Mark Roemer image of several different dogs and cats.

How to Budget for A New Pet

During these uncertain times, many people find they are home alone for weeks on end with no one to talk to. While it may not be the same as having a human conversation, pets can provide comfort when you are feeling lonely. I, Mark Roemer, know that this can be quite a financial burden. Below, you will find various tips and tricks on how you can budget for your new pet, choose a vet for them, where, when, and how to get them food and toys, along with many other costs associated with adopting.

Budgeting for a New Pet

You must be committed to caring for your new pet for the rest of its life, whether it is a cat, dog, bunny, hamster, or guinea pig. Bringing a new pet into the family is exciting, often challenging, and always satisfying. However, you must ensure that you are aware of the extent of your engagement before proceeding. Love is essential for pets, but they also need food, shelter, and bedding. You must also be prepared to provide your new pet with the veterinary treatment it requires to live a long, stable, and happy life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 218 million pets in the United States in 2011. Pet ownership is widespread in almost all demographic lines, and pet owners spend a significant amount of money on their service animals. Pets cost an average of $500 a year in the United States. Budgeting for your new family member will help you and your pet have the best experience possible.

Home Preparation

Puppies like to chew, kittens like to climb, and dogs want to get into food storage and trash cans. Lock up any risks, such as antifreeze or pest control items, before bringing your new best friend around. Rearrange your furniture to avoid “attractive nuisances” out of your pet’s domain. You will need to invest in storage products for things that could be used as impromptu chew toys away from your pet.

Pets will get into many things you have not thought of. For the first few months, you are going to need to keep an eye on them. If they are exhibiting a behavior that you do not like, correct them immediately. That will let them know what they are and are not allowed to do.

Choosing a Veterinarian

Be aware that many pet adoption agencies ask you to list your veterinarian on the application, so be ready. Word-of-mouth recommendations are excellent for finding a good veterinarian, and you can visit, or at the very least, call, your new veterinarian’s office to inform them that you’ll be adopting an animal. Find out when your veterinarian’s office is open and how after-hours emergencies are treated.

Choosing a vet to put on the application does not mean you must stick with that vet. They want to know that you have the pet’s best interest in mind and are willing to spend money to keep it healthy and happy. If you find a better vet, more within your budget or your pet likes better, do not hesitate to switch veterinarians.

Pet Supplies

Dogs, on the other hand, take the most supplies. When planning your budget for your new pet, keep the following items in mind:

  • Food
  • Food and water dishes
  • Collar and leash
  • ID tags (or implanted ID microchip)
  • Dog bed
  • Baby gates if you intend on keeping your pet in specific parts of the house
  • Crate
  • Treats and toys

You’ll need a litter box and litter if you adopt a cat, and hopefully, a climbable “kitty condo” to keep him amused and encourage him to climb and use their claws. Small pets would need a safe, appropriately sized cage, as well as bedding and specialized food.

Adoption Costs

Animal adoption costs vary greatly, but it is rarely free. Some shelters will reimburse you for part or all of the expense of spaying or neutering your dog or cat, and some animals may be vaccinated before being placed for adoption.

Day-to-Day Expenses

You’ll need to make pet food budgeting a routine, and you’ll need to factor in cat litter for your cat and bedding for your smaller pets. You can quickly add line items for daily pet expenses if you use budgeting software, making budgeting for your new family member easier.


Dog training can seem to be an unnecessary expense, particularly if you’re adopting a small dog, but it’s a good idea to budget for training for any dog you adopt, even if he’s already trained. Introductory classes will set you back about $100 and will assist you in establishing your household’s “chain of command.” Training classes are well worth the money, mainly if you live in an apartment complex or other setting where your dog will be exposed to other people and pets regularly.

Veterinary Care

It’s essential to budget for an initial veterinary examination for your new pet. Your veterinarian will detect any possible health issues, ensure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations, assist you with flea and parasite prevention, and arrange spaying or neutering – treatments that help pets live healthy and longer lives. Vaccinations would need to be revised daily, and you can prepare for any unexpected veterinary costs.

Adopting a pet can be one of the most joyful and satisfying experiences a family can have. Budgeting for your pet ensures that he receives all of the treatment he needs and deserves to live a long and happy life. Adopting a pet is a significant financial investment. Still, the benefits are invaluable when you budget accordingly and make a firm commitment to provide a stable, secure, and happy home for a pet.


As you can see, there are many things to consider before you take the plunge and become a pet owner. I, Mark Romer, hope you have found the above information helpful in making a decision. Pets can be a wonderful thing when you are feeling lonely. Think about all the retired people that get them every year. Widowers also adopt pets at a high rate. Pets are an excellent addition to any family. I hope you decide that you want to add a member to your household and have a long life with them.