If you're an animal lover like me, you likely experience a pang of excitement and sadness when you see an animal in public. The sudden desire to purchase a dog or cat of your own can sometimes feel overwhelming, but if you're on a budget (or short on time) a pet is pretty unpractical. Consider these 8 things before taking the plunge to buying a pet:
- Will your rent increase? From personal experience, my rent will increase about $50 per month if I get a cat, and $25 per month if I get a dog. While that won't break the bank for me, it's certainly inconvenient and could be a dealbreaker if you're on a tight budget.
- What about a pet deposit? Of the expenses I mentioned earlier, the pet deposit is the most expensive. I would have to pay $300 (non-refundable) plus $100 (refundable) just to add a pet to my lease - regardless of species. While that's not the case everywhere, most apartments or rental homes will charge something for this cost.
- Insurance? If you adopt a pet, you can get most healthcare costs for free, at least for the first year. But if you acquire an animal in any other way, you might consider pet insurance, which is generally a monthly cost of $20 or more.
- You'll also have to anticipate the healthcare costs. Even if you invest in pet insurance, the estimated cost of healthcare for an animal can often exceed $1,000 in the first year. That's no chump change, and for many, it can be a dealbreaker.
- ...and the food.
- ...and the treats and toys.
- ...and don't forget about registering your pet. Some municipalities and cities require registering your animal each year. Check in with your local government to properly register your pet and avoid fines, if applicable.
- Did you forget about the extra cleaning supplies? Pets tend to make a mess - and get their fur on everything. You may have to invest in a better vaccuum, lysol and more to keep on top of everything.
You might look at this list and think, "Hey, no problem." But there are more costs than adoption and food fees. It's important to think about the full picture before diving into getting a pet.