By Nikita Wolff
Plan ahead for the fur baby in your life.
Are you thinking about adding a furry friend to the family, or you already have and are working to plan for their expenses in a predictable way? We all love our pets and want to go above and beyond for them, but you should make sure to be prepared for the basics by budgeting for your pet. Here is a list of things to factor into your budget when planning the expenses surrounding your pet.
(Note: the examples given in this blog will mainly apply to dogs, but can easily be applied to cats, birds, small critters, horses, etc.)
Food is typically the only thing that immediately comes to mind for people when budgeting for their pet care expenses. You should also consider if your pet requires a special diet (these can be quite expensive & are worth planning for).
A few examples include Heartgard (heartworm preventative medication), Frontline (flea & tick), and Cosequin (joint support supplement, depending on the age).
Grooming / Nail Trimming
Whether you have an animal that requires regular grooming, or just the occasional bath – this is a good category to keep in mind if you aren’t willing/able to do this at home.
If you’re getting a puppy, you might want to consider planning to participate in training sessions with a professional.
Vet Care / Vaccinations
Keep in mind, you want to bring your beloved pet in more frequently than just when there’s an emergency. Wellness exams should happen at least once per year (twice for older dogs) and may help clue you into issues before they become bigger problems.
Additionally, you’ll want to account for the cost of vaccinations, which is especially frequent with a puppy & occur annually or bi-annually in adult dogs. While teeth cleanings don’t typically come until your pet is a little older (and if you’re lucky, not at all), they’re still an important part of keeping your pet healthy if they end up needing it.
Many pets require a fee to the state in which you reside. Don’t forget about this small yearly charge – remember to pay for the renewal so that you don’t get hit with any fines. Find out if your state requires a pet license here.
Have a go-to friend or family member who’s willing to watch your pet while you’re gone? Great! If not, you’ll want to build this into your budget (especially for predictable events like an annual vacation).
Pet Insurance Premiums and/or Emergency Fund
If you haven’t considered pet insurance yet, check out this blog to see if it’s the right fit for you. If you have it, don’t forget to budget for the monthly premium. Whether it’s for your deductible or for the cost of emergency care, it’s a good idea to have funds set aside specifically for your pet.
This is obviously a discretionary expense, but one that most pet owners end up participating in regardless. This could vary greatly depending on what you’re buying, but know your preferences & plan ahead.
Bedding, Leash & Collar
Last but not least – these are infrequent expenses, but worth accounting for. Especially keep them in mind when you’ve just adopted your new animal.
This list covers the majority of expenses you should expect to be budgeting for when taking care of a pet. While some may be frequent while others may be one-off expenses, your pet (and your wallet) will thank you for planning ahead. For an even more comprehensive guide on creating a budget for your pets, check out this article.