Friday, January 25, 2019

Costs to Consider Before Adopting a Pet

Having a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. The unconditional love they give and the happiness they bring is immeasurable. The rewards are multiplied when you save a pet’s life and adopt a rescue pet from a shelter or rescue organization. However, there are costs involved with pet ownership and it is important to consider the financial aspect before you adopt.  Unfortunately one of the most common reasons pets are given away is due to the cost of caring for them. 

  • Adoption Fee- Most shelters and rescue organizations will charge an adoption fee. The fee represents only a portion of the expense that the rescue or shelter may have already spent to cover the pet's overhead and initial veterinary care.  
  • Spaying or Neutering- Often the adoption fee will cover spaying and neutering, but if not, it could be an additional cost.
  • Veterinary Expenses- A cost most overlooked by initial adopters are the ongoing veterinary expenses.  Just as you need regular checkups and medical treatments, so does your pet.  Many times pet owners will search for the very best breeders who make guarantees about pets being bred not to have certain health conditions such as "hip dysplasia" only to discover their pet has IBS.   There are no free rides when it comes to medical expenses and pets.  You must be willing to commit upfront to the expenses and understand that pets do get sick--even when the breeder promises they won't.  The advantage of adopting an adult pet is that you will have a much better understanding of the upfront veterinary issues as puppies and kittens may seem healthy but have underlying genetic conditions.
  • Initial Cost for Gear-You will need to purchase necessary items to help your pet settle into their new home. This may include essentials (food and water bowls, leash, bedding, and litter boxes), but also some fun items too (toys, scratching posts, chew  toys, etc.).
  • Food- Feeding a high-quality food can be expensive, but the savings in healthcare costs can far outweigh the purchase price. Feeding a lower quality diet can cause a number of costly health conditions. Click Here to read articles about pet nutrition.
  • Grooming- Some pets maybe able to be groomed at home, but others will require professional help.
  • Boarding or Pet Sitting Fees -There will be times that you will need to leave your pet. Think carefully about who will have the responsibility of caring for your pet while you are away the associated costs.  Sadly shelters fill to capacity in the summer when pet owners leave for vacation and realize they don't want to be saddled with the cost of boarding expenses.
  • Pet Emergency Fund - Putting aside an emergency fund for unexpected pet expenses is a good idea, especially if you do not have pet insurance.