3 considerations before getting a pet with your partner
Just like moving in together and merging bank accounts, getting a pet with your partner is common in many relationships. And while pets can be a phenomenal addition to your lifestyle, they don’t always come cheap. For example, the RSPCA estimates on average owners will spend $25,000 on their dog over its lifetime.
If you think getting a pet with your partner is the next natural step in your relationship, here are three things to discuss before giving a furry friend their forever home.
1. Do you both have the time to train and care for a pet?
Every pet is different, with its own unique personality and quirks. After bringing them home, it’s likely going to take them some time to adjust, and you may also need to spend time training them, especially dogs. This is even more important if you’re adopting your new pet from a rescue shelter.
Not only is training a serious investment of time in the early weeks and months, over the long term, you’ll be your pet’s carer. That means feeding and giving them water, washing them, training them, and keeping them out of danger.
2. Do you both understand all the hidden costs of owning a pet?
You’re more than likely aware of the initial cost involved with getting a pet. Whether you’re buying them from a breeder or adopting them from a shelter, there will be fees to pay before you can bring them home.
But are you and your partner aware of the ongoing costs of pet ownership? That includes buying them food, getting them a bed or kennel to sleep in, purchasing toys to keep their minds and bodies active, yearly vaccinations and check-ups, and other potential costs like paying for a trainer, grooming services, and pet hotels when you go on holidays.
It’s also worth having a discussion about what would happen if your pet was ill or injured. Do you and your partner have the financial capacity to pay for unexpected expensive vet bills that can soar into the thousands? If not, there are alternatives. Pet insurance, for example, can help reduce the cost of an eligible hefty vet bill if the illness or specified accidental injury is covered under your policy.
3. What’s the right pet for your lifestyle?
Before getting a pet with your partner, you should discuss what type of animal is best for your current lifestyle. If you live in an apartment, for example, getting a large-breed dog wouldn’t be ideal. So, it’s probably a good idea to consider:
- Activity levels: If you’re thinking about getting a dog, choose one that has similar physical needs to your activity levels. If you love to run and get outside regularly, a dog that needs lots of exercise could be great. On the other hand, if you’re more of a couch potato, then a small dog or an indoor cat that doesn’t need much physical stimulation will likely suit you better.
- Shelter vs. breeder: Do you have the patience and free time to support a rescue animal, or would you prefer to train up your pet from a young age by getting them from a breeder?
- Apartment or house: Where you live should impact your decision. Much like your activity levels, the pet you choose should be comfortable and have enough room to move according to its needs. Their temperament also plays a part. Dog breeds that are more alert are likely to bark and annoy your next door neighbours in an apartment.
- Training, grooming, etc.: Some pet breeds require lots of grooming and cleaning, while others may need constant training (at least in the initial stages) to help them acclimate to your way of life. Be sure to think about the time and money needed for these before making a decision.
Understanding the true cost of owning a pet is important before you dive into the wonderful world of animal ownership. Luckily, pet insurance can help reduce the financial burden if your furry friend suffers a specified accidental injury or becomes ill by allowing you to claim a portion of eligible vet bills.
22 Apr 2020