Next to a new Xbox One X or a Galaxy S9, the highest thing on your kids’ wish list is a family dog. But unlike a gaming system or smartphone, a pet isn’t as easy to return if things don’t work out. The addition of a pet is a big decision that you need to make as a family. If you’re thinking about adding a four-legged member to your family, here are somethings to think about before you adopt.
They get you moving
A dog needs a lot of exercise to stay healthy, but they’re not picky about what kind of exercise. They’re just as happy doing zoomies in the backyard as they are hiking through the woods. They love to play at the dog park or take a long walk through the neighborhood. Rain or shine, they’re always up for some kind of adventure. Their enthusiasm for the movement is infectious. Before you know, it the whole family will be out exercising together, getting healthier with every step.
They love to love
Whether it weighs 5 pounds or 50 pounds, your dog will think it’s a lap dog. Expect your furry family member to consider itself a teacup breed who wants constant cuddles. Dogs are great companions who are always up for a cuddle and a kiss. They also make perfect nap-time partners for the young and old alike.
They will cost money
A dog is another mouth to feed. And just like your kids, they’ll need clothes (their leash and collar, jackets, and paw booties if you live in inclement weather) and toys to be truly happy. They’ll also need regular checkups with the vet to make sure their shots are up to date and they’re experiencing no health issues.
While you can cut costs by making home-made toys and jackets, you can’t skip out on the vet. Though it can be heartbreaking to think a few dollars is all that’s stopping your family from adopting, it’s an important distinction to make. You have no right to pet ownership. Only those prepared should adopt.
Before you make any rash decisions, you should:
- Make a budget: A budget helps outline where your money is going any given month. It can help you recognize how much money you realistically have to spend on Fido. If you’re low on funds at first, you can use a budget to work towards a financially stable future when you can adopt. Start by identifying harmful spending habits and eliminating them. Save the money you would have otherwise spent frivolously and put it towards an emergency fund.
- Know the alternatives: Even with a considerable emergency fund set aside, you may not be prepared for the vet bill. Vet care can be costly, especially if your dog needs special medications or procedures. You don’t have to hold off on adopting for fear of incurring a huge vet bill yearsafter you first adopt. In addition to contributing regularly to savings, you can supplement your fund in times of emergency with an online loan. Direct lenders like MoneyKey offer quick, hassle-free access to pet-saving cash online, so you could apply as soon as realize you need help paying the vet. No need to wait until you can book an appointment, you can take advantage of their online platform that operates 24/7 to apply anytime of the day.
They’ll make a mess
Dogs may love you, but they don’t care about your belongings. Pet owners often struggle with puppies who chew on shoes, furniture, and other household items. If not caught early, this habit can follow them into adulthood. Regardless of its age, your dog will also track in messes from the backyard and they shed, increasing your chore list.
If the only barrier between you and a family dog is the amount of hair they will shed, you’re on tenuous ground. Eventually one of your kids will build up a strong enough case to convince you they’ll help vacuum. Whether you believe them or not, a dog is probably in your future. If money is a concern, take the time to draw up a budget and see if it’s in your capabilities. This isn’t a decision you need to make right away, so spend all the time you need to weigh your options.