At some point, we’ve all decided (maybe for no apparent reason) that we’re ready to have a pet. Sometimes it’s because we’re lonely, or that new house is scary at night, or the puppies in front of the super market are just so darn cute. Pets are great—if it’s the right time.
Before you make the commitment to pet ownership, make sure that you’re completely ready. First, there is the cost of acquiring the pet. If you adopt from the shelter, your pet may come with initial vaccinations. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay for each round of shots. You’ll also need to consider the cost of a spay or neuter (which most shelters take care of). These costs can range from $25 to $200, but prevent the introduction of more unwanted pets onto the planet. Spay/neuters and vaccinations are an expense you should plan on.
You’ll also need to think about identifying your pet. The best option is micro chipping, which allows the pet to be identified by scanning the chip, usually placed in the ear. Pets will need an initial wellness exam too—the vet will speak with you about flea and tick treatment, nutrition, and heartworm prevention. This will probably run you about $75 and may require follow-up. To help cover some costs, you might consider health insurance for your pet.
Next, you’ll need to change your home to accommodate your new friend. A training crate is probably helpful if you’ve got a dog, as are collars, leashes, toys, and beds. These prices will vary greatly, put expect to spend $200 or so on these initial purchases.
Next, you’ll need to prepare to feed your pet. We’ll use a dog as an example here, since that’s what Jason Hartman has. For high quality dog food made with real ingredients, you’ll end up paying more. Still, higher quality foods will keep your dog healthier and the higher protein will ensure that they’re full for longer—and probably eating less.
Finally, you’ll need to think about paying for training classes for your new friend. These can cost around $200 and may require multiple sessions to be effective. There’s also grooming, impromptu vet visits, and pet boarding costs.
Having a pet is an expensive responsibility, but one that many people find rewarding. Before you commit, make sure you’re responsible and ready—and then welcome home Fido! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastian-silva/4051599242/)
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The Young Wealth Team