Understanding the time and financial commitment of caring for a pet
Have you been considering adding a fur-baby to your family? Or, does your child have their eye on a creepy, crawly creature for their next birthday? Whatever the situation (or pet), before you make the decision to plunge into pet parenthood, it’s important to truly understand the commitment that you are about to make.
Adopting a pet means that you are responsible for a living creature that is 100 percent dependent on your care. Before you say yes to the pet, do you have time each day to feed and care for it? Does your daily schedule allow you to play with and/or walk a pet one or more times a day? Do you know the expected lifespan of the animal? Do you foresee having adequate time to care for it for their entire lifespan? Do you travel a lot for fun and/or for work? If so, who would care for your pet while you’re away? These are all things that need to be considered when determining if owning a pet is right for you. If your lifestyle allows you to care for a pet, the next thing you need to consider is whether or not you can afford it.
Regardless of the type of pet you choose, there will undoubtedly be one-time, ongoing and unexpected expenses associated with it. How much depends on the type of animal and/or the breed. You should research and consider these potential expenses carefully before committing to pet ownership.
One-time expenses generally include the costs to acquire your pet and the items you will need to adequately care for them such as:
Pets require constant care and upkeep, thus a constant impact on your wallet. Common ongoing expenses include:
As with humans, things happen with your pet that may end up hitting your wallet with an unexpected expense. For example, a medical emergency or maybe Fido thought the chair leg was a dog bone. It’s a good idea to set aside some cash in your emergency fund to cover pet related expenses. As added protection, research the cost to purchase pet insurance for your new family member. Pet insurance can help pay for expenses related to unexpected accidents and illnesses or ingesting something your pet shouldn’t have. However, depending on your plan, it may not cover expenses related to preexisting health conditions, hereditary disorders or developmental defects.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.