Plenty of families live with cats and dogs as part of their day-to-day lives.

These adorable four-legged friends are easy to fall in love with, and they’re an excellent source of company, no matter your age. If you have children, there’s a good chance that they’ve begged you for a kitten or a puppy at least a few times by now.

However, while adopting a new family member can be an amazing experience, it’s important to make sure that you can reasonably afford to give your pet the care it deserves.

Here’s what you need to think about when budgeting for a pet.

What Do your Existing Expenses Look Like?

Before you sit down and start working out the costs of pet insurance and dog food, make sure that you know what your current budget looks like. Calculate your incoming and outgoing expenses and figure out how much money you have left over each month. Don’t forget to set aside some cash for emergencies and savings too.

If you don’t have a lot of cash left over to pay for Fido, then see whether you can cut back anywhere. You might be able to compare your existing loan to options offered by sites like HappyPenguin.com to see whether you can reduce your repayment costs. Or you could switch to a different utilities provider to save on your electricity.

Make Sure You Know All the Costs of Adoption

There’s more to adopting a pet than paying the initial adoption fees and making sure that you’ve got plenty of food stocked up in your pantry. Most people forget to account for all the costs that come with their furry friends. With that in mind, make sure that you’ve considered:

  • The initial adoption fee: Rescue prices are often much cheaper than buying a dog or cat from a breeder. However, a breeder can give you a specific kind of dog or cat, which may be crucial for someone with allergies.
  • Vet expenses: When you first adopt your pet, you’ll need to pay for certain vaccinations up-front. You’ll also need a micro-chip in case you lose your pet at any point. Remember to consider other expenses like spaying or neutering too.
  • Pet insurance: While pet insurance is an optional expense for most families, it’s often worth considering. The cost of a vet can range into the thousands depending on what your four-legged friend needs. Pet insurance can save you a lot of money in the long-term.

Prepare for Daily Care Costs

Unlike other big expenses, a pet isn’t something you pay for only once. As another member of your family, your pet is something that you’re going to need to care for every day. That means that you’ll have to add an entirely new section to your budget for their food and other needs.

Food is one of the most common expenses that families consider when adopting a pet. Remember, the kind of meals you’ll need to buy will depend on the breed and size of your pet. Do your research in advance to find out if the animal you’re adopting has any specific dietary needs.

Other daily costs include:

  • Extra supplies: Dogs might need a crate while they’re training so that they don’t rip your home to shreds. They’ll also need a collar, a lead, food and water bowls, and shampoo for regular baths. A kitten or cat will need a litter tray, a bed, bowls, and even nail clippers too.
  • Toys: Just like people, dogs and cats can easily get bored. Although you can take your dog out for a walk to keep them entertained, they still need something to keep them busy while you’re preoccupied with work and other parts of life. Cats also need plenty of regular stimulation to keep their mind occupied, so stock up on plenty of toys.
  • Grooming: Depending on the kind of dog or cat that you buy, you may also need to pay for a professional groomer to cut their hair, wash them, and clip their nails. Keep that in mind when you’re creating your new budget.

Budgeting for a Pet

Budgeting for a new pet isn’t always as simple as it seems.

From pet sitting and kennel costs when you go on vacation, to dog walkers to look after your pooch when you’re not available to give them their daily exercise, the costs can quickly add up. Make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into before you visit the shelter. You should never adopt an animal that you can’t afford to care for.

Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.