Pet ownership is on the rise in the United States, with an estimate of more than 50% of households owning a pet. There are so many good things about owning a pet, including the love and companionship they offer to all members of the family. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or even some of the less traditional pets, animals are often considered an important part of the family and are therefore treated as such. This means that owning a pet requires expenses and may reach paying thousands per year on their supplies, as well as their health and wellness. According to Forbes, people who own large dogs spend at least $1,570 a year, for an average lifespan of 12 years. If you have a pet or want to own one, here are few financial planning tips to help you out:
Create a budget
If you are a pet owner or you are thinking about welcoming one into your home, you have to make a budget for your pet expenses, and see whether you will be able to support it or not. If you are not sure how to calculate your expenses, you can create a budget with budgetry.com for your specific pet. It’s a simple online tool that can help you with your pet finances on a monthly and annual basis. This can help budget necessary expenses for their food, supplies, vaccinations, vet checkups, grooming, toys, training, and other expenses that could come along the way. For example, it has been estimated that the average first-year cost to care for a dog (across all sizes) is $3,085.
Have an emergency fund
Unexpected pet expenses and emergencies can suddenly pose a financial strain on you and your family. Just like humans, pets can become suddenly ill. That’s why it is wise to have an emergency fund to have money saved for such events. This way, you will be able to handle unexpected vet bills and other costs without burdening you or your family.
Inquire about pet insurance
Just like with your car or property, many clinics offer reasonable insurance plans for your pet. Next time you are visiting a clinic or vet, ask the staff about the appropriate insurance plan for your pet. They can decide on the best option based on the type of pet, breed, age, and other criteria. Typically, policies can cost you as little as $16 a month, which is a lot better than facing a sudden $1,000 emergency vet bill.
Plan for the end-of-life
Although not many people think about this, you will need to have a plan for your pet after you die. You can make sure your pet gets cared for if you are unable to do so through arrangements with your family members, friends, an attorney, or an animal shelter.
Issue a pet health credit card
Veterinary care can be expensive, that’s why it could be a good idea to issue a credit card for your health care bills, with ones that are specifically tailored for pet care and health. Just like the normal credit cards, you can use this credit card for your pet care and the associated bills with it. You can make the minimum monthly payments, then pay off the balance throughout the interest-free period, which can be up to 24 months.
Contact charity organizations
There are several charitable organizations which can offer you a helping hand during your financial strains. Pets’ sudden and unexpected costs can sometimes get overwhelming, and that’s when you can reach out to charity organizations. Usually, those organizations can pay for your pets’ bills and expenses. However, this would require an application which you will need to fill out to become applicable.
Although having a pet is priceless, you should put many factors into consideration before you adopt one. Having a pet is not easy, so make sure you are ready for the responsibilities that come with it. With these steps, you should be able to manage your finances more efficiently and ensure your pets are cared for properly.