30 September 2016

Paws for Thought - How Getting a Pet Can Affect Your Finances

There comes a time in every parent's life when they hear the dreaded words. "Mom, can we get a dog/cat/*insert animal name here*. I promise I’ll look after it!" While we want to give our kids all the positive experiences we can, it is necessary to consider the financial implications before getting a pet.

Initial Cost--

The first thing you need to examine if the initial cost of the pet that you will be getting. If it is a smaller animal like a hamster or a gerbil, then it might not be too much. However, at the other end of the scale, pedigree cats and dogs can be hugely expensive.

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In addition, you need to be aware that some folks viewing buying a cat or dog from a breeder as a bad idea. Especially when there are so many unwanted ones available to rehome from shelters. In fact getting your pet from a shelter is a double win, as it will cost less and you will be providing a home for a previously unwanted animal.

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Of course, it's also important to remember that it's not just the cost of the pet that you will need to provide for up front. But also the accessories that it will need. Apart from toys, treats, and food bowls (which all pets enjoy), some pets will need specific items. Cats will need litter trays; dogs will need a bed and collar/leash, and rodents will need a cage or stacking system to live in.

Food--

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Even if they do have the money to get a pet, you need to consider whether the money costs for food will also be something that you can always meet. Depending on the type of food that your pet eats, it can cost quite a lot to feed them over a month. Just don't make a rod for your own back and start feeding them luxury food, as they will get a taste for it and expect it from then on out!

Waste--

For some pets, you also need to consider the cost of dealing with their waste products. For cats, it will be the cost of litter. For dogs, it will be the cost of poop bags. Usually, these things aren't too expensive but if you are working on a very tight budget already, it is something you need to be aware of.

Veterinarian Bills--

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Caring for your pet’s health is also another major cost that you have to think about before you bring them into your home. Can you afford regular check ups at the vet? What if they get seriously sick, will you be able to provide them with the best treatment? If this is a concern for you, it will pay to look at discount pet insurance offers. This means that your beloved pet will be covered, and you won't have to incur the cost if anything happens.

Home Costs--

It's also worth bearing in mind, whether your home might include extra cleaning costs, because of your pet. If it's rented, it is likely that the landlord will want the carpets professionally cleaned if you have a dog or a cat. Also, it won't hurt to keep a stock of a specialized pet odor remover products in the house for any little ‘accidents’.

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