Looking to give a pet a furever home? Becoming a fur mom is a big responsibility, especially financially.
I have never owned a pet unless you count my pet fish Sly who died after 2 weeks in a fish bowl and we flushed down the toilet. Still, I have friends and clients who have owned/do own pets. Currently my husband and I dog sit, and we absolutely love it.
Many people look at that cute little face and adopt without much of a thought, but if you want to give your new friend the best home possible, you need to consider every financial factor of owning a pet.
Can you really afford a pet? Let’s find out.
Look at Your Monthly Budget
A pet can be more expensive than you’d think. In the first month of owning your pet, you could expect to spend an average of $600 on the first vet visit, spaying or neutering, training, and beginning pet supplies. According to the ASPCA, pet owners are expected to shell out $1,500 - $2,500 on the first year of owning a pet, not including unexpected costs like medical emergencies.
Basically, make sure that all of these costs can fit into your monthly budget. You still need to be able to put 20% of your paycheck into savings, keep up with your rent/mortgage, and pay off any debt that you owe. If your furry friend doesn’t fit into your overall budget, it is not a good time for you to get a pet.
To help cut down on some costs, you can join a frequent buyer or bulk buying programs to get some major deals on food, litter, toys, and more. If nothing else, buying the bigger bags of food in store can help you cut some expense and get more for your money.
And I know that walking into the pet store makes you want to buy your fur baby every toy available, but those costs can really add up over time. Places like TJMaxx and Ross have some great pet toys for a much cheaper price.
Set Up an Emergency Pet Fund
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, every pet owner will encounter a vet bill costing $2,000 - $4,000 at least once in their life. Make sure to that you can set aside at least $1,000 - $2,000 of your emergency fund for that unexpected vet bill before getting a pet.
Consider Pet Insurance
Getting pet insurance can help to cut costs of vet bills, especially if you have a medical emergency. Compare several plans to find the best one for you and your little friend.