Oh, the glory of owning a pet. Before you own one, you can only see upside. After you own one, you realise there is actually some downside. Problem is, you love them too much to possibly part with them. The more they misbehave the more they wriggle into your heart. Or maybe that’s just me!
If you are thinking about adding a new member to your family, there are definitely a few things to consider before you make the leap. In this post most of my content will cover domestic pets like cats and dogs, I know little about horse and farm animal costs & I see no point really covering fish as you can probably work that out pretty easily!
Can You Afford It?
The first thing to consider is if you can actually afford to own a pet. Pets come with all types of costs, including, but not limited to:
- Food costs
- The cost of food will depend on what type of pet you have and how much they need to eat. It also depends how energetic they are. My dog, who is a kelpie cross eats 20kg of food every three months, which until recently was costing me $130 a bag.
- My last 20kg bag of dog food cost me $45, which I sourced from a country produce store (where you can buy food for cattle, chooks, working dogs etc). Because the food isn’t name brand, it costs half as much! It still has the same nutrition percentages, but saves me almost $100 a bag! I live rurally so there is a store right in town, but I’m sure with a bit of searching you would be able to find one near you.
- Vet bills
- Again, this will depend on the type of pet and if they are more likely to have certain health conditions. Things like de-sexing and microchipping will set you back a few hundred dollars. Animals will generally require vaccinations across their lifespan so this is another thing to consider. Also, depending on how much your pet likes being an idiot (which in my case a lot) they may also get injured and will require care from a vet. Consults alone can be around $100 so it is a costly exercise.
- Worming & flea treatments, medications
- Worming treatments, flea treatments, ointments, and any other ailments that require treatment are bound to come up will also cost you some money.
- Leads/harnesses/car restraints
- If you are like me you are going to want collars and harnesses that look cute and are also practical. It is also hard to stop at just one item, but see how you go.
- It’s also important to consider where your pet will sleep, if this is a kennel, inside bed, any hutches or enclosures etc. Then also what you are going to put in there like blankets, straw/pet flooring etc.
- Pet sitting/kennel costs for when you go away
- If you go away will you have someone to look after your pet? Will you be able to pay someone to look after them or will you have to pay to put them in a kennel?
Should You Get Pet Insurance?
The answer is: it depends.
At the end of the day, it is going to be up to you whether you think it is worth it or not. I personally do not have pet insurance, instead I put aside a bit of money each week for pet costs, and my emergency fund has a few thousand extra dollars in it in case I have an emergency. You may find that pet insurance really is worth it for you, and other times it may not be. It’s important to look at the inclusions and exclusions the pet insurance provides. From what I believe if you have a pet that is known to have certain conditions (for example French bulldogs with airway issues), the insurer won’t cover for that even though thats probably the reason you want to have it in the first place.
As I said, look into all the criteria of the insurance before deciding if its worth it for you. If it isn’t it may be worth doing what I do which is putting money away weekly & having an emergency fund for my pet in case something happens! The last thing you want is for your pet to need the vet and you can’t afford it!
Adopt Don’t Shop
A great way to save money is to adopt, don’t shop! I adopted my beautiful dog for just $360, which included all her microchipping, de-sexing, first vet check up & vaccinations. I also gave her a more loving home than what she had previously and I feel so good knowing I have given her a better life.
At the end of the day, pets do cost money, but they are totally worth it! Having a pet to come home to can’t be beaten, and I wouldn’t trade mine for the all the money in the world. Below is a summary of costs to expect when looking to get a pet. ccccccc
Initial Once Off Purchases
- The animal (obviously)
- Car restraint or pet carrier for smaller pets
- Vet check ups & vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Worming treatments
- Kennel/pet sitting costs
Hope this post helped!