Do you own a pet? Pets have become almost a household staple in today’s world. In fact, according to The Humane Society of the United States:
Pet ownership in the U.S. has more than tripled from the 1970s, when approximately 67 million households had pets, to 2012, when there were 164 million owned pets.
The American Pet Products Association found that there were 83.3 million dogs owned in the United States alone in 2012. There were also 95.6 million cats owned in the United States.
With stats like these, it’s easy to see that pets have become the norm for most households. But have you sat down and thought about the financial implications of having pets? Having pets in your household affects every aspect of your life (and theirs), including your budget.
Not sure how? I’m glad you asked.
-Medical Care. With this one I mean pet medical care. Vet bills can be expensive, especially when it’s an emergency, and it’s usually much harder to figure out what is wrong with your precious Fluffy than it is to ask little Johnny what’s wrong when you go to pick him up from the nurse’s office at school. At least Johnny speaks English. However, there are many different ways you can save some money on pet care. You can always invest in one of the cheaper pet insurance companies, such as Bivvy insurance.
-General Pet Care. If you aren’t a pet owner then you don’t have to have a line item in your monthly budget for general pet care. This includes things like bathing and grooming, food, toys, treats, regular check-ups at the vet, shots, etc. However most people find that the joy pets bring to their life is worth these costs and more.
-Entertainment. Pets, especially babies, are extremely entertaining. It’s easy to sit and watch them for a whole evening as they play, explore their surroundings, and learn new things. (Or is that just me?!) Pet toys cost money, but you usually don’t have to shell out much to entertain your furry friends and yourself. In fact, my dog’s favorite toy is a balled up old sock. Talk about frugal!
– Home Security. This post on Free Money Finance took an interesting turn when one reader pointed out that pets can actually save you money on home security costs. A barking dog is a great home security tool when you are away at work during the day – as long as the burglar doesn’t find out that your dog’s bark is worse than her bite.
-Medical Care. In this instance, I mean human medical care. It’s been proven time and time again that owning a pet is great for your health. Pets are a great comfort and can help calm your stress level no matter what is going on in your life at work or at home. Not only that, pets are also great for your physical health too. Dogs encourage you to go out and get some exercise as they are usually chomping at the bit to get outside and run off some energy too.
-Pest Control. Growing up on a farm, we always had barn cats that helped keep pests under control. Not only do cats eat mice, they also keep the bird, rabbit, snake, and bug population down. Now that I’m an adult with a small breed dog, I’ve seen my little dog in action as a pest control measure too. Disgustingly enough, she loves hunting down mice and bringing them back to proudly show them off to me. Yuck!
Do you own any pets? What kinds? Do you think they are worth the costs of ownership? Do you save you money in any other ways? Don’t worry, if you don’t own a pet you can always entertain yourself with funny cat videos on YouTube. 😉