Financial Planning for Your Pet

Most of us, when getting a new pet, are so happy to have them join the family that some realities of pet ownership are forgotten. You, no doubt, have gotten your pet’s initial veterinary exam and hopefully your veterinarian was delighted to say your pet is healthy with no medical problems.

We don’t like to think of it, but health problems can pop up unexpectedly. Often our pet’s health will decline as they age, yet we have not thought of them getting older and needing more care.

Difficult situations can be less difficult if you have planned ahead financially. Few of us can suddenly cough up thousands of dollars suddenly when a pet is hit by a car, tears its ACL, is attacked by another animal, obstructs its bowel after eating something he or she shouldn’t have, develops pancreatitis, diabetes or some other disease that requires extensive testing, surgery, medication, etc. Planning in advance can help keep these situations from being devastating both financially and emotionally.

One suggestion is to start a savings account for your puppy or kitten so that when they are older and need more veterinary care, there is money set aside.

Another effective and beneficial approach is to obtain pet insurance for your pet immediately. Just like with some human medical insurance plans, pre-existing conditions may be excluded, so get the insurance ASAP so that when a problem is found (and problems can be identified very early in life!), it will be covered.

There are many pet insurance companies, some better than others, so do your homework. Ask friends, or even people at the dog park, which companies they have used and are happy with. A valuable website to start with is

Remember: costs associated with having a pet as part of the family are more than just food and recommended vaccines! Plan for you furry bundle of joy accordingly.