Are you financially ready to own a pet?
Since the beginning of time, animals have kept humans company. Wolves have been useful for hunting and soon became part of bedtime stories. A lot has been domesticated and perceived friendly. Even a purple dinosaur helped educate a generation.
Today, almost every family has kept a dog in their homes. It has now reached a point where magazines picked up stories about celebrities’ pets and celebrity pets. According to research, it may be because pet ownership has a positive effect on human health.
Whether you are in it for the trend or looking for a new friend, keeping a pet entails responsibility. Before you decide to shop or adopt, it pays to understand that maintaining a pet entails time, effort and money.
According to veterinarian Dr. Michael Maramba, pets only have basic needs which will be enumerated below. It could take a part of your budget but might cost more if you fail to provide these. For this article, we will be focusing on dog ownership since it is the most common pet.
“The only way to prove you love your pet is by having him vaccinated,” Dr. Maramba shared.
The first year of a pet’s life is very crucial. A schedule of vaccination should be followed to make sure that your dog is given the only protection he has from common diseases such as parvovirus and canine distemper. Yes, it’s not just rabies.
Parvovirus is a gastrointestinal virus which attacks your dog’s small intestine. This could lead to malnutrition, dehydration and worse, death. The infection could be acquired when your pet has sniffed another animal's infected stool. It could also be carried to your home when you have stepped on infected feces.
Canine distemper is also a virus which spreads to the dog’s respiratory, digestive and nervous systems. The virus is passed from one canine to another through direct contact with blood, urine or saliva. Sneezing and sharing of food bowls are few of the means. A dog infected with canine distemper could die within two to five weeks of catching the virus.
A combination vaccine against parvovirus and distemper is given initially at the dog’s 45th day. Follow-ups are required every two weeks after that. Depending on the clinic you went to, the combination vaccine costs Php300 to Php350 each.
Meanwhile, rabies is transmitted via an infected animal’s saliva. It manifests in your pets’ sudden anxiety, aggression, and hypersensitivity to light and sound. Rabies has no known cure and is fatal. Fortunately, anti-rabies vaccines are free in your city or municipal veterinary office.
As children, our dogs are potential hosts to worms such as hookworms and tapeworms. According to Dr. Maramba, these parasites could interfere in the absorption of nutrients in their bodies. A heavily parasitized dog will eventually die.
From birth, a puppy should be dewormed every two weeks until its 10th month. Thereafter, deworming is required monthly. When the dog reaches a year in age, it is dewormed every three months. Deworming costs Php100-Php250 per session.
May it be a branded animal food or table food, Dr. Maramba said there is not much difference. It all depends on the convenience one option would bring to the pet owner. If you depend on take-out food, providing your furry one with dog food will shorten your list of worries for the day. There’s a shelf of brands to choose from when you visit your pet’s clinic.
“Suriin niyong mabuti kasi ang ipapapakain dahil maganda rin ang advertisement nila pero may ibang brand na hindi naman suited sa ibang breeds,” Dr. Maramba advised.
[Choose well because dog foods have good advertisements. However, there are brands that are not suited to other dog breeds.]
The veterinarian advised reaching for hypoallergenic dog food. This would cost you a few bucks more than settling for regular dog food. Hypoallergenic dog food ensures that your beloved pet will not suffer from itch, rashes and fur loss.
A sack of dog food costs Php1,500-Php2,000 which would last for a month or more depending on the dog’s size or breed.
Of course, you would want to feed your pet in a dog bowl. You have already read above that an unhygienic food bowl would cost you your pet’s life. This is sold at Php300-Php900 depending on the size and material.
A monthly visit to the pet store to take your dog for a few minutes of pampering is a small thing compared to the joy your newfound friend has given you. Grooming salons offer packages which cost around Php500. It usually includes different services like bath with shampoo and blow-dry, brushing, haircut, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and pad shaving.
If you’re determined to spend more time with your pet, you can do the grooming yourself. Invest in building your grooming kit which is readily available online. The prices indicated below are based on online shopping sites:
The items mentioned above are just the necessities to keep your pet healthy and happy. Others such as a leash, dog house, toys, bedding, and coat vitamins are optional.
We also spoke with an animal lover who has a golden retriever. Here is a breakdown of her monthly budget for her pet.
Note: Vaccine and deworming are not included here because most are not done monthly. Also, expect your water and electric bill to rise depending on how spoiled your pet is.
Taking care of a pet is an investment in your well-being and safety (if it’s a guard dog). If you plan to keep one, you should be determined to set aside a part of your income for this religiously. Save more by availing promos in your favorite online shopping site. Credit cards ease online payment and might come in handy during pet emergencies.