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Can You Afford to Adopt a Pet?

November 5, 2019

If you are an animal lover, you may be considering adopting a pet. And while a furry addition to your home will bring plenty of joy and fun, it will also have a huge impact on the budget. Let’s look at some of the costs of owning a pet, and some alternatives to adoption when the budget is tight.

Adoption Fees are Just the Beginning

The price of adopting a pet will vary depending on many factors, including the type, age, and size of the animal. Dogs cost more than cats, and younger animals typically have higher adoption fees. Sometimes shelters will offer to waive these fees due to overcrowding or other circumstances, but you will still likely have to pay something before leaving the shelter with your new pet.

The shelter fee is just the beginning, as you will soon discover. In addition to the food most people assume will be the main expense of pet ownership, there are many other costs to consider. The pet’s bathroom usage is one example. Cats require litter that needs replacing often, and dogs may poop outside, but you will need a leash and bags to clean up the mess.

There are also mandatory vaccines your pet will need to stay up to date with, for the safety of your home and other animals or people your pet may encounter.

Hidden Costs of Ownership

Even if you have all this factored in, there are many hidden costs that you may not have considered. Many animals have allergies that are made worse by low quality food. If this happens to your pet, you will need to switch to a more expensive food, and the step up in price is considerable over the long term.

Grooming is another issue that comes up constantly, especially if you have a dog. Some dogs require specialty grooming to be comfortable, and even grooming at home comes with its own set of costs.

Surprise vet bills are another huge factor. Whether your pet eats a bar of chocolate and gets very sick, or perhaps gets into a fight with another pet or animal from the neighborhood, there will always be unexpected trips to the vet. They don’t happen all the time, but they are certain to occur sometimes. Some of these costs can be mitigated with pet insurance, but that is yet another added monthly expense.

Alternatives to Owning a Pet

If you are an animal lover, but the budget  is too tight for pet ownership in your current situation, there are still ways you can spend time with animals that won’t cost you a thing.

In the best-case scenario, your love of pets could be an opportunity to earn a little side money. Being a dog-walker or pet-sitter are great side jobs for people who wish they could afford a pet. You get to spend time with animals and don’t endure any of the costs. You also earn a little, too!

Volunteering at your local shelter is another excellent way to show your love for animals. They are always looking for help, and while they may not be able to offer money for your services, the affection from the animals and appreciation of the community more than make up for it for the average animal lover.

If you are struggling with credit debts and are unable to afford the costs of pet ownership at the present time, give CreditGUARD a call and speak to a certified credit counselor to learn how we can help you get back on track today!

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