Thinking on Getting a Pet? Things to Consider.

One of the things that happens a lot whenever you move to an apartment/house by yourself, is that you think “this is finally my time to get a dog/cat/other kind of pet!!11.” Which is exciting, as it is something I also would like to do in the future. Pets can be great companions, and we know that pets can generally brighten your mood.

But having a pet is just more than feeding it and taking it for a walk. A pet is a huge responsibility and a living being that is pretty much dependent on you for almost everything.

Here’s a few things you might spend money on with a pet:

  • Spay/neutering. Spaying your pet is the only way to be certain you will not have your pet bring little ones to the world you can’t take care of. We need to understand there are waaaaay too many pets out there, and you shouldn’t add to the problem. According to an article I found on Kiplinger that outlined the cost of spaying or neutering your pet depending on species. Imagine, you could pay up to $220!
  • Pet insurance. Pets get sick. Pets swallow and chew things they are not supposed to. I looked up Trupanion, which is is a pet insurance company that serves Austin, and the prices depend on your pet’s species and breed, as well as age. For a golden retriever that is under a year, I got a quote for $57.39 a month! That’s $688 a year! Don’t go without pet insurance though, especially if you have a pet with special needs.
  • Food. Depending on the size of your pet, this can vary. Most people I know have either dogs or cats, and the food intake increases as they age, like special diets for older pets. Don’t give your pet human food! It’s better to prevent than having to pay the vet. Also, food includes: pet food, snacks, treats, etc.
  • Equipment. If you have a dog, you might be getting a crate, leash, and other accessories to take care of your pet (and make sure they don’t just run off!). Cats need scratching posts, yarn, and other cat-like accessories–my knowledge on cats is super limited, but I imagine that you would also need a litter box (that you need to constantly clean and replace).

To give you an idea of all things related to pet expenses, here’s this nifty chart from Kiplinger:

This is just the monetary aspect of it–you need to think about the fact that you might have to schedule your time around to take them for walks and feed them, or arrange for someone else to do so. Your pet loves you (unless it’s a cat–cats hate-love you), and you need to give it the best life you can. If you find yourself neglecting your pet because you don’t have time or money, you might want to reevaluate why you have a pet in the first place, and what you can do to fix this.

With cats and dogs, too, you have to think about the amount of things they might damage–especially if you got them as a pup/kitten. Your furniture, charging cables, shoes, and curtains might be major targets.

I know this looks like it might deter you from having a pet–it’s definitely reminded me that I’m not ready for a dog right now.