Preparing Yourself Financially
It is very important to consider the cost of caring for your new puppy and to formulate a plan. The food they will need to eat, the toys and utensils they will need (dog bed, food bowls), the veterinary visits they will need, and puppy classes that are always recommended should all be considered. If your new puppy ends up having any life-long conditions, such as allergies, or has an emergency situation (some puppies like to swallow their toys!), costs can keep adding up.
Options to aid with finances –
- Pet Insurance – Pet insurance options continue to improve. This is the best way to cover yourself in case of emergency, or if your puppy develops a condition that needs continued therapy. Certain packages even cover yearly exams and vaccines as well as therapeutic diets if needed. It is definitely something to consider if your new puppy is a breed that is highly predisposed to having problems requiring veterinary attention. Some breed examples include: Bull dogs, Boxers, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels. An excellent website, although American based, can help you decide if pet insurance is right for you : www.pet-insurance-university.com
- Setting up a savings account for your pet – Every month, you could put aside a pre-determined amount of money, $50, even $20 monthly can help. If you happen to have a pet emergency, you will have a place to pull money from to cover the costs.
- Financial Assistance Programs
Why pet insurance?
Many people think about getting pet insurance because they think it will save them money.
Pet Insurance should not be thought of as a way to save money. It should be thought of as a way to soften an unexpected economic hit.
When you purchase pet insurance, you are putting yourself in a position so that if something unexpected and costly comes along, you will be able to deal with it without it putting you in a bad situation financially.
Putting away a set amount of money every month for the care of your pet is another approach to budgeting for pet care. This works best for expected veterinary procedures like annual exams and vaccines, routine surgeries such as spaying and neutering, routine dental care and so on, BUT it will not necessarily work well for unexpected events such as accidents/emergencies or illnesses that can be costly. For example, an emergency surgery to remove a foreign object from the intestine, along with the hospitalization and after care can be as much as, or even more than, $2000 depending on the veterinary hospital. If you are unable to afford, or borrow money for, an unforeseen bill such as this, it is a good idea to consider pet insurance. The $50 you had been putting away monthly for your 6 month old puppy (a total of $200 saved), won’t make it very far in some emergency situations.
Ideally you could implement both of the above – keep a chunk of money saved to pay off a deductible, for example – to be absolutely prepared.
Financial Assistance Programs - There are also alternative options such as PetCard, which is a financial assistance program that is basically a loan that needs to be paid back. This can also help with unexpected bills, however should not be relied on solely for paying for your pet’s care.