We know pets are priceless – the joy they bring to our lives is immeasurable and studies have shown that pets can help people become more caring, compassionate and responsible. But it is important to remember that pets also come at a price – and its more than simply feeding them every day.
And even when you don’t take vet bills into consideration, our recent research found that New Zealanders spend a significant amount on their pets every year.
The most common amount was $500-$1,000 (34% of respondents), followed by less than $500 (28%) then $1,000-$2,500 (24%). 9% are paying $2,500-$5,000 and 4% $5,000-$10,000, with only a handful of people paying $10,000 or more. Whoa!
Before buying a new pet/s read our breakdown of the real costs associated with owning and caring for a fur baby.
- Even if you’re lucky enough to be given a pet for free, it may cost quite a lot in medical screenings to determine a clean bill of health.
- If you opt for a pure breed with papers you may find the initial layout high, however a good breeder ensures healthy babies.
- Some pedigree breeds of dogs and cats come with their own list of medical issues. Do not support backyard breeders.
- The better the food, the healthier your pet will be. The more you invest in quality, nutritionally balanced pet food, the less you might spend at the vet.
- If your new pet has food allergies or needs a special diet or nutritional supplement, it can add up fast. And as they grow their needs will change.
- Your fur baby requires some essentials to keep them entertained, active, safe and comfortable. For example – a microchip, leash and collar, travel crates, fences and enclosures, toys, toileting items like litter trays and litter and training aids.
- Puppy school and some literature for you, so you can everything there is to know about your new pet.
- A bed, blankets
- An enclosure
- A kennel
Health and Wellness
- Annual vaccinations
- Spaying or neutering
- Medical care
- Pet sitters if you choose to leave them at home, or pet carriers if you choose to take them with you.
- If you do take your fur baby along, accommodation that allows pets may charge a premium because it is harder to find.
- Immigration charges, which vary depending on your destination.
But what if an accident happens?
They do happen and it’s important to not just consider injuries to your pet, but also the injuries they can cause to others and to other people’s property. Some pets have calm characters, others are intrepid, and their adventures could result in unforeseen (and unexpectedly high) medical bills or land you with liability debt.
Pet insurance takes the pressure off pet expenses by assisting with a lot of the ongoing costs of owning a pet. Take a look at our affordable pet insurance plans to see how you can protect you and your fur baby against accidentals, illness, injury and the costs associated with these.
Finally, always remember owning a pet costs more than money
A pet also takes time and energy. Granted, you get most of it back, but it’s important to pick the right pet for your lifestyle and schedule. For example:
- Some dog breeds need more quality time whereas others need more running time – consider which type fits into your lifestyle best (and be honest!) before choosing the breed you go with.
- Nervous or traumatised rescues often need more training and comforting, so make sure you have the time to give them what they need.
- Got a big garden, a big heart and work from home – why not adopt a couple of medium-sized pets? If you have the means and lifestyle to support multiple pets, give this serious thought.
- If you’re having a (human) baby soon, a more emotionally independent pet with an even temperament might be better for you and your family.