Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 45

Chapter 3

how much will the animal Cost?
Many people don't look past the initial purchase price of their pet. Puppies
and kittens don't cost much to care for, but as they grow to adult size, food
can easily cost from $4 to $20 per month for dogs and approximately $10 for
cats. In addition to feeding, there will be expenses for toys, grooming, and
veterinary bills. Many cities and counties also require yearly animal licenses.
Because of high veterinary costs, many people are opting for pet health insurance. Insurance plans vary, but cost from $4 to $75 per month, depending
on the plan, what is covered in the plan, the plan deductible, the age of the
pet, the breed, and the municipality where you live.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(ASPCPA) lists the annual costs for caring for a dog at between $580 and
$875, depending on the size of the dog. Annual costs for cats are estimated
at $670, $730 for a rabbit, $635 for a guinea pig, $300 for a small mammal,
$200 for a small bird, and $35 for a fish. Initial costs may include vaccines
and spaying or neutering. Yearly costs include food, medical treatment, litter,
toys and treats, licenses, and miscellaneous expenses. First-year costs will be
higher because owners will need to purchase new equipment. See Table 3-1.5

what will the Future bring?
You should plan for the future. Will that cute, cuddly animal still be wanted
when it matures? Will the family continue to be able to afford a pet? Will the
number of family members be increasing? If the animal was obtained for the
children, will they be around or will Mom and Dad be the ones to care for
it? Can the son or daughter take the animal to college when the time comes?

Does everyone in the Family want a pet?
A pet should not be brought into the family unless every member agrees to
it and is willing to share in the responsibility for the animal's care. An animal
brought into the family as a gift or surprise may become an unwanted and
uncared-for pet.
Another factor to consider is that of allergies (being abnormally or
excessively sensitive to specific substances, such as food, pollen, dander, or
dust). Allergies to certain animals and animal hair or dust are fairly common. It is important to determine whether any member of the family is
allergic to a particular species of animal. Finding this out can prevent the
disappointment of having to give up a pet because a family member has an
allergy.

what kind of personality Do i have?
Animals have personalities just as people do. It is important that the pet
you decide to purchase complements your personality. Dogs vary greatly in
their personalities; some are docile, whereas others can be active and playful.
These personality traits are characteristics of the breeds; therefore, it is important to be familiar with the breed of animal you intend to obtain.

Small Animals as Pets

45



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition

Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover1
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover2
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iv
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - vi
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - vii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - viii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - ix
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