Just over a quarter of pet owners in North Dakota admit that they financially struggle to look after their pets, according to a recent survey.
It’s not just a North Dakota issue. Pet owners nationwide admitted to the same thing, with 80 percent of those surveyed saying they didn’t do the proper research before getting their pet.
KX News met with some animal experts to see what all to factor in before making the commitment to a furry friend.
The highest adoption fee at the Souris Valley Animal Shelter is $195 for a puppy under one-year-old, but that’s not where the dollar signs stop, it’s where they start.
Take Peter [an SVAS puppy currently up for adoption] for instance. Although he is very cute, you do have to associate the many costs that come with a new pet.
Those costs include a spay or neuter procedure, which could cost anywhere from 100 to 500 dollars depending on the size of the animal.
It also includes vaccinations or tests at the veterinarian.
Then comes a long list of lifetime costs like food, which comes at a wide range of prices, again, depending on the type of animal.
“It may cost a little more in the long run, but later on in life, there will be less health concerns for the animal if you feed them higher quality food as their growing up,” said Syana Day, animal welfare assistant at SVAS.
Day says you should consider food based on what’s best for your pet – bear in mind allergies, size, and breed – and not just for dogs.
Cats may seem like they require less maintenance than dogs, but that’s not always true.
“It’s kind of a myth,” Day said. “A lot of times, cats can get a little more pricey especially if they start getting their urinary issues.”
That, or any health issue, could lead to paying for more procedures and specialty food. But, if you start with the good stuff, it’s more likely to keep concerns to a minimum.
Day said one of the first questions shelter staff ask potential pet owners is if affordability is a concern.
Many of the costs associated with animals don’t include the ‘smaller’ things like toys, treats, and more.
The bottom line from pet pros? Research to consider the many things that can add up to be a pricey pet.
There are so many variables depending on the type of pet and the wide range of needs many animals may have, so it’s hard to gauge the exact amount that a person will spend.
Consider 50 dollars a month for food. That’s 600 dollars a year for just one of the several recurring costs of owning a pet.
Remember these key aspects:
- Consider spay and neuter costs, it’s actually a requirement of pet owners who get their animals from the Souris Valley Animal Shelter.
- factor in the cost of at least one annual visit to the vet
- evaluate the time and space you can provide to accommodate an animal
- RESEARCH pet breed and health risks