Having a pet can be a wonderful and enriching experience, but it’s also important to remember that there is a financial responsibility that comes along with owning a pet. This goes beyond the initial purchase price or adoption fee; when you have a pet, you have to factor in feeding costs, vet bills, and much more. Sometimes, these costs are underestimated or overlooked completely, especially for those who have never had a pet before. It’s important that before you make the commitment to get a pet that you also budget for the following overlooked pet ownership expenses:
While some basic care can be done at home, other tasks are best left in the hands of a professional, especially for larger animals. Grooming fees can vary depending on your location, pet species, specific breed, and so on, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $75 approximately per grooming session. While some pets won’t require much grooming, others require grooming very frequently, so keep that in mind when making a decision about what type of pet you want.
There’s no denying that pets in general can be very messy—some more than others. Between odors and considerable shedding, most pet owners need to factor in the extra time it will take and money it will cost for additional cleaning once they have a pet.
Not all pets will need to be trained, but for those that do, it’s another expense to factor in. While some dogs can easily be trained at home by their owners, others might need more attention and you’ll have to factor in the cost of classes.
When you expand your family by getting a pet, it also means another mouth to feed, which is an obvious added expense of pet ownership. However, many new pet owners underestimate just how quickly the cost of food and treats can add up, especially for larger animals.
Routine veterinary care—such as annual exams and vaccinations—are another unavoidable expense of pet ownership, and these costs can add up quickly. Aside from preventative care, the cost of emergency vet care can take any pet owner off-guard. From sudden illnesses to serious injuries, it’s not uncommon for emergency vet bills to run into the hundreds, of even the thousands.
Rent and pet deposits
If you own a home, this is an expense that usually won’t apply to you. As a renter, you’ll likely have to pay a pet deposit if you have a cat or dog; sometimes, all or parts of these deposits aren’t refundable. On top of pet deposits, more and more landlords and apartment communities are now also charging “pet rent,” which typically adds an additional $10-$50 per month per pet. And even if you do own a home, there are still pet deposits to consider if you ever plan on traveling with pets. More and more hotels allow guests to bring a cat or dog, but are usually required to pay non-refundable pet fees.
Another expense to consider if you travel often is boarding costs. Whether you drop you bring your pet to a kennel or hire a pet sitter, even one annual trip can set you back a pretty penny. If you have a dog and work often, you might also need to factor in the cost of a daycare service or dog walker.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.