Can You Afford a Pet?

There are millions of pet owners throughout the world, and their care has become a thriving business for such varied professions as veterinarians, groomers, insurance agents and dog walkers to name just a few. It’s hard to resist a cute puppy or kitten, especially when your child is begging for one. However, many people don’t realize that the costs of pet ownership can add up quickly.

Food alone is something you have to factor in when deciding whether or not to add a pet to your family. A small cat may not require much, but a large dog can consume a lot. If it develops a medical problem, you may find that it requires a special diet.

Medical expenses can be huge, just as they are for humans. Unfortunately, animals do get sick or injured sometimes. You may be able to afford neutering or basic vaccinations, but what about a kidney operation? The cost of tests to determine what ails them also have to be considered.

If you don’t have someone to take care of your pet when you go away, or just off to work, you may need the services of a dog walker or a kennel.

Dog training may be necessary, particularly if you own one that is destructive or is prone to biting strangers. If someone files a claim against you because your dog bit them, you may end up paying higher premiums on your home insurance.

It’s important to think about these costs before jumping into pet ownership. Some pets, such as a free kitten from a friend, or a few fish are much more affordable. Animal shelters also have cats and dogs to adopt, although you often have to pay for the necessary shots. Pure bred dogs or specialty breeds require more up front costs and often more routine care. It also helps to do your research to see the types of health problems associated with specific breeds.