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Helping pet parents adjust to the new addition to their Family

Getting a furbaby is making an addition to your family that is akin to having a baby. They deserve to be loved and cared for in the same way. This is why adopting a pet is not an action to be taken lightly.

In fact, when you decide to adopt a pet, you need to make sure that you are ready for the responsibility that comes with it. For example, if you are renting a home, you need to make sure that the property allows pets, and if they do, you need to pet-proof it so your furry friend doesn’t get hurt by things we take for granted as humans.

Is it Expensive to Own a Pet?

If you get a pet through rescuing, the fostering system, or even if you get one for free as a gift, your dog will need a lot of physical attention and monetary attention so that they grow up happy, healthy, and loved.

It is important to remember that pets are not a minor change to your life that you need to accommodate, some pets can live for a few decades, but in the case of dogs – they live up to 10 to 13 years on average.

What are Some Costs Attached to Pets?

When you decide to adopt a dog, you need to consider the initial costs, you need to make allocations for monthly costs, and also sudden emergency costs that may crop up.

Initial Costs of Getting a Dog

If you’re adopting a dog from a rescue or a foster system, you need to consider the adoption fees, and if you are buying from an owner they may charge differing amounts based on the breed and health of the dog.

When you get the puppy you need to factor in costs like getting a collar and tags when you pick them up, as well as chipping if the previous carers haven’t gotten around to doing so.

Most rescues and fosters tend to take care of the initial health checkups, but if they haven’t then you will need to schedule an appointment with a vet to make sure that your furbaby is de-wormed and vaccinated.

You also need to remember to pet-proof your home. This means putting up fencing around your home, sectioning off dangerous areas, and making sure there are no holes they can likely fall into. You may also need plastic covers for your furniture, and tubing cords so they don’t get bitten (and preventing your pup from getting a shock). It is also a good idea to invest in pee pads for your pup that is just starting their training.

Initial costs for your pet don’t stop there, you need to invest in toys, beds, and carriers for your puppy. Sometimes if your pet has anxiety issues that make them act out, you will need to consider obedience and training sessions.

Costs to Include in your Monthly Budgets

In addition to the initial costs, there are several costs that need to be added to your month-to-month expenses. You may need to buy shampoo, vitamins, and medication for your dog to grow up healthily.

When it comes to food, there are a variety of options available such as wet foods, dry food, treats, and biscuits. It is natural for your dog to have preferences on what they eat, much like a human. If you want to give them food that you eat – like meat and vegetables, you need to do thorough research to make sure that it is safe for them.

When preparing your budget, make allocations for how much the monthly items for your dogs cost, so that you can prioritize it as part of your household groceries.

Hidden Costs to Owning a Pet

Apart from initial costs and monthly expenses, as a pet parent, you need to make sure that you can budget for irregular occurrences that happen during the course of the year.

By preparing for accidents, doesn’t mean that you are inviting negativity toward your furbaby, it just means that if an emergency arises, you will not be caught off guard.

Additionally, make allocations for yearly check-ups at the vets and annual vaccination costs, as well as random times when your pup may fall ill.

You also need to be prepared for grooming every so often. If your pet undergoes a growth spurt or ruins their toys, then you will need to fork out cash for replacement toys, beds, and leashes.

Also when you are going on vacation, you need to be prepared to make contingencies for your dog. If you are booking a vacation that is pet friendly, you need to be aware in case the accommodation charges extra fees for the pet allocations. If you are leaving your pets behind, you will need to look at boarding or even look at hiring a dog sitter for the time you are away.

If you are making the move from remote working back to the office, then you need to look at pet sitting especially if your dog experiences separation anxiety over a certain period of time.

[Image: Destiny Wiens/Unsplash]

Is Pet Insurance a Good Idea?

To help alleviate certain costs pertaining to your pet, many pet parents opt for taking out an insurance policy for their pets. Pet insurance has become popular among pet owners in recent years.

It is important to note that pet insurance operates like property insurance coverage rather than health insurance coverage. When considering insurance, you need to do a lot of research before making your choice on the best one for you, as many insurances do not cover pre-existing conditions in pets.

You need to read over the fine print regarding their insurance caps and coverage. When claiming from insurance, you have to sometimes pay out of pocket and be reimbursed following the treatment – you also need to be cautious of excess costs

With pet insurance, premiums are generally smaller in comparison to other types of insurance, and some even offer varying tiers for different types of coverage. Also, if your vet is licensed, then there won’t be much red tape from insurance companies about using them.

How to mitigate costs?

With or without insurance, the fact is that if you have an emergency regarding your pet, you need to have cash on hand for treatment.

The best way to be prepared for a moment like this is to create an emergency fund for your furry friend. Set up a savings account that is easy to access and make monthly contributions toward it.

The reason why this is important is if you are concerned that your pet may have an illness, diagnostic testing alone can cost you over a thousand dollars. Treatment and medication will be an additional cost to this.

If you find yourself in a pinch, you can also consider microloans or personal loans to help alleviate the immediate costs. There are also apps that allow loaning with less red tape, such as Solo Funds, Lenme, and Dave, to name a few.


Adopting a pet is essentially welcoming a new member into your family, and they deserve to be treated as such. It is no surprise that getting a furbaby can cost you quite some money, so you need to be prepared to take on the extra costs and responsibilities that come with having a pet. There are several initial costs that you need to consider, as well as monthly expenses you need to include in your budget. Most importantly, to prevent accidents from occurring you need to have funding prepared for emergencies regarding your pet.

Image 1: Daniël Maas (via Unsplash)

Image 2: Destiny Wiens (via Unsplash)

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