Can you afford a pet? Find out the actual cost of pet parenting

One needs to be aware of the current expenses and the expenses that one will have to accommodate once one has a pet.

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While managing a pet’s food looks easy, in reality it is an extremely arduous task initially, if it has to be done right.

That moment when someone holds one’s pet in one’s arms for the first time is probably the most beautiful moment in a pet parent’s life. While the effort that one puts during the training period of the pet post adoption matters a lot, what matters more is the effort that one puts in researching before adopting the pet itself.

One of the aspects of the research is the finances involved in providing the pet a worthy life. One needs to be absolutely aware of the current expenses and the expenses that one will have to accommodate once one has a pet. In order to help pet parents decide whether they are ready for adopting a pet or not, here is a list of 5 E’s to the economics of being a pet parent:

1. Eatables

While managing a pet’s food looks easy, in reality it is an extremely arduous task initially, if it has to be done right. We see a lot of people serve the food that they eat to their pets. While that’s convenient, but not necessarily correct. Some pets, specially dogs, are not meant to eat grains, gluten or some of the other food that we eat. It’s quite possible that the best thing for your pet may be vegetarian diet, including vegetables, or may be meat, fruits & dairy products like Yak cheese-based treats. This might need you to buy products that you currently don’t. Hence, it may be an additional expense that you might have to or rather should accommodate if you adopt a pet. Point is, one has to really dig deep in order to find what’s good for one’s pets’ diet and be ready financially to manage it.

Expense: Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per month

2. Excellent health

Unlike humans, pets can’t really express the discomfort that they go through in case of health problems. Sometimes that means that till the time you discover the ailment, it might well require a procedure that you had not financially budgeted for. In addition to the above, regular checkups need to be a part of your planning. As a to-be pet parent one needs to ensure that one can afford all these necessary expenses before deciding on bringing a puppy or kitten or any other pet home.

Expense: Rs 3,000 to Rs 4000 bi-annually

3. Essentials

Apart from necessities such as food and medicines, there are also a number of essential things that pets need on a daily basis. These may include beds and mattresses, food bowls and other such vessels, toys, shampoos and other hygiene supplies, leash and collars, and litter box, among others. Along with that, for basic training, pet parents may also need to indulge in trainer expenses or healthy training treats. While most of these do not require to be spent on as frequently, they are not a one-time investment either. Pet parents need to keep in mind and enlist all these essentials out and routinely replace or buy new ones as per the requirement.

Expense: Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per month

4. Extras

While the above-listed things are mostly necessary, there is always a scope for some extra pampering. For instance, you may occasionally have to indulge in grooming costs to maintain the paw-someness of your furry child. Apart from that, for times when you are out for a longer while, you may have to go in for a pet-sitter or a boarder, which would need you to spend extra money. If you want a vacation in the company of your four-legged family member, that would incur additional expenses for pet-friendly travel, accommodation and sight-seeing.

Expense: depends on the plans

5. Emergencies

While no one actively wishes for it, emergencies may happen. It can be in the form of a sudden and severe health issue or an accident that may require surgeries. As a responsible pet parent, you need to ensure that you are always prepared for such a case, both emotionally as well as economically. Such instances may incur substantial medical bills, and you need to have a share of your savings kept separately for these. Along with that, you may also need to invest in measures to ensure that your pet never gets lost. This could be both as an embedded name tag on the collar or a technological intervention like a microchip or digital ID. Measures like these help ensure that your furry family member can always be traced back to home.

Expense: Depends on the specific issue faced

These expenses may seem a little overwhelming, but since it all narrows down to a way of expressing your love and care for your furry child, it becomes absolutely worthy of every penny spent. Whether it is a dog, a cat, a bird, a fish or even an exotic animal—your pet is what makes your home, your home. Therefore, keeping in mind these five E’s of pet parenting economics will help ensure your pet’s well-being and wellness holistically. The expense mentioned in every category is subjected to the breed of the pet you have at your home and other factors like geography, climatic conditions etc.

(By Bhupendra Khanal, Founder & CEO at Dogsee Chew)

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