If you’re planning to welcome a new pet into your home, you’ve probably already taken steps to prepare your house for the arrival of your furry/feathery/scale-covered friend. But have you also taken the time to prepare your finances? One of the most common – and most frequently overlooked – side effects of pet ownership is a dwindling bank account. Expect expenses in the following categories:
Pet food alone often eats up a large chunk of people’s finances. And if your animal has special dietary needs, plan for an even higher food bill. Other expenses in the essentials category? Regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, leashes, collars, cages, grooming supplies and services, etc.
Looking to go on vacation? If you’re not bringing your animal with you, remember to include pet lodging in your budget. Alternatively, you could hire a pet sitter to watch your animal while you’re gone, but this option will also cost you. (Tip: Are your friends animal lovers? If so, work around this costly problem by arranging to watch each other’s pets for free!)
Your pet doesn’t know how much your living room couch cost – nor does it care. If it decides the cushions look fun to chew on, you’ll likely find yourself with some expensive repairs. And even if you decide not to bother fixing damage done to your property, at least be prepared to pay up if your animal destroys something belonging to the neighbors.
Admittedly, this expense category isn’t one that most pet owners face. But the reality is your animal, loving as it may be, could lash out in an unexpected act of violence at any time. And if your animal bites or attacks another person (or even another person’s pet), you could be hit with a lawsuit costing you many thousands of dollars.
When it comes to your pet budget, regular vet check-ups and vaccinations are a given. But your animal’s medical bills can increase exponentially if it develops a serious health problem. If you’re an individual who would pay any amount to treat your animal, you may want to consider pet insurance. (Just keep in mind that this, too, comes with a price tag.)
There’s no question that a pet can bring endless joy and happiness to its owners. Just make sure you can care for a new pet – physically and financially – before you bring it home.