Pet month: 5 financial considerations for pet owners


National Pet Month takes place from April 1-30 this year so whilst it may (finally) be time to indulge in chocolate of the egg-shaped variety, it is also time to celebrate and raise awareness of responsible pet ownership. This includes the financial side of things.

It is no secret that welcoming a furry friend into your home is no mean feat financially but with a wide range of costs to factor into the equation, from treats and toys to medicine and microchips, owning a pet can sometimes feel like a never-ending money pit.

With 58% of dog owners and 83% of cat owners failing to conduct proper research into the cost of owning a pet according to research from MORE TH>N, a growing number of first-time pet owners are drowning in debt as a result of poor financial planning.

Here, we outline five financial considerations for pet owners so you can love and care for your pet without pulling on your purse strings in the process.


1. Insurance

It can be easy to assume your pet is perfectly healthy but with emergency veterinary bills costing upwards of £1,000 and it possible for long-term health problems to develop overnight, insurance should be one of your first financial considerations as a pet owner.

It can protect your furry friend in the event of a medical accident or emergency and provide you with much-needed peace of mind if disaster was to strike.

With plans costing as little as £5 per month (that’s less than the cost of your monthly streaming subscription), it is a small price to pay for the health and happiness of your pet.

If you are feeling the pinch with living costs rising across the board, you may also be able to source cheaper pet insurance by doing your homework and shopping around for plans with the most basic level of coverage.

2. Food

It is likely to be one of your greatest expenses as a pet owner but with food one of the most important things to get right from the very beginning, it is also one of the few financial considerations where you can’t afford to cut too many corners.

If your pet has unique dietary requirements or an underlying medical condition, however, specialised food can cost up to twice as much than standard food and subscription services can set you back up to £50 per month.

With the average annual cost of feeding a pet somewhere in the region of £200 for a cat and £300 for a dog, you must consider the financial responsibility of becoming a pet owner to avoid making a decision that you will come to regret down the line.


3. Training

It is one of the most commonly neglected financial considerations amongst dog owners but if you are to teach your pooch right from wrong early on, training should top your list of priorities.

This is especially important if you have adopted an adult dog from a shelter as it may lack discipline and, as a result, require a similar level of training as a new-born puppy.

It can cost between £20 and £80 per session and whilst this may seem like an unnecessary expense during an already expensive time, it is one of the only ways to prevent your furry friend from developing life-long behavioural problems at such a young age.

The longer you wait, the less likely your dog will be to listen and respond to your commands.


4. Grooming

The level of grooming your pet requires will depend on a number of factors including its breed and genetic make-up.

If your pet has a unique fur pattern or a coat that is prone to matting, for example, it must be brushed on a daily basis. You must also be prepared to splash out on up to £100 per month on regular grooming sessions and at-home grooming supplies.

This can prevent any hygiene-related health conditions from developing with matted hair, overgrown nails, and gum disease all common consequences of a lack of grooming.

You may also be able to save a considerable amount of money by taking matters into your own hands but when it comes to grooming, you get what you pay for.


5. Toys

You must keep your furry friend entertained both indoors and outdoors with a lack of mental stimulation only likely to result in them developing a series of destructive behaviours that will be difficult to break.

In the eyes of your puppy or kitten, for example, gnawing on your fixtures and fittings can be the perfect way to soothe teething gums or cure boredom or anxiety. This will, however, lead to you being forced to dig deep into your savings to pay for the damage and destruction caused when your home is inevitably ripped to shreds.

To protect your property from the wrath of a peeved pet, invest in toys made from strong and sturdy materials and replace them on a regular basis. Your pet (and your home) will thank you for it.

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