Bringing a new pet is one of (if not the) most exciting times. Make sure that your new addition to the family fits right in with these expert budgeting tips for a new pet.

Do you remember when you were young and asked your parental-figure for a new pet? If you’re part of the majority, you may have been met with a speech about responsibility, expenses, more responsibility and a closing statement about picking up parcels off the lawn. I know, it was the worst.

As you’ve gotten older you’ll probably empathise more with what your parents were trying to drive home: pets take planning. It would be unfair to bring a pet into a home that wasn’t financially prepared to keep them there and take care of them to the best of their ability. This is why we do the smart thing: budget.


1. Home prep
Your home prep won’t always cost you, but there may be some small expenses that could pop up here and there to make sure your home environment is safe. Consider purchasing a dustbin with a secure lid and do some maintenance on fences and doors to keep your pets inside your property.



2. Adoption costs
Most non-profit organizations get a lot of their cash flow from adoption costs – it seems a fair price to pay for all the good work they do. If you are considering adopting instead of shopping (good move – click on the blue text to read more about adopting a pet!) then prepare your budget from a cost of about R800 to R1000. That doesn’t include vaccinations and tagging.

Adopting a dog is a serious commitment – here are the 10 things you should consider before adopting a dog.


3. Pet supplies
When you first bring your pet home, you’ll need some supplies from the get-go and as your pet becomes more comfortable, you will figure out what works for you guys. To start, you should budget to have these things in your home pre-pet:

  • Food (this will obviously be a recurring cost and with the price of dog food, it needs to be included in your budget)
  • Bowls for food and water
  • ID tags (or implanted ID microchip)
  • Dog bed
  • Collar and leash
  • Baby gates if you’re keeping your dog within certain parts of the house
  • A travelling crate
  • Treats and toys (very important)


4. Training
This part of the blog has more to do with dogs than cars. Having a well-trained pet is a delight. It means that the two of you can go out into the world together and behave around other dogs and other people. Depending on how obedient you want your dog to be, puppy training is advised to get your dog well-socialised and used to the chain of command in your home.

If you have an adopted pet, some training might help them integrate into your home better. Either way, putting some money aside for dog training will stand you in good stead.

Discover: How much will my pet cost me? The basic costs of pet ownership In South Africa


5. Pet insurance
You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned veterinary care, vaccinations or medical bills just yet. That’s because I don’t believe you should have to budget for those things when pet insurance is the option that’s going to help you budget for all of that.

Pet insurance is how pet-owners make sure that they are financially protected for the unexpected AND the very-much-expected. Let’s look at it this way: instead of trying to save each month and hope that you have enough should your pet need emergency surgery (which may not be viable if you’ve only been saving for three months when an R35 000 treatment comes along), you pay a monthly premium to your pet insurer.

In exchange for this monthly premium, your insurer will pay for accidents and illnesses and if you have comprehensive cover, you’ll be sorted for routine-care and veterinary visits. For example, look at how Oneplan (my insurer of choice) covers you on all fronts with their Pet Classic Plan from R269 per month:

  • Vet visits: R4800
  • Routine care: R720
  • Accident cover: up to R40 000
  • Illness cover: up to R33 000
  • Kennel fees: up to R1650 per annum/R164 per day


Please note that these prices are reflective of the date that this article was written.


Source: PetInsurance

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