WINNIPEG – How much does it cost to own a pet?
Beyond the cost of food, toys and accessories, there’s also the possibility of unexpected vet costs.
So when looking for a pet, you have to weigh money against what an animal can bring to your home.
“It is an investment in family in a lot of ways. It’s not just an investment in what this animal is going to cost, but what this animal is going to give us,” explains Dr. Erika Anseeuw, Director of Animal Health at the Winnipeg Humane Society. “And in order for them to give us that, what do we need to have in place for them.”
On the topic of expensive trips to the vet, Dr. Anseeuw recommends looking into pet insurance.
“People should look at that when they’re thinking about budgeting. Most of us don’t think about it. They say, ‘Ahh, I can afford the food,’ but not the ‘what if?’ Some of those insurance plans are quite detailed and even cover some preventative things like yearly dental cleanings.”
In the unfortunate case that your pet requires expensive medical work, you could be left in a tough emotional spot. Do you fork over the cash or make the call to put the animal down?
“Am I being cheap? Do I not love my dog enough to pay this? Unfortunately, some people are put in that situation,” Dr. Anseeuw ponders. “How long would this dog live if they had the surgery? How painful would the surgery be? Those are some emotional discussions that you have with your veterinarian, and hopefully you have a good relationship with your vet.”
Some reports show that the first year cost of owning a dog is roughly $1,300 (slightly less for cats) and $500 or so each year after.