Are You Ready to Own a Pet?
YOU ARE READY to take on the responsibility of owning a pet. You’ve thought carefully about how having a pet will affect your daily life—dog walkers, cat sitters, and all—and you are ready and willing to make the commitment. You’ve also considered how owning a pet will affect your budget (fun fact: during its first year, on average, a dog costs between $1,314 to $1,843 depending on in its size, and a cat typically costs $1,035). Even more important, you have the necessary funds to give your pet the care it needs and deserves. So, go on and find the adorable animal companion of your dreams!
YOU NEED TO DO YOUR RESEARCH. Owning a pet requires a great deal of time, energy, and financial resources. In the first year alone, a small dog can cost an estimated $1,314, between adoption fees, spaying or neutering, behavior training, microchips, and supplies. Add in dog walker fees, pet insurance, and medical bills, and your budget can take a serious hit. While the benefits of owning a pet can be worth the investment, make sure that it is one that you can smartly make by estimating what your annual costs might be—and the total cost over your pet’s lifetime.
NOW JUST ISN’T THE RIGHT TIME to get a pet. You may want the companionship, but you’re not currently comfortable with the lifestyle and financial commitment that come with owning a pet. Remember, the average pet owner spends between $300 (for a small mammal like a hamster) to nearly $900 (for a large dog) each year. Reexamine your budget and schedule and make sure you truly have the resources necessary to care for an animal. In the meantime, consider volunteering for an animal shelter, or offer to pet sit for your friends in order to get some (necessary) furball time in.