Financial Guide To Owning A Pet

Pet ownership comes brings us many benefits. Taking your dog for a walk every day helps you live a healthier life.  Pets help you connect with friends and neighbors.  For many people, having pets means never having to feel lonely.  Pets also help reduce stress. If you have kids, you know that pets teach kids responsibility and give them the companionship they will remember throughout their life.

But pet ownership can be a burden on your finances. The lifetime cost of owning a pet is $15,000 to 20,000.

One-Time Expenses

There are one-time costs associated with adoption, spay/neuter, vaccination, and microchip.  These costs can easily run between $500 to $1000. Consider adopting from a shelter instead of buying from a pet store.  Not only is buying from a shelter cheaper, but you will also be helping the animals if you adopt from a shelter. If you are unwilling to train your pet, you may have to pay someone for training.

Annual Expenses

The on-going annual cost runs in the $500 to $1000 range, though it varies widely depending on the type of pet. Annual costs include expenses for food, doctor visits, vaccinations, medicines,  and toys and grooming.  These are on-going costs that you need to include in your monthly budget.

Investing Time (And Money) In Your Pet

Owning a pet also means investing time.  For example, you need to walk your dog every day and take him or her to the vet periodically.  If you are unable to walk your dog, for example, and you hire a dog walker, you will obviously incur additional expenses.  Also, if you travel often, and have to leave your dog at a kennel.  Kennel or pet-sitting costs can be very expensive.  If you can get a neighbor or a friend to take care of your pets when you travel, you will save a lot of money.

Planning For Emergency Expenses

You also need to pay for emergency expenses.  An unexpected accident or a surgery or a visit to ER costs thousands of dollars.  It’s a good idea to have an emergency fund for your pets. Consider pet insurance if you think you cannot handle these unexpected expenses.

Pets can cause damage to property (especially carpets).  Many apartments and hotels ask will ask you for a deposit if you bring pets into the property.  You will also need to buy additional cleaning supplies for your home if you own pets.

Bottom Line

While owning pets has many benefits, there are financial implications you need to consider. One-time and annual costs can run up to $1000 or more each.  Properly budgeting for these expenses will help you avoid surprises. Consider pet insurance and an emergency fund to navigate through the tough times that you will sometimes encounter.

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