Six Things You’ll Need to Budget for When You Get a Pet
Whether you are a dog person or a cat person, a shopper or an adopter, getting a pet is something that should never be taken lightly. After all, your new furry friend is going to depend on you for the rest of their life to keep them safe, warm, full, entertained, and happy. Having a pet can bring plenty of joy into your life, and there are several benefits to having a furry friend at home – they can improve your mental health and some pets, especially dogs, can help to keep you more physically active too. But before you bring your new furry friend home, you’ll need to be prepared with all the things that they will need. Getting a pet isn’t just about paying the asking price or the adoption fee, so make sure that you’ve budgeted for all the other necessities too.
#1. Pet Insurance:
First things first – make sure that your new pet will be covered with pet insurance if anything goes wrong with their health, or if they are injured. Insurance for dogs is particularly important as any dog owner will tell you, dogs are into everything and puppies aren’t usually very safety-conscious – they’ll chew everything from your shoes to your TV cables, so a good puppy insurance policy is essential. Cats do tend to be more street-wise, but that doesn’t mean you should forego insurance for them – whilst they may have nine lives, a good cat insurance or kitten insurance policy will make sure you’ve got peace of mind if they are injured outdoors, eat something that they shouldn’t or develop an illness. There are several policy types to consider, especially if your new pet has pre-existing conditions, which you will need to declare. Check out everypaw.com to get started with insurance for pets.
Every pet’s favourite time of day is, of course, feeding time. So, before you bring your furry friend home, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got them some suitable food and something to eat it out of. A water bowl is also essential as you should have clean fresh water available for your pet to drink at all times. If you’re unsure of the type of food that you should be giving to your pet, a veterinarian can help you make the right choices. You can decide whether you’re going to get pet food for them, or whether you’d prefer raw feeding. If you are considering raw feeding for your pet and they are a puppy or a kitten, do so with veterinary advice, as it’s usually best to wait until they are fully developed before making the switch to raw. It’s a good idea to ask the previous owner, breeder or adoption centre that you are getting your pet from about the food that they are used to; wherever possible, it’s best to continue feeding your pet the same. Don’t forget plenty of treats, too – these can be used for training and to help you improve your bond with your new pet.
#3. Somewhere to Sleep:
You will want your new pet to feel safe and comfortable in your home, and one of the best ways to do this is by providing them with somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep. If you are getting a puppy, a crate with a comfortable bed inside is one of the best ways to do this. In the wild, dogs will have a ‘den’ that is their safe space, so a crate that’s just for them to sleep and chill in will replicate this and give them their own safe, secure corner of the home. When bringing home a new puppy, placing an item of your clothing in their crate for them to sleep with can help them get used to your scent which will build the trust between you. Cats like something warm and comfortable to sleep on, but don’t be offended if they choose a sofa cushion, a blanket, rug, or even the floor over the bed that you get them – you’ll soon find out where their preferred place to sleep is.
#4. Toys and Games:
Keeping your pet entertained and happy is one of the main responsibilities of taking on a furry friend. If you have a puppy, you’ll need to make sure that they have plenty of toys to keep them mentally stimulated, and also to give them something to chew on that isn’t your shoes or other belongings. Squeaky toys are a great choice as puppies and even many adult dogs will love the sound, while balls are an absolute must for all those games of fetch in the garden that you’ll be playing. Don’t forget chew toys, too – rubber bones and flavoured chews will give your pup something to gnaw on, which will make them very happy. If you’re getting a kitten, keeping her entertained with toys is also important. Cats love to climb, scratch and chase things – cat trees are great ideas, especially if they have toys hanging from them that the kitten can bat. Laser mice are a fun cat game idea but be prepared with plenty of treats, so your cat doesn’t get frustrated that she’s getting nothing out of all the chasing.
#5. Medical Needs:
You may think that the only time you’ll need to pay out for your pet’s health is when they visit the vet, but that isn’t necessarily true. In fact, in order to keep your pet safe and healthy, you will need to buy flea and worming medication for them around once every six weeks. This can be in the form of a ‘spot on’ – liquid that you apply to your pet’s fur between their shoulder blades – or you can give it to them in tablet form crushed into their food or even directly if they will eat it. You can get flea and worm medication from your vet, or it is available in most pet shops and supermarkets. Make sure that you follow the instructions closely and ensure that your pet is given it straight away when due, as failing to apply or give the medication to your dog or cat could lead to a nasty case of fleas or worms.
#6. Boarding Fees:
Don’t forget that now you have a pet, you are responsible for making sure that they are well looked after if you are unable to do so. If you have any holidays planned, you will need to put together a plan for caring for your pet, unless you are able to take them with you. If you are lucky enough to have a friend or family member who can stay in your home and look after your pet whilst you are away, this is a great idea since your pet’s routine will stay as much the same as possible and they will be able to remain in the environment that they are used to. If not, you will need to be prepared to pay for services such as pet sitting, doggy day care, kennels or catteries for your pet.
Getting a pet is a huge responsibility, but it’s certainly worth it!