and dogs. First of all, it is essential to break down the expenditure on your pet into two different categories. There are the one off payments and the annual ones. Examples of the one-time payments are getting your pet spayed or neutered, its first medical examination and any vaccinations that are required.
Getting your pet spayed or neutered can cost up to $175 depending on the procedure and the current health of the animal. However, that price can also be much lower so you might want to shop around to make sure you’re getting a veterinarian and a fair price. Sticking with health, this is where we can introduce the first of your annual bills.
Keeping your pet healthy is going to be your number one priority, the loss of a pet can be devastating so keeping them in tip top shape for as long as possible is top of your to do list. Annual health checks for dogs and cats can be in the range of $200, but that doesn’t account for the emergency trips to the vet for all manner of problems that your animal can find itself in. Here you can see more about the services offered by animal hospitals. Pet insurance is one way to assist with these extra costs.
Now, when it comes to selecting your pet insurance there is a lot to consider. Learning how it works, what coverage they offer and how to use it are all important things to prepare before you find a price. The last thing you want is to settle on an affordable price only to find out that your cherished pet isn’t going to be covered for the basic accidents that it will inevitably find itself in.
It really can’t be emphasized enough how important insuring your pet is. As we’ve touched upon above, a pet death can be one of the hardest things to go through so being able to afford emergency medical care is going to be something you will want.
Moving away from the health care costs, but sticking with something your new animal will need, food. According to the American Pet Products Association, annual expenditure on pet food is over $23 billion. They suggest that the yearly average food bill for dogs and cats is $235, and that is before you start to think about the treats that you’ll want to give your furry friend. And an extra piece of advice to consider is, what do you want to feed your pet? There is a wide range of products on the market catering to all sorts of lifestyles, breeds and appetites. Your decision may not be solely financial when it comes to food but keeping the price in mind will be important.
Other necessities for your pet include vitamins, practical products like leashes and litter. And all of these things are to be taken into account before you get to the fun part of ownership, the toys and games.
Everyone has seen videos online of cats being entertained by their owners, or you’ve been over the park and seen a golden retriever gallop wildly after a tennis ball. These are part of things that make pet ownership so rewarding, the special times you have with your animal. But they too come with a price attached. Annually, American pet owners spend $47 on dog toys and $28 on cat toys. Which, as you’ll know, is because we all want to see our pets enjoying their lives especially when they bring ours so much joy, but it is an item of expenditure that you’ll have to account for.
The cost of a pet is just one of the many things to consider. But, when getting your first pet it is vital to ensure you and your new family member have a good relationship and healthy lifestyle. Yes, the cost of a pet can be in the high hundreds if not into the thousands of dollars annually, so being prepared for that cost with savings and managing your finances is for the best.
But far from being a deterrent, the plan with this article is to give you the tools necessary to get out there, armed with the information you need so that you can get yourself a pet. There are so many reasons to get yourself an animal friend that being stopped by lack of organization or not having the facts available to you should not be an option.
Photo by Artem Bali from Pexels
So, a final suggestion for you. Do the research into what kind of pet you want. Find the breed and where to get them. Then spend a few months putting money aside as if you already own your pet. That way you will have started an emergency savings account, but also you will quickly find out if you can afford to bring a little creature into your household.
Owning a pet is incredibly rewarding so, to repeat what has been said before, don’t be deterred by the financial outlay. Just be prepared that the animal that will be bringing you so much joy will be dependent on you so be its friend as much as it will be yours.