Having an animal in your home can be a big change from the norm, and oftentimes a good one. Depending on the animal that you choose, pets can be loving, playful, soothing and even helpful. Whether you have something as small as a hamster or as big as a Great Dane, having a pet in your home can bring you and your family companionship and a sense of responsibility for caring for another living being.
However, not all animals should be pets. For those that should, they all have very different costs associated with them. Money should play a big role in your decision to get a pet, because of how much certain pets can cost. Additionally, it is important to consider all of the other costs that go along with owning a pet, not just the initial purchase.
Why does cost matter in getting a pet?
Simply put, pets are expensive! Much like a human child, pets need a lot of attention, food, accessories and activity to be truly happy. These aspects can come easy for some, while others find it to be difficult to adjust to. Additionally, when it comes to responsibly living in America, you have a great many different financial responsibilities. Between paying for rent, food, transportation, school and more, it is important that you take the time to draft a personal finance budget.
After all of your other expenses, and considering how much you make every month, is it financially possible for you to buy and maintain a pet? Many first-time pet owners rush into buying the pet that they want without thinking of the cost, and then find themselves needing to get rid of the pet due to poor planning. Therefore, doing your research ahead of any pet purchase should always be your first priority.
Hidden Costs of Pet Ownership
There are many different costs that go into owning a pet, which can be either obvious or extremely hard to predict. Depending on your own financial situation, these cost may or may not be such a big deal. However, all pet owners should know what may come, in order to properly prepare themselves and their pet for the future. Besides the initial price, some of these possible diverse pet costs can include:
- The cost of food. Whereas some pets like goldfish have food that is very inexpensive, dogs and cats (especially big dogs) eat a lot more.
- The cost of treats and toys. If you want to give your pet treats to reinforce positive behavior or a toy to let them have some fun, you may be looking at additional costs every month or two.
- The cost of shelter. There are some obvious purchases to make for outdoor pets, such as a doghouse or enclosure. However, certain animals inside may need a crate, cage or tank as well.
- The cost of a veterinarian. Your pet’s health in important, so taking them to the vet will ensure that they are healthy. These trips may have expenses, as well as any medicine or procedures that are prescribed.
- The cost of pet insurance. In order to limit the amount that you will pay out-of-pocket for your pet’s medical bills, consider getting them insurance.
These hidden costs are sometimes situational, but they are all important to consider in case any of them would put you in financial trouble in the instance that you can’t afford it.
Which pets have a high price, and which have a low price?
The most obvious cost in getting a pet is the initial price tag of the pet. This price obviously varies wildly for animals of different species, but it can also cover a wide range for animals of the same species. Perhaps the most famous example of this is when you consider dogs. Some dogs are much more expensive than others, due to their size, personality, breed, age and more. Purebred dogs and cats can be worth a small fortune if they were bred for a specific aesthetic purpose. However, you may also be able to get one of these animals for very cheap prices, or even free if they are up for adoption at a local animal shelter or given by a friend.
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Some of the most affordable pets may seem obvious, as they are also some of the most common pets across America and even other countries as well. These can include:
- Depending on what kind of fish you get, these pets are easy to care for and often have a very low initial price tag. You will need to buy them a tank with some pebbles and things to do, and some food. But after that, all you need to do is feed them and clean the tank every so often!
- The rodent family is very diverse, but the most common pets are usually hamsters, rats or guinea pigs. They have a low base price, and need a terrarium with some toys, some food and water. Some related animals that aren’t rodents include rabbits and ferrets.
- Small birds. The bird family is also extremely diverse, but smaller domesticated ones are usually great pets with a low price tag. Parakeets are the cheapest and most common pet bird, which just need a cage, some food and water and some toys. However, bigger birds like parrots can be a lot more expensive.
If you are ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a pet, however, there are also plenty of exotic ones (besides dogs and cats) that you might be interested in. Some pets that are more on the expensive side include:
- Exotic birds, such as macaws, toucans and hyacinths
- Domesticated foxes
- Domesticated skunks
Additionally, many other types of exotic animals are kept as pets, each with outrageous price tags. These can range from monkeys, to ball pythons and even tigers! However, you should always ensure that the pet you want is legal to own in your state and that your home has enough space for some of these majestic animals.
No matter what kind of pet you want, it is incredibly important to take a step back and consider all of the consequences before adopting or making a purchase. Pets can be a great addition to the family, but they need a certain amount of care and money put into them to give them the best life that they can have.
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By Alfred Wickham –