How to buy a pet for Christmas?

family chasing after their new dog

We’ve all seen the ads or films where a cute puppy pops out of a gift wrapped box. It’s heartwarming seeing the furry friend see their new owner and give them a hello lick. 

The whole idea might seem great, but before you rush off to the pet store or animal shelter you should consider the following:

1. The basic costs

A pet is a huge financial commitment, one that shouldn’t be made on a whim. Having a pet means having another family member to feed, care for and keep happy, which means spending money. It’s easy to forget the hidden costs of having a pet. Depending on the type of animal, an owner can find themselves spending an extra couple hundred dollars each month to take care of their new friend.

Potential costs to consider:

  • Toys, beds or cages
    Pet food, treats or meds
    Pet hotels

2. Getting pet Insurance

Just like humans, animals could fall ill at any moment. But unlike us, pets don’t have Medicare to help cover any potential medical costs. That’s why you should consider getting pet insurance to cover unforeseen accidents or problems - and the earlier the better. Most pet insurance providers only cover cats or dogs, but some companies offer exotic pet insurance plans for reptiles, turtles and birds.

3. Long term commitment

Pets are not only a financial commitment, but a long term commitment. The average dog lives about 12 years, while cats have the benefit of “having nine lives”, and more exotic animals can live for several decades. For example, most large domesticated parrots have a life expectancy of 60 years and it is very common for them to outlive their owners.

4. If you're going to adopt or buy

To adopt or to buy, that is the question. Typically, adoption is much cheaper than buying from a breeder. But if you want your fur baby to be a specific breed, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars. However, it’s pawsible to find the pet of your dreams in a shelter like the RSPCA’s, so it might be worth visiting them if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a pet.

5. The responsibility

Pets are a big responsibility and not everyone is prepared to handle it. If you are thinking of gifting a pet to someone make sure you know it's something they want. Sadly, many pets given as holiday gifts end up in animal shelters. Normal Christmas gifts can be enjoyed, forgotten or returned, but pets shouldn’t be viewed as regular gifts. 

If you want to know more about the costs of owning a pet, check out Mozo’s Pet Insurance news and advice page.