Owning a pet is a fantastic experience, caring for an animal that will love you unconditionally. Having the money to look after your pet is another matter entirely.
Budgeting in pet care
If you are lucky to own a pet then it is essential that you include them in your monthly budget. They will have requirements that you need to meet and having a category that will allow for you to budget accordingly, can save you wondering where you are going to find the money to feed your pet.
It is relatively straightforward to include pet food into your budget, you will need to allocate an amount of money and this needs to pay for all your pets food and any other necessities.
If they require other essential items, you will need to include these items in your budget too. I purchase my dog food from my local WCF Pet and Equestrian shop as they have a special deal on, where I can reduce my bill with a £5 gift voucher when I have purchased 10 bags of food. This is great because my dogs love the food and they go through 1 to 2 bags per month.
I have recently found my local vets have started offering their annual injections and their flea and worming treatment for the year at a reduced cost. I pay a set amount each month and the items are then catered for.
Pet care insurance
This area I feel is more difficult to manage, I have participated in both concepts, where you have insurance for your pets and where you don’t have insurance.
I am certain the current option I have chosen works well, but there are some instances where you have large animals like horses where vet bills can be high and they are high maintenance animals and need lots of looking after. In these cases, it’s a necessity to have pet care insurance.
Where-as, if it is a small animal, it is up to your own personal circumstances if you can afford to cover the cost of treatment or if you insure the animal. However, there are some conditions that insurances won’t pay for and it is important that you consider the small print of the policy in detail before taking out a policy. I have also noticed my local vets charges for the vet’s time in filling out the claims forms; an added expense you need to consider on top of the insurance expense.
Therefore, whilst owning a pet is a fantastic experience, it does need careful planning to ensure that you can afford their care long-term. If you plan to add their food to your weekly shop be prepared to reduce the amount of food that you buy for your family, if you are planning to increase your shopping budget by a set amount, work out in advance the added cost of the food and only add this amount otherwise you will be increasing the whole budget and this will put pressure when it comes to working out your finances for the month.