5 On Your Side

New pandemic pet? Save your budget and sanity

Posted December 22, 2020 1:03 p.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2021 9:46 a.m. EST

So many furry friends found new homes in 2020.

For all you new or about-to-be new pet owners, 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte shares some advice.

They’re so cute and fun, then reality sets in.

Pets need your time and attention!

“They need exercise, they need enrichment, they need basic training so that they can be a good member of the household,” said Lisa Ricker with the ASPCA.

They also need a chunk of your money. Food, vet visits, grooming and more.

In just the first year, dog owners will spend an average of $1,459.

Cat owners will shell out $1,174.

But you can look for ways to save.

One way: online food subscriptions.

They can cut about 5%.

You can also save through loyalty programs at locally-owned pet stores.

When it comes to the veterinarian, pet insurance might help, just know what it does and does not cover before you enroll.

“When CR compared pet insurance coverage for a cat and a dog, it found that the cost could be worth it if your pet contracts a serious illness. But, like people insurance, pet insurance plans can be complicated and come with deductibles,copays, and premiums,” said Kevin Doyle, Consumer Reports.

And after all this pandemic time with your new friend, eventually we’ll get back to the office and school..

So you might need to hire a dog walker or pay for doggie daycare, another possible expense.

But remember the love they give is priceless.

Some caution the return to work schedule might cause a PETdemic, where our buddies will go through separation anxiety because we’re not around so much..

To help that, experts say help your pet now by gradually mimicing what the day will look like.

For example, spend a few hours at a time in a separate room so that it’s not a shock for them or you when life returns to normal

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