A Word About Pets

Why should a financial adviser be writing about pets?  Because people will open a link about pets more often than a link about money.  So, I’ll write about pets and money.

First, do you know how much you spend on pet care?  If not, I’ll give you a few averages that I lifted from this article on the moneyunder30 website.

One-time pet expenses

  • Spaying or Neutering: Dog: $200 / Cat: $145 
  • Medical Exam: Dog: $70 / Cat: $130
  • Collar or Leash: Dog: $30 / Cat: $10
  • Litter Box: Cat: $25
  • Scratching Post: Cat: $15
  • Crate: Dog: $95
  • Carrying Crate: Dog: $60 / Cat: $40
  • Training: Dog: $110

Total One-time Costs: Dog: $565 / Cat: $365

Annual pet expenses

  • Food: Dog: $120/ Cat: $145
  • Annual Medical Exams: Dog: $235 / Cat: $130
  • Litter: Cat: $200
  • Toys and Treats: Dog: $55 / Cat: $25
  • License: Dog: $15
  • Pet Health Insurance: Dog: $225 / Cat: $175
  • Miscellaneous: Dog: $45 / Cat: $30

Total Annual Costs: Dog: $695 / Cat: $705 

Okay, I’ve given you the numbers. Now, do I suggest that you look at these and not own a pet?  Not if I don’t want a Colorado-dog-lover’s protest mob in the front yard.  No, I want you to be realistic so that if you are considering adding to your family, you’ve budgeted some money for the additional cost.

For you pre-retirees out there who are working with a financial planner on projections (if you aren’t, please call me), don’t forget this important budget item when telling your planner what you need to spend in retirement.

A last thought for older pet owners.  Please keep in mind that the puppy you buy at age 87 will still need exercise when you are 95.  Maybe an older pet makes sense?  Also, be sure to update your will with a designated guardian for your furry friend as well as money for that guardian to continue the upkeep that will be required.

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