If you are looking to get a new pet then it is likely that you will not think about the cost. Most people will just think about how lovely it will be to have an animal around the place and will not consider whether they will be able to afford it. It is wise to look into this though as you do not want to get a loan to pay for your pet.
Investigate general costs
To start with it is wise to have a look at the costs of keeping the pet that you are thinking of getting. The cost will vary massively depending on the type and size of animal that you are looking for. You will need to think about the cost of food, bedding, exercising, play and anything else that is relevant. A fish will just need food and a tank, but you will probably want to put some gravel and decorations in the tank to make it more fun and you may also want to have an oxygen filter in the water as well. If you have a dog then you will need to spend a lot more on food and bedding and then you will need a lead, you may want a cage or harness for the car to keep them safe and there will be toys and possibly a coat as well. You will also need to pay for it to be groomed as well, at least once a year when the weather is very warm and a thick coat will be too hot. If you go to a pet shop and talk to staff there, you will soon find out what you need to buy and you will be able to investigate how much it will cost. It is also worth thinking about whether you will need someone to care for the pet while you are on holiday or in the case of a dog whether you will need them to be walked while you are at work.
Consider vet bills and insurance
One other big expense to consider is the vet. If you have a larger animal, such as a dog or cat, you will need to give them vaccinations and treatment for fleas. Then if they are unwell you will need to have them treated as well. With smaller animals they will not need such regular treatments and may never need a vet anyway. It is wise to consider whether taking out insurance for the vet will be a good idea. This should make it much more affordable to pay your vet bills as you will spread the payments. However, the insurance may not cover all treatments or may not cover the full cost of treatment. This means that you will need to think about whether it will be enough. Consider both, whether you can afford the insurance and whether you can afford the treatment. You may decide that you will not bother with insurance and take the risk that you will be able to afford the treatment but this will very much depend on your financial situation and how you predict it will be in the future.
Look at your finances to see if you can afford it
Once you have done all of this research you will be in a position to be able to make a decision about whether you can afford a pet or perhaps what type of pet you can afford. You will need to be very aware of your own financial situation so that you know how much you will be able to afford. It is a good idea to think about a typical month and whether you normally have enough spare money to afford the pet. Then consider whether you had a particularly expensive month and the pet was unwell, whether you would be able to afford the vets bills. It might be that you are confident that you will have some savings to fall back on in this situation but it may be that you know you will struggle.
Consider whether you might need to make changes to afford it
It can be hard to admit to ourselves that we will not be able to afford what we want, especially if it is something that we really want. It may be that we will be able to make some changes to what we buy and how much we pay for things or how much we earn so that we can afford what we want. It is therefore wise to make sure that we decide if we are prepared to make changes to afford the pet that we want. It is important to realise as well, that we will need to make those changes for all of the time that we have the animal.