There’s no doubt: owning a pet can be very rewarding. It doesn’t take long for an animal to become a treasured member of your family. Pets require commitment, both emotionally and financially, but the companionship they offer in return can be priceless.
Before you make the commitment to bring a furry friend home, take time to understand the costs of adding a pet to your family.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the average cost to own a pet in the first year can total hundreds of dollars. Costs can include:
The cost to keep your pet fed, entertained and healthy adds up quickly over the years. When considering a pet, calculate the cost of:
Often, the biggest expense of owning a pet comes when you least expect it. If your cat tries to battle a raccoon or if your dog eats your tennis shoe, you could be facing big expenses at the vet. Some people purchase pet insurance, which can cover everything from illness and injuries, to poisonings, testing, and surgery. Coverage and costs vary widely, but you could spend from $250 to $500 a year. It’s easy to compare options, so take time to research policies and shop around. Your vet may have some recommendations as well.
Ask almost any pet owner and they’ll tell you that the benefits outweigh the costs of owning a dog or cat. To keep pet ownership affordable, there are many ways to save.
Your decision to bring home a cute puppy or cuddly kitten is usually an emotional one, filled with excitement. But before you decide who is going to walk the dog or scoop the litter box, have a candid discussion about whether you can truly afford to add a new pet to your household.
The average lifespan of a pet can be from 10 to 16 years or more, making this both a personal and a financial decision you’ll live with for years.
About 85 million U.S. families own a pet. That’s about 68% of all households, according to a survey conducted in 2018 by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Dogs, cats, and freshwater fish are the most popular.
Source: National Pet Owners Survey Debut
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