Your kids are pushing for a family pet, but can you afford it?
“The joys of owning a cat or dog are infinite,” said Ed Sayres, former president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “In order to provide a loving and safe home for our pets, however, we must ensure that our budgets can accommodate their needs.”
Pets can be unexpectedly expensive, said Natasha Ratliff, spokeswoman for Rover.com, a Seattle-based pet-sitting website.
Some of the costs that families should be aware of in the first year of dog ownership include:
• One-time expenses for vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and purchasing a crate or bed. On average this comes to around $800.
• Monthly expenses for food, toys, poop bags and flea and tick medication. This adds up to about $75 per month, or $900 for the year.
• Annual expenses for routine exams, training, pet-sitting or emergency vet bills. Could range from $100 to $1,000 per year.
“Unexpected veterinary bills are the most surprising — and most costly — variables in dog ownership. While preventative care can go a long way, you’ll want to be prepared for any veterinary emergencies, like if your dog were to accidentally eat something he shouldn’t, which they are known to do. Consider pet insurance, which will make unforeseeable expenses easier on your wallet,” Ratliff said.
Certain dog and cat breeds have specific medical issues they are more genetically prone to, so before you adopt your breed of choice, do your research or check in with your local veterinarian.