I love animals, and I love having pets around the house. My wife and I have two cats, Boots and Abby, and one turtle Max. Our cats are really great, they come running to you when you get home and keep you company all day long, they follow us around and keep us entertained. Our turtle on the other hand doesn’t do much, just swims in his tank, and when his basking light comes on he basks in it for a while and that is basically it.
I never had a pet until I met my wife and she had just rescued Boots from the streets. I never knew how great it is to have a pet, and I never knew how expensive it is to have a pet. A year later my wife fell in love with Abby at a Pet Smart nearby and after discussing it together we decided to adopt Abby. Now we have been fairly lucky with our pets, no significant health problems. Boots has gingivitis which we give him treats for that and Abby has a hair ball problem because she is a long haired cat (Maine Coon) and therefore once a week we find a nice little surprise on the floor. The yearly vet visits are always memorable. Taking your pets to the vet costs just as much as it would be for you to go to a doctor and not have insurance. Each visit for us we walk out with a bill of over $300 and heartworm medicine that costs about $100.
Our cats are also picky with their food, they only like specific kinds, and of course we can just buy the cheapest and wait for the cats to give up and just eat what is available, but we feel bad for them not enjoying their food. Each trip to Pet Smart costs a couple hundred bucks. Two large bags of dry cat food, one for hairball control and one for a light diet, a 24-can package of wet cat food, treats, filters for the turtle tank, turtle food, and of course the occasional toys. Our cats are not declawed; we thought it was a bit inhumane to declaw them especially when they are no longer kittens. The drawback of course is they like to stretch and scratch furniture in the process. In order to get your cats to not scratch your furniture, you need scratching posts.
We have a two-tier scratching tower, this thing costs $150, crazy isn’t it? Still a great purchase because they like to be around us and they enjoy being higher up, so to get them to not be on the couch this is a great substitute. Our Maine Coon Abby loves to chew just about anything she finds, especially wires. She has destroyed the wires for the Wii, phone charging cable, iPod charging wires and surround sound wires. My wife and I went on our honeymoon and when we came back, only two of the five surround sound speakers worked. I had hidden all the wires, but Abby found her way behind the entertainment center and chewed away. So what does chewing wires have to do with costs to own a pet? You have to keep all this in mind when you are pet shopping. We have a friend and his wife that have four dogs, they chew up their furniture all the time but they love their dogs so they are used to it. I love our cats, even with the wire chewing and scratching furniture habits. The expense comes from buying wire covers, a spray that you can use that is supposed to deter cats from wanting to chew or come by the furniture, and buying the cats toys and towers to get them entertained, because once they get bored, is when the investigating begins.
A quick note about my turtle, I was given this turtle as a birthday gift from a friend, and it probably cost approximately $12. This turtle has been with me for over 3 years and they can live to be 20 years old. The first tank/gravel rocks/filter/cover costs about $130. The filters have to be replaced weekly or two weeks at most, and they cost about $20 for a pack of four. The turtle got bigger, which meant bigger tank, bigger filter, and bigger stand for the bigger tank. The second tank/filter/floating pad combo costs about $170. Can’t wait to see how much the next tank will cost in a few years.
Although having pets is expensive at times, it is also great, just be sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. The worst thing you can do to an animal is adopt them, and then get rid of them or give them to a humane shelter. Make sure you are ready for the commitment to have the animal in your home for the rest of its life.