While most people don't realise it initially, there are major responsibilities in taking on a new pet. From the financial costs of feeding and housing a pet, to the time and energy needed to walk a dog every day, keeping a pet is not for the faint hearted.
Your children may be begging you to get a puppy, but it is important to make sure you have the finances, time and energy needed to take care of a new dog.
Naturally, the biggest factor to consider with any new pet is the financial implications. While food and housing may not seem like a huge financial burden, when combined with other expenditures like the occasional veterinary bill, this can easily amount to thousands over the course of the animal's life.
One of the most overlooked costs a household pet can bring is the cost of replacing damaged items. Although most people expect their pets to always behave perfectly, cats and dogs in particular have a habit of breaking and scratching things around the house.
While not all animals are intent on destroying the contents of your house, it is important to take this into consideration, especially in the first few months before you have trained your pet properly.
Another way the costs of having a pet show themselves is when you go on holidays. Unless you are lucky enough to have friends and family willing to look after your pet while you're away, most pet owners will need to enlist the services of a pet sitting service or kennels.
Time is another major cost to any pet owners. While most pets do not need walking every day, many others can still take up a large portion of your spare time. Cats, for example, require regular grooming and attention and even pets as small as budgies require regular attention and cage cleaning.
For many people who have extremely busy lifestyles, before deciding to get a new pet it is important to ask yourself, do I really have enough time to keep a new pet?
For many pet owners, pet insurance is another number to be factored into the cost of owning a pet. While it is an optional cost, pet insurance policies are rapidly growing in popularity as they can save pet owners thousands in medical bills
Of course all of these costs are minute when compared to the joy having a pet brings. The costs of having a pet are great, but most pet owners would agree, the rewards are greater. That said, in order to give your pet the care and attention it deserves, it is important to ask yourself - can I afford a new pet?