Buying a puppy or kitten during the Christmas season is a common impulse holiday gift purchase and a lot of times, people don't really assess the long term costs with having a beloved family pet. This blog will teach you about the financial responsibilities linked with pet ownership and what you can do to financially prepare with your decade long (if not longer) commitment to your fur baby.
Save The First Year of Expenses In Advance
The first year of owning a kitten or puppy can be more impactful then you may have anticipated. Remember, the first year will include the breeder or adoption fees, initial vet wellness visits with vaccinations, neutering/spaying, veterinary visits, food, pet proofing home accessories, toys, a carrier or crate, wee-wee pads, litter box, and etc. Cha-Ching! Expect to save a couple of grand if you are going to start on the right foot with your pet's care. By saving ahead, the pet costs won't blindside you and negatively affect your monthly budget.
Include The Cost of Pet Care In Your Monthly Budget
Calculate how much you think you’ll spend on your pet's maintenance per month. Items to include are food, cat litter, flea & tick collars, and pet insurance (read more on that below) each month. You can even receive the cheaper rates on pet food if you set up recurring food deliveries. Amazon and Chewy are potential options. Once you build these things into your monthly budget, you won’t be surprised by them when they arise.
Start An Emergency Fund For Your Pet
Pets just like people can succumb to unexpected illness or injury that can be a big hit to your wallet. Surprises will happen more often then not. When it comes to my dog, Fritz, two pop into my head. When he was teething he decided it was ok to chew right into the dry wall leaving a big gash. The other was recently when we rushed him to the vet for what was termed a "geriatric episode." It was scary and he's fine now but that bill right before the holidays could have been damaging. Having a pet emergency fund can help offset the vet bills when something unfortunate arises. Make sure that you include this in your monthly budget.
Consider Investing in Pet Insurance
There are pet insurance companies which offers to cover 90% the cost of the claim. Do your research. The best rates are based primarily on age. Coverage is typically available when a puppy or kitten is six to eight weeks old. By insuring your pet at a young age, you can avoid claim rejections for pre-existing conditions.