Friday, August 10, 2007
For What It's Worth: Pets
You've found the pet you just can't live without, and you're ready to bring it home. But just how much is that doggie in the window? We'll tell you how to prepare your wallet for the new addition in today's For What It's Worth.
WSVN -- Once Amy Pardo and her husband Steve decided to get a pet, there was no turning back.
Amy Pardo: "I came home from Christmas break from staying with my husband's family, and they have a cat there, and I just fell in love with the idea of having a cat."
So they got a kitten, and while their furry new friend quickly became part of the family, the couple's wallet took a little longer to adjust.
Amy Pardo: "In the beginning, when we first got her, we had to pay an up-front $300 to have her in the house."
But that's nothing compared to what Americans spend on their pets each year.
Allie Jablon, Seven's Financial Expert: "In 2006 alone, Americans spent nearly $39 million on their pets for vet services, food and other items, such as doggy daycare."
Seven's Financial Expert Allie Jablon says, before you bring Fido home, make sure you can afford the responsibility of having a pet.
Allie Jablon: "When you buy a pet, you're going to have to realize there's a budget you're going to need to make to pay for all the expenses."
You can estimate that budget by asking some basic questions. First, ask your vet about what you can expect to pay.
Allie Jablon: "For instance, how much are the annual shots and medications? What type of breeds are predisposed to certain genetic diseases? These are all important questions so that you can budget for your pet."
And, next, do you rent your home or apartment? If you do rent, talk to your landlord to find out about pet rules and regulations.
Allie Jablon: "Even if they allow a pet in the building, it may be very costly. They may charge a monthly or annual fee for the pet."
And, for all you jet-setters out there, figure out how often you'll be in and out of town.
Allie Jablon: "Do you travel a lot? If you do, boarding expenses can be extravagant."
But Allie says, if you're still stuck on getting that pet ...
Allie Jablon: "See if you have a friend that might care for the animal while you're out of town, and that could save you a lot of money."
Allie says you can also save money with pet insurance. Just like with people, emergencies can arise, and the costs can be in the thousands. Pet insurance is a small price to pay.
Allie Jablon: "You can plan on about ten to thirty dollars a month in premiums."
For Amy, paying for her pet is all about thinking outside the box.
Amy Pardo: "Most of the stuff we do with her, we just try to be real creative."
Craig Stevens: "Allie also suggests don't pay full price for medications. Most monthly and yearly pet medications can be found on line for a fraction of the cost."
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