Growing up there weren’t any pets in my parents house. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, my brother had a fish for about a year when I was very little. Not growing up with a pet wasn’t a huge deprivation because there were plenty of neighbor pets, friend pets, and strays around town. I always figured that we didn’t have any pets because they were expensive. As it turns out, my mom is allergic, but the money aspect was likely the more prominent reason.
Pets are a lot like any other hobby, you can sink as much money into them as you want or can afford with very little or no return on investment. Many people consider their pets to be extensions of their families. Just this morning, I learned that a friends pet was having emergency surgery to the tune of $1500, a bargain considering the original price was $3000. I don’t know too much about pet insurance, but a quick search on the internet revealed that an average premium would pay back the cost of this procedure and break even if the pet used it within five years. Considering many small mammal pets live longer than five years it would seem that insurance would be prudent.
My siblings and I are divided right down the middle on pet ownership. Two of my siblings own dogs, two have no pets, and I am right in the middle with fish and invertebrates. I feel as if I have spent a lot on our fish but today was a bit of an eye opener for me. Even my splurges on this fish gadget or that fish accessory pale in comparison to an emergency vet bill.
Part of the reason why I love fish as a pet is the low upkeep and responsibility involved. I feed them once a day, do a 20% water change once a week, and enjoy them the rest of the time. Vacations are easy to do without having to worry about a kennel and vet bills are not even on my radar. One of my fish has been swimming around with one eye for months for goodness sakes!
Hobbies aren’t suppose to make financial sense. If pets make you happy then enjoy pets. If pets aren’t your thing then don’t get them. Just make sure that you consider what that adorable pet will cost and whether or not you will be willing and able to shell out that money BEFORE you bring Mr. Flibble home.
With that said, I am really enjoying the plant growth that I am getting in my aquarium ever since I added pressurized CO2 (see, I told you hobbies can be as expensive as you wanted).
Do you have pets? Do you have pet insurance? How much is the pet insurance and have you ever used it? Have you ever wished you had pet insurance? Leave a comment with your answers.