Pet ownership in the UK is booming. Reports say that as of the 2021/2022 period, 62% of households own a pet and despite the financial restraints of the cost-of-living crisis, pet spending is still rife.
Beyond the charm it promises, it’s important to understand the responsibilities you’ll have to undertake. Here are some things to consider before you take the plunge and purchase a furry (or non-furry) friend.
Pets can be extremely demanding, to the extent that they can rejig the lifestyle you’re already familiar with. Examples include regular walks for dogs and even then, some breeds require significantly longer walks than others. Small animals like hamsters also need to be entertained.
Then you have to consider where they spend their time. Some pets need specific cages and equipment – lizards and tortoises need heated tanks for example, so make sure you can accommodate and maintain these.
In the interest of supporting ethical suppliers, you should choose where you get your pet from very carefully. Unfortunately, a lot of cruelty can go on behind the scenes, so you should do some research into reputable breeders. You could even opt for adoption centres if you want to rehome a pet and give it a better life.
With some pets requiring more room to stretch their legs than others, it’s important to evaluate your current space. You should think about which areas of the house you’re happy for them to roam around, as well as the rules and boundaries you might want to give them, such as access to the sofa or bed. Pet-proofing these areas is important to not only keep them safe, but also to protect any valuables you have.
Most landlords don’t allow pets, so if you live in rented accommodation, you may have to search for a landlord that will make allowances. Alternatively, you might have to postpone getting a pet for a while.
If you’re responsible for a pet, this also means you’re responsible for its wellbeing. It’s up to you to educate yourself on the health of your pet and any symptoms you should keep an eye out for. You might consider pet insurance and you’ll also need to sign up to the vets and take your pet for check-ups. Veterinary bills can get expensive if an accident occurs, so ensuring you have healthy finances is key.
While pets can be an amazing addition to your everyday life, it’s important to make sure you’re clued up on the finances that this commitment will entail. There may be hidden costs you might not have thought about beyond the initial purchase and obvious examples like food, toys, accessories and tank maintenance all need your care and attention.