As an animal lover, I have had a wide variety of pets in my time. As a child, there were rabbits, goldfish and cats. As an adult, a pet rat, guinea pigs, tropical and marine fish and more. But what has always weighed on my mind is the costs involved, especially for that marine fish tank. This is especially worrying if your pets were to ever get ill. Moolr took a look at the costs of owning a pet.
This is like asking how long a piece of string is of course, as costs will vary wildly. A horse costs more than a dog, which costs a lot more than a hamster. What you can afford to spend on a pet and its care and upkeep may well determine which pet you get. Only get one that you can afford to keep, and afford vet visits for. It is unfair to do otherwise. Over their lifetime, the average cost of owning a pet is between £16,000 and £33,000. I recently gave up two guinea pigs to a good home as I could not commit to the possibility of future vet costs. I felt it unfair therefore to keep the animals.
You must categorise costs when getting a pet. The initial costs, the running costs, and then the unexpected costs that may crop up. The initial costs include the cost of the animal, any initial medical costs, the bedding, food and housing. Plus side costs such as collars, toys and the like. Then the running costs will include food and any regular medical costs such as nail clipping, grooming and the like. Unknown costs can include medical costs, and there may also be the cost of something like a kennel visit whilst you holiday. It can all add up to substantial amounts even for the smallest of animal.
Do you really need that pedigree dog or cat, or would you not be better served with a loving rescue animal? In addition, think about pet insurance to spread the costs and not leave you with a sudden expense. Do your research and find the best value places to get food, bedding and all the other materials needed to look after your pet. Buy in bulk perhaps if possible to cut costs further for items that have a long shelf life. There are some things you can do yourself. I clipped the nails of my guinea pigs myself with a specialist clipper, and even cut their hair!
Note also that even when considering a specific animal, such as a dog, costs will vary greatly. If money is an issue, choose a cheaper option. Some dogs require far more care than others, and far more grooming, food, exercise etc.
Because a pet brings its own rewards. Whilst owning a pet can be expensive, it’s definitely worthwhile. Many people find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Thus it is easily worth every penny, even if personal sacrifices have to be made. Just be certain when deciding to house an animal that you can afford to give them the home they deserve.