Pets provide us with much-needed companionship, cuddles, and photos to illustrate Consumerist posts with. But they’re not cheap to have around. Food, toys, litter, collars, leashes, routine vet care…those are all of the things you consider and budget for when you start cruising Petfinder to look for a new buddy. Only there are larger expenses that are large, sudden, and impossible to plan for. After one illness, having a pet could cost as much as a decent used car. That’s what happened to Carolyn Kylstra, whose cat Hooligan (great name) has cost her $5,550 over three years. That’s an average of $150/month…money that could go far in an otherwise frugal lifestyle.
When you’re looking for a pet, you’re probably thinking with your heart rather than running a cost-benefit analysis. But animal sidekicks come with a plethora of hidden challenges, including financial demands that you’ll need to make sure you can handle.