Responsible pet ownership involves a significant responsibility. When looking for a dog or a cat to join your family, you need to consider including new expenses on your budget.
A pet can be a special friend, and you might think of it as a member of the family. Like you do with your children or your spouse, you’ll have to care about its wellbeing and happiness. There are some expenses related to pet-owning that you have to consider before taking this big step in your life.
There are one-time pet expenses, like the initial medical exam, spaying and neutering, and all the stuff you need at home for them: litter box, collar, carrying crate, scratching post, toys, etc. Calculate approximate total first-year costs of $1,270 for a dog and $1,070 for a cat, and over $500 each additional year, depending on the type and amount of food you'll buy.
You should consider that there are other costs that can arise in certain situations. For example, hiring a walker in case you're stuck at work. Exercise is an essential aspect of your dog's life, so you should have this aspect covered if you can't take care of it.
This said, if you want to go on holiday you should consider including your pet in your ride, or let it at a kennel or a similar service. Some people are lucky to have friends or neighbors who can take care of their pets while they're away, but you can't take it for granted because it's a big favor to ask. Receiving about other people’s pets is a big responsibility and not everyone is comfortable doing it.
Pets also need medical care. Whether you get a dog, a cat, or another animal, you need to respect a certain vaccination schedule to maintain their good health. Additionally, you should set aside between $1,000 and $2,000 for unexpected vet bills. You can even get pet health insurance that'll cover most of its medical procedures.
Before adopting a pet, you should go to the pet shop and meet the vet. They can give you valuable tips about the pet that’ll fit in your family and your routine the best. Their expertise is based on their experience in this field and the knowledge of stories from other pet owners. Additionally, you can ask them about membership or frequent buyer programs in order to get some discounts when buying pet food or other supplies.
If you want to read more about considerations before adopting a dog, don’t miss this article!