There’s nothing better than a furry friend as a pet. I’ve had pets like a hedgehog, a dog, and, my very favorite, a cat named Tommy. They were each snuggly, adorable, and as cuddly as could be — Tommy more than the rest.
I got Tommy when I was 7, and I was crushed when we had to put him down last year. But his loss got me to thinking about getting another kitten (or two), which led to the question of cost. Now that I’m older, the financial responsibility for a pet would be completely mine. And it turns out; being a pet owner is expensive!
There’s a lot to consider when you plan to bring a pet into your home. But above all, you have to be sure you can afford to give these animals the environment they deserve. Here are just a few things to consider when deciding if you can fit a pet into your budget.
How to Budget for Your Furry Friend
Every pet has daily needs – food and treats, for one. That’s not to mention leashes for dogs, litter for cats, toys, and, of course, regular vet checkups. When I started totaling up what we paid for Tommy on a monthly basis, I was shocked. Food alone cost about $25, plus about $60 a year for regular vet checkups. And kitty litter isn’t exactly inexpensive, either — that was another $15 a month. Add in treats and toys, which we liked to spoil him with, and the total added up fast.
Now, of course, there are ways to cut back. But if you want the best for your animal friend, you have to consider that monthly, you’ll probably be paying about $35-45 just for regular “stuff.” To me, it’s totally worth it, but it’s definitely something to consider.
Aside from regular checkups, your pet will almost certainly need to go to the vet at some point for some kind of sickness. Surprisingly, this can be one of the easier ones to budget for. If you keep an envelope or jar labeled “Emergency Vet Fund” and add $10 or $20 each month, you can save it up for when you really need it. Eventually, if you (and your pet) are lucky, it will build up to the point that you have a “rainy day” fund in case something bad does happen.
I love going on vacation – who doesn’t? But the truth is, in most places, finding pet-friendly lodging is difficult and often quite expensive. This goes doubly if you’re planning to fly to your destination.
However, boarding can get expensive, too. In my area, cat boarding is about $20 per night, while dogs can run as high as $30. But in many cases, boarding also includes bathing your animal, trimming his/her nails, administering any meds, and all kinds of other perks.
Thankfully I have a friend who comes to the house and pet sits whenever we go out of town so that is a huge help!
While cats generally don’t need much in the way of grooming beyond the occasional nail trim, dogs need regular baths, as well as fur trims and ear cleanings. Luckily, these don’t have to cost very much. You can bathe your dog and learn how to do all that other lovely stuff.
I am lucky enough to have gotten two new kittens that were given to me for free by a family friend! It’s a good thing I had a pretty large fund built up, though, because they were both quite sick when I got them and I spent a couple hundred dollars on them right in the beginning.
Having a pet is a serious decision that will inevitably cost you money. However, in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. After all, there is nothing like being greeted at the door or being comforted when you’re sad by a fuzzy animal who wants nothing more from you than love. (And food)