It is a pretty heartbreaking reality that one of the biggest reasons pets are put up for adoption is due to unforeseen costs. One of the best things prospective owners can do to prepare for their new family member is to consider all the possible costs involved, from initial payments to lifetime expenditure.
Financial Planning for Pet Owners
When planning for the costs of owning a pet, owners need to consider both the upfront costs, which include buying or adopting the pet, training, and vaccinations. Ongoing costs such as food, vet visits, and grooming, should also be considered. It should also be noted that pets, like humans, will sometimes experience unforeseen health issues; however, the right insurance or contingency plans should ensure a family is in the best financial position to do all they can to get their fluffy friend back to full health. Of course, pet costs will differ from animal to animal, the cost of keeping a horse, for example, is much more than keeping a rabbit, but the list below outlines the areas of common pet expenditure.
When it comes to buying a pet, the exact price can differ significantly depending upon the purity of the bloodline and the demand for the breed. It is also worth being aware, especially when it comes to dogs, many breeders do not run ethical practices. For those wanting to purchase a puppy, Petful has an interactive guide that helps individuals spot the warning signs for puppy farms.
The cost of adopting a pet differs depending upon the center, from $5 for a small animal to between $50 to $100 for a dog. This price will usually include up to date medical checks and vaccinations.
Medical expenses are likely to be the most significant financial burdens of owning a pet since even the routine check-up can quickly add up. The ASPCA estimates the average cost of annual medical care for dogs to be $235 for dogs and $160 for cats, these numbers are increasing year on year. It is also worth noting that these costs can skyrocket if an animal becomes ill or injured. There are a number of ways to deal with emergency costs, such as bad credit loans, however, having pet insurance might help owners save thousands on unforeseen payments.
Pet food is another big-budget drain, yet, luckily, food costs are much easier to prepare for. Before adopting a pet, it is worth taking the time to do some research on the potential feed options. Since there is very little regulation on pet foods, more expensive does not automatically mean higher quality; taking the time to research what is in a feed can help owners find the best food for their pet and their purse.
Other Common Pet Expenditures:
While the examples above represent a large share of the costs of owning a pet, the smaller payments can soon add up. The list below is a few examples of other potential expenditures that should be planned for:
- Training, costs differ greatly depending on animal, breed, and experience of owners
- Equipment such as leads, tack, toys, and backyard fences
- Grooming, such as coat and nail trimming
- Regular flea, tick, and worming inoculations