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What to Consider Before Buying a Pet
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Lauren (She/Her)
Financial Educator
Posted November 17, 2022
For some people having a pet has always been a part of their life and for others, the pandemic may be the first time they’ve considered one. Whether you’re a lifelong animal owner or you’re new to the club, there is a lot to consider when buying a new furry friend. You may already have your dream pet in mind, but if not, there are many options. Depending on how much time, money, and energy you want to commit, you will find yourself making a very different decision.
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From watch dogs and house cats, to turtles and iguanas, different pets will require different levels of commitment. If you want to spoil your animal with all the toys, treats, and a large home, it’s important to budget for that. Meanwhile, if you’d rather your pet live a minimalist life, you can expect to spend less and should plan accordingly. Some expenses are ones you can be flexible with and some are not.

Often, medical bills aren’t negotiable and like humans, pet sickness is rarely planned. With this in mind, there are many animal breeds that are more prone to falling ill than others. It could save you money in the long run if you spend more at the beginning for a healthy animal than if you get a discount pet and have to spend more on veterinarian bills. The good news is that pet insurance is available and it can greatly decrease the amount you spend. If insurance isn’t for you, consider a pet savings account where you set aside a certain amount of money for unexpected pet expenses. This can really save your budget when rainy days arise.
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Another thing to keep in mind is the size of your pet. If you have a smaller home or yard, a smaller pet may suit your lifestyle better. Additionally, larger animals require more food to sustain themselves, as well as cleaning supplies. If you choose one, be sure to budget accordingly.
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One final consideration is the responsibility that pets require. In addition to the financial commitment, providing for their health, food, and fun, there is also a significant amount of time that can go into training your pet. If not budgeted for, you may find yourself unable to give your pet the attention they deserve. If you don’t have much time, a fish, amphibian, or hamster may be for you. Planning and choosing your animal strategically will insure you don’t spend more than you’re willing and that you make the most of your time.
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All things considered, a pet can change your life for the better! You may find your new best friend, but in doing so, don’t forget to do the preparation ahead of time, save enough, and always have a little extra set aside just in case.
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