Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Often Overlooked Costs Of Our Four-legged Friends

It’s quite often that you see a friend or a family member looking after their pet better than they look after their own self. It’s becoming more common for people to have pet insurance but doesn’t mean they are completely covered. They may have to have to take out a loan to pay for a rather pricey surgery. You want to consolidate debt not increase it. Sadly, you can’t predict the future and that’s why there can be so many hidden costs when purchasing a pet. The following article aims not to discourage you from purchasing a four-legged friend but to make you a responsible pet owner.

Life span

Pets are living and breathing animals. When you purchase a kitten or puppy you are making a commitment to look after this animal for at least ten years. It can be hard to look so far into the future but it’s something that needs to be strongly considered. The amount of dogs and cats that get dumped at animal pounds after they have passed their cute baby phase is disgusting. Are you planning on moving overseas? Will you be downsizing to an apartment? Do you rent and therefore have trouble finding animal friendly properties? It may not be the right time for you to purchase a pet and that’s something that can be hard to accept. Just remember you aren’t the only one that will be affected by your decision.

One-time costs

There are the fun one-time costs that are associated with welcoming your pet to the family. This includes equipment like; beds, collar, leash, food, water and food dishes and of course toys. The amount that you decide to spend on these items will depend on your budget. Decide on a budget and stick to it, you can always purchase more toys later. There will be the necessary costs of spaying or neutering, be a smart pet owner. There is also the newest procedure of microchipping, this is a must have! There is nothing worse than finding someone’s dog without a collar, taking them to vet to see if they are microchipped and finding nothing. If you do experience the unfortunate event of your dog running away, you want the best possible chance that they will be returned to you. This will insure that shelters will be able to contact you straight away.

On-going costs

Just like you, pets need to eat. Don’t just consider the cost of regular food but also include treats. Pets respond well to positive reinforcement, you want to be able to reward them. The on-going cost that will hurt the most is vet visits. This will include things like vaccinations, worming treatments etc.

Finally, pets need to be loved. Are you ready to love unconditionally?

… written by Jessica - a personal finance geek and the proud owner of two dogs and a cat. She put together this article to encourage people to act responsibly when considering a new 4 legged addition to their families.

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