5 Pet Costs to Factor Into Your Budget

I’ve had my furry friends for nearly 7 years now! Pets truly are a blessing, but I’ll be the first to admit that I failed to account for the costs required when keeping pets. I’ve had to learn over time and while it has been bumpy, things are pretty smooth now!

Just like in our personal lives, we can’t plan and account for everything with our pets! The best you can do is think about certain pet costs to factor into your budget and take it from there. I’m sharing 5 pet costs to include in your budget, so you’re not caught off guard with the extra expenses!

Before I get into the 5 pet costs to factor into your budget, I need to show some appreciation for my cute boys, Milo and Toby!

5 Pet Costs to Factor Into Your Budget

#1 Pet Medicine

For dogs to be the healthiest they can be, annual check-ups are a must. When Milo and Toby had their first check-up, they got their shots and vaccines. That cost money. On their second check-up, the doctor recommended monthly flea and tick medicine. They’ve been on that medicine since they were puppies, and it costs me $200 (each) for a six-month supply. That was a cost I had no idea belonged in my budget until it came time to pay the bill.

If you have pets, specifically furry friends, factoring their medicine into your budget will do you good. The cost of the medicine is too large to be caught off guard. Visit your vet, see which medicine is absolutely necessary for their health and create a plan to pay for it.

#2 Pet Insurance

Milo and Toby were on pet insurance for a few months before they got neutered. When we realized they were healthy overall, and the insurance didn’t cover neutering or their teeth, we decided the cost wasn’t worth it. However, had they been unhealthy dogs, it absolutely would have been factored into the budget. If your pets require constant vet visits or if they have underlying health issues, investing in their insurance will help you down the line.

#3 Pet Food

I’m kicking myself for not having a plan in place for pet food sooner, because it feels like I’m stocking up every month or two! My boyfriend and I used to pay out of pocket – we’d switch off buying bags of food, until we increased our grocery budget and included it with our grocery shopping. This worked out well because our favorite grocery store carried their brand of food.

We have a set amount of money go into an account every month for groceries. We’ve increased the amount that goes into account for our dogs’ food and treats. This has helped us to avoid keeping score on who spent what, since it comes out of a joint account.

#4 Grooming and Maintenance

A few years before Milo and Toby, we had adopted a puppy named Lola. Unfortunately, she passed away after 3 months – ugh, it was horrible. One thing about Lola was that her hair didn’t grow. Because of that, we gave her baths ourselves. We didn’t have her long enough to do nail trimming or other grooming services.

Milo and Toby, on the other hand, have hair that grows so fast! We were spending so much on hair cuts that my boyfriend decided to learn how to cut them himself. That was short lived. Grooming and maintenance should be a part of anyone’s budget who has a pet. If you don’t plan for those costs, they can definitely add up and sneak up on you!

#5 Pet Emergencies

The final of pet costs to factor into your budget is pet emergencies. Now just like our own personal emergencies, we don’t know when or how they’ll happen. Create a savings account or sinking fund for pet emergencies. Let the money sit and grow in that account until you need it. If after so much time you haven’t needed it, use it to cover other costs for your pet. You’ll be grateful you set it up!

Related: 10 Sinking Funds to Include in Your Budget

If you can include each of the pet costs above in your budget, you’ll be as prepared as you possibly can be! Even if you don’t end up needing the money monthly, you can save the excess for when you do need it. My guess is, that time will eventually come! Don’t have pets yet? These pet costs should be thought about and prepared for beforehand, that way financials don’t have to be a hindrance to bringing home a new companion! Do you factor these specific pet costs into your budget? Are there any other pet expenses you plan and save for? Share by dropping a comment below!

The CGS Team
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