Pets make a wonderful addition to the family. Whether it’s the usual dogs, cats and rabbits or something more exotic, there are tons of benefits to looking after a pet.

But you need to think seriously about the over all costs.

The cost of living just for you is already pretty high, so can you afford to take on a pet? The very first consideration to make is choosing the right pet for you. Research thoroughly before getting any animal – the overall cost of different types of animals can vary greatly. From how much they eat to the cost of veterinary bills. A St. Bernard may make for a nice new family member, but a smaller dog could be far more affordable upkeep.

How much is that doggie in the window

Animals from reputable rescue centres are the best place to start looking for a new furry friend, and no they are not free. Remember that a rescue centre has to pay out a lot to keep the animals happy and healthy, which they will need to recoup, so that they can carry on helping other animals.

If the costs that an animal shelter puts you off, it might be worth considering if taking on a pet is the right option as this is the easy bit, there could be a lot higher bills to come

Not forgetting that before you get your pet, you’ll need to buy all the bits and bobs your pet’s going to need for a comfortable life, so get hold of…

  • Housing
  • Bedding
  • Foods
  • Brushes and other grooming tools
  • Toys

In addition to these, you may also need to purchase gates and meshes to safety-proof your house. It’s like having a furry child in the house.

One of the family

Pets are like one of the family – and while that’s great for cuddles, it also means you’ve got another mouth to feed and treat when they get ill.

Plan for weekly, monthly and annual expenses for you pet, such as…

Food – where possible, bulk-buy long-lasting foods and bedding – it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Energy – some animals will require additional energy, from glow-lamps to tanks, to maintain in a happy environment.

Veterinary bills – typically an annual fee for check-ups, this includes the initial payment if your pet needs vaccinations, or to be spayed or neutered when you get them.

A pet is for life

You’ll also want to plan for certain on-going or unexpected costs when considering getting your pet. Many people like the peace of mind that pet insurance brings – however, depending on the animal, it can cost a lot over-time.

As such, an alternative is to keep a pet emergency fund. Your pet’s piggy bank, really, that you save as and when your budget allows (although it’s a good idea to make regular contributions and budget accordingly, of course). That way if the worst happens (or the best), you know you’re covered.

And finally, there are times when you just want to get away from it all – but you can’t take your pet with you. If you can get an understanding friend or family member to take good care of them, that can save you a little bit of money – but if not, you’ll have to pay for proper, professional boarding.

You need to make real financial considerations if you’re planning on bringing any animal into your life – after all, they’re depending on you to afford make their lives at home as comfortable as yours.