Can You Afford to Have a Pet?

Most homeowners really do enjoy having some sort of family pet. Most often this is a cat or dog. Some say that cats are somewhat less expensive to own compared to dogs but that is not always the case. In order to provide your dog with the very best of care and a healthy life it comes with a price tag.

The first cost comes with the purchase of the pet. On rare occasions you may be able to get a pup for free but most people now realize they can make at least a few bucks from a litter of pups so they no longer give them away.

If you are buying a pure breed you may be shocked to see the price of them. In some cases they are over $1,000. And don’t necessarily come with their papers for show purposes. There is always an option to purchase a dog from your local pet shelter. Some people are finding that even the cost for purchasing from these locations is not all that cheap either. The pet shelters put a price on their pups because it is one way they can raise money to keep their establishment running. In some cases another reason is to ensure that the pet adopters are going to be able to afford the upkeep of the animal.

The next price you will be hit with is your first vet visit. Your pup will need a general examination to ensure it is in good health. Then it will need its needs and worming medication. If you are fortunate you may only end up incurring vet bills once a year for yearly shots and examination. This first expense can amount to a few hundred dollars.

Another cost is the flea and tick medication that is highly recommended for most dogs. This too is expensive as they usually have to take it six months of the year.

Ongoing costs is their food. This varies greatly in price but you want to be sure that you are buying a quality brand in order to maintain the health of your dog.

If you as yet are not a dog owner then you may want to really do some research as to what the average cost of maintaining a healthy dog for a year would be and see if this can fit into your budget. Plus, you need to keep an emergency fund aside in case of health issues.

Another alternative is to buy pet insurance. This is not cheap either but it can save you a lot of money if you end up with a sick dog.

Many people look back and wonder why it has become so expensive to own a dog. Years back dogs basically were housed outside and ate table scraps. Visits to the vet were very seldom. Over the years we have domesticated our household pets to the point where they can no longer stand the type of environment their ancestors may have been exposed to.

While there is some expensive involved with preventative pet medicine it is usually well worth it in order to keep the pet in good health rather than having to deal with costly health issues that could be avoided.

If finances are really tight it might be worth making the decision to hold off from having a pet until the finances are a little better and the extra cost that comes with pet ownership can be handled efficiently.

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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