Thinking of Adopting a Pet? Consider the Costs First

April 8, 2021

National Pet Day is April 11! As many as 68% of U.S. households own a pet, and you may be looking to become one of them. Before adopting a pet, evaluate your financial situation to ensure you can afford to take care of your pet’s needs.
There are many benefits to owning a pet, such as companionship, reduced stress, and wellness. But before you go running to the nearest pet shelter, consider the costs.
Initial Costs
During the first year of pet ownership, you may spend up to $2,000 for a dog, and $1,500 for a cat depending on where you adopt the pet from, where you live, where you shop, and what extra items you buy. Basic items for your pet’s first year with you include:
  • Adoption
  • Food
  • Startup supplies (bowls, bed/crate, leashes, tags, toys, etc.)
  • Vet and vaccinations
  • Preventative medical (heartworm/ticks/etc.)
  • Spay or neuter
  • Licensing
  • Microchip
The first year can be more costly, especially if you adopt a puppy or kitten, due to more vaccines and initial supplies needed.
Ongoing costs
Once you have had your pet for a year or so, the costs go down a little bit. You still need to purchase food, take the pet to the vet for annual visits and vaccinations, purchase preventative medicine, but other costs may be voluntary. It’s also important to consider your pet’s senior care, as many animals need extra medical attention as they get older. 
Additional costs
As you are enjoying your new pet, you may have occasion to need to have them groomed, boarded, or enrolled in training. These services do cost money, but can also make owning a pet more enjoyable. 
Emergency fund
Just as you have an emergency fund to cover your expenses, you may want to consider starting one for your pet. If animals need surgery, urgent care or medicines, it can be extremely expensive. Having a fund set aside to cover these costs can come in handy, especially if you don’t have pet insurance.
If you are considering buying pet insurance, there are many providers available, and usually there is a monthly fee you can add to your budget. Some employers also offer pet insurance, so you may want to check your benefits.
While adopting a pet is an investment, most people believe it is money well spent. And, you get unconditional love and affection as pay back! By making sure you can afford to own a pet before adopting, you and your pet will be happier and healthier.

Tags: Budgeting, Money Management, Tips and Tricks