How to Prepare For a New Pet in Your Home
How to Prepare For a New Pet
Bringing a new pet into your home is a huge commitment. You truly do need to be prepared to be there for that pet throughout its life. While unforeseen circumstances happen and you may need to rehome your pet, that should be done in only the absolute worst-case scenario. Just as you wouldn’t throw out a child, you shouldn’t think of your pets as disposable either. They are family, and like having any new family member, it helps to be prepared and know what to expect.
Understanding the Costs
There are actually big costs associated with having a pet. So it is not just the initial cost that you need to consider. The PDSA estimates that 98% of pet owners significantly underestimated the lifetime cost of owning a pet.
Small dogs, with a life expectancy of 15 years, can cost on average $15,051 over their lifetimes. Medium dogs cost $15,782 over their lifetime, and large dogs cost $14,480 over their lifetime. The cost, of course, can vary. Dog ownership can cost anywhere between that low $14,480 all the way up to $93,520.
Though it may seem like getting pet insurance is a smart way to avoid emergency bills, the ongoing insurance cost may not be the right fit for everyone. Often times, pet owners get pet insurance in case of expensive emergencies, but consider that personal loans are also a viable option to cover any large costs and spread the payments out over time if needed.
Always choose based on your budget and what you are willing to accept. Some pet owners find it only acceptable to go with the best available pet insurance; others are willing to forgo pet insurance and cover vet costs themselves, which typically works out less in most cases.
Understand the Commitment
Just as you need to go into owning a pet with eyes wide open in terms of the cost, you also need to be prepared to understand the commitment involved. Cats, in many cases, are very low maintenance as they are highly independent. Dogs, on the other hand, are very hands-on. To keep them behaving well, you need to take care of their needs, and that means feedings, exercise, play, and social time. Be fully aware of what your pet, down to the specific breed, needs to be healthy, and be sure you are ready to offer that.
Understanding their Needs
Finally, you will need to understand what your pet needs. You don’t need to splurge on everything right off the bat; just what you need for the first week. This will help you understand more about your pet and their specific needs as you go. For most pets, you will need to clear out a space in your home, especially puppies who are not yet potty-trained.
What you will need will be specific for your pet and breed. So look online for the full list and set a priority for each.