April 30th is National Pet Adoption Day. The process of bringing a new animal home can be exciting, but it can also be stressful if you are not financially prepared. Financial consultant John Caserta helps pet parents.
Best ways to prepare for a new pet:
-Research the typical costs associated with your new pet.
Cats and dogs often top the list of adoptable animals but other animals end up in shelters as well such as rodents or reptiles.
-Have an idea of your budget.
Is caring for your new friend financial realistic? Depending on what type of pet you’re adopting, the costs can vary wildly. Understanding how much you currently spend in a given month – and how much more in expenses you can handle – is important to understand.
-Think about the non-financial commitments.
Of course there’s the money needed to care for your new pet – food, vet bills, grooming. But think about the logistics and your lifestyle – is caring for a pet practical given your current work-life situation?
Typical expenses associated with pet adoption:
– Consider the adoption costs.
Depending on the shelter, adoption costs can run several hundred dollars. But these fees typically cover the costs of vaccinations, spaying/neutering, or even microchipping.
– Healthcare costs.
Routine visits to the vet can have a somewhat predictable cost. But it’s the unexpected or emergency visits that can easily run into the thousands of dollars. Knowing your budget can help you determine whether or not it makes sense to have pet health insurance or to self-insure.
– Care and Grooming.
Consider your lifestyle and job situation, especially with dogs. Can you walk your dog or will you need to hire a dog walking service? And does your new pet require exercise in addition to regular walks? Dog walking services can easily run $30-$40/hour.
Grooming is another added expense. You can offset that with grooming at home.
– Consider estate planning for your pet.
Consider choosing a guardian for your pet, providing funds for their care, and formalizing those wishes in your legal documents.