Are You Financially Responsible Enough for a Pet? [Flowchart]

Financial Planning woman-sitting-with-dog

Americans love their pets, and more and more people are caring for four-legged friends than ever. 68 percent of households in America currently have pets, and younger millennials make up a large portion of pet owners — often instead of becoming parents. 

Many people simply love their four-legged pals. Far from the days where people kept animals for work or for food, our furry friends have it pretty good. With luxury beds, endless toys, and the rapidly growing number of dog parks, our pets have a lot to enjoy. 

Between these comforts and caring for their pets’ needs, it’s not surprising becoming a pawrent can be very expensive. The ASPCA estimates that in the first year alone, the average large dog can cost $2,008, while a small dog or cat costs between $747 and $809. Over time, this can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Unexpected medical expenses or needs can also surprise some owners and jeopardize their finances. It’s estimated that 42 percent of millennials have been in debt for a pet. 

So before you adopt your next best friend, it’s important to know what will be required of you as a pet owner to ensure unexpected expenses don’t send you into debt, and your pet always receives the care they deserve. 

Sources: ASPCA | WebMD | AmericanPetProducts | AVMA | WILX | NextAdvisor | TheNest | Petfinder | FIXR |

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