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How to Manage Pet Care Costs & Expenses

Collage of images featuring three pictures of dogs and one picture of a kitten.

You want the best for your pet but caring for them can add up financially. Like any other expense, it’s important to financially plan for a pet and build pet care into your budget.

Here are some tips for how to manage the costs of owning a pet without compromising on quality.

1. Make sure you can afford a pet before you commit.

Many people LOVE animals but aren’t able to care for them properly due to pet care costs. Caring for a dog or cat can cost around $1,000 in the first year alone. If you love animals but aren’t ready to commit to one full-time, fostering an animal or pet sitting could be a great alternative. You’ll still enjoy ALL the cuddles without the long-term financial commitment.

2. Find a pet that’s right for you.

Your options range from adopting from a shelter for a small fee to splurging on a purebred pup from a breeder. Of course, budget is a factor, but you should also consider your lifestyle and what kind of pet will thrive in your home. For example, if you travel often, you may want to consider a more low-maintenance pet or plan for boarding expenses.

3. Set up automatic savings deposits to cover unplanned expenses for your fur baby.

Your pet is like family, so make sure money isn’t an issue when they need you most.  Plan ahead and save up so you can cover an unexpected vet bill or spring for the high-end food if you need to. You might also need a little extra cash on hand when Fido decides to tear up your new cushions or ruin white carpeting with muddy paws.

4. Shop locally and look for deals on things like pet food and treats.

Shopping at a local pet store helps support your community, and you may be able to take advantage of coupons and special offers you wouldn’t get from a larger retailer. You could even try making your own DIY dog treats, or check out local craft markets like the Madison Night Market or the Milwaukee Night Market for special treats and trinkets you won’t see anywhere else.

5. Keep up with routine medical care and consider a pet insurance policy.

Don’t skip routine care, as neglected health issues could cost you more in the long run. If you’re concerned about your pet’s health (some breeds are more prone to issues than others), consider a pet insurance policy to help cover costs. Insurance rates can vary, but it’s typically around $30 - $50 a month for a plan with decent coverage.

Caring for a pet can take a bite out of your bank account, but with careful consideration and financial planning, it’s manageable. If you need help figuring out if you can afford a furry friend, how to cover pet care costs – or anything else – schedule an appointment with a financial expert today.