Having a cat or dog around can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, most of us only look at the fun side of owning a pet: the playtime, the walks, the companionship, etc. – but ignore the not so fun side: the cost of food, vet bills, etc. While I am not out to tell you that you shouldn’t get a pet, I am urging you to consider all angles before bringing Rufus or Tiger into your home.
Considerations When Getting A Pet
Do You Like To Travel?
One big thing that many people overlook when getting a pet is how much they travel. For most, you won’t be taking your cat or dog along with you. That means you need to find a sitter or board the animal. The costs for doing such things aren’t cheap either. We have 2 cats and it costs us $40 a day to board them (I’ve spent many hours trying to find a cheaper place, but everywhere I go, it’s the same amount). If we take a one week vacation, we have to factor in the cost of $280 for the cats.
Of course, some can leave the cats alone for a short time without worry. But you can’t leave them alone for extended periods of time. With dogs, you really can’t leave them alone for more than a day.
The bottom line is to make sure you take into account how much you like to travel when considering a pet.
Medical care for humans is expensive and for pets, it’s just as high. You need to make sure you can cover the costs of emergencies and routine checkups for you pets. A routine checkup will run you around $100. But an emergency has no limits.
Recently, our one cat ate some lilies that I bought for Easter. They are the most poisonous plant to cats, causing them kidney failure and eventual death in 48 hours. We had to take him to the emergency vet and they kept him for a few days to flush his system. The cost: $1,000.
The vet told us that if that didn’t work, dialysis was the only other option and that runs $30,000. Luckily we didn’t get to that point.
You have to take into account the medical costs with owning a pet. Your personal insurance isn’t going to cover the bills either, so expect to pay full price.
Day To Day Expenses
If you are living paycheck to paycheck or are struggling to get ahead financially, a pet is the last thing you need. I know the kitten or puppy is cute as heck and you want them so badly, but you cannot afford them.
You need to buy them food costs on a weekly basis. Then you buy them toys and a pet bed and maybe a cat tower (which are overpriced in my opinion). Treats, leashes, travel carrier and others all add up to a good amount of money. Be sure to factor all of this into account.
I love having pets. I grew up with cats and dogs and would love to have a houseful of pets. But right now, it is just not financially possible. You have to be honest with yourself when getting a pet. You are caring for the life of an animal here. You can’t neglect it or change your mind a few weeks later. Make sure you consider all costs and really determine if you can afford to own a pet.