If you’re like us and have a whole slew of pets, you already know this all too well, but multi-pet households are expensive! We currently have 7, yes, 7 animals in the house. And not like fish or a snake or something relatively low maintenance and inexpensive. We have 4 dogs and now 3 cats. It wasn’t planned that way, but we have a knack for attracting strays and animals with nowhere else to go.
Miss the two new additions? Read about my impromtpu canyon cat rescue.
Can You Really Afford to Add Another Pet to Your Home?
On the surface, having a cat or a dog doesn’t seem TOO expensive, and well, sometimes it’s not. Well, depending on how you do it, what you feed them, etc. But, if you’re thinking about adding another dog or cat or think that people like us have the most interesting, fun households (which we do, duh), don’t forget to factor in unexpected expenses!
There are the basics, of course, like food, bedding, toys, treats, flea/tick and heartworm prevention, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries. If you have an active dog, there are harnesses, life jackets, boots, jackets, etc. Then there are the expenses that pop up out of nowhere. This month has been full of those for us. To give you an example of a possible multi-pet household reality, here’s what we’ve faced in the last 30 days. And these are just a few of our extra expenses. Ones with (V) mean we went to the vet for it:
- Helo and Ringo both had to renew their rabies, DAPP, and city licenses (V)
- We took in 2 more cats, which meant initial vet visit and first set of shots x2 (V)
- Ringo got attacked by fire ants AND developed seasonal allergies
- Roxie went in for a nail trim (V)
- Ringo and I both got attacked by a cactus. Yep, attacked. I said it. Those things are SHADY!
- Ringo completely tore off a toenail, leaving behind only the quick (V)
- On Monday, Luna and Gypsy go in for their spay surgeries and second set of shots (V)
and last but not least, today’s issue… Helo’s scratched Cornea (definitely a “V” issue)
We aren’t sure exactly what happened, but we’re pretty sure it was Luna. Robert went upstairs and tried to move the cats (our other cat Jasmine still isn’t sure about them so we try to give her her space sometimes) and Luna got spooked. She tried to run away from Robert and eventually hopped the gate and went downstairs to where the dogs are. The dogs LOVE cats and are really calm around them, but Luna is terrified and has up until this point always stayed safely upstairs. We think Helo tried to say hi and she felt threatened and tried to defend herself. When I got home an hour later, Helo wouldn’t open his eye and it was tearing up.
So, I had to take him to the vet this morning, whatever the cost. With stuff like this, you can’t put it off and save up, you can’t wait and see what happens. You can’t negotiate prices or pick and choose when to get your pets help. Well, at least you shouldn’t. You need to be able to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
After an exam and a dye test, the vet discovered that Helo did in face have a scratched cornea. He’s now on three eye meds, three times a day. They even made him some autologous serum eye drops with his own blood. I didn’t even know that was a thing?? He also got antibiotic eye drops and an eye ointment. Not a fun week for Helo. But, he got the care he needed and is set up for success and his eye should heal beautifully. Hopefully when we go back for his followup in a week, he’ll be good as new.
The takeaway is that dogs, cats, pets in general are expensive. Worth it? Absolutely! But you should never make the decision whether or not you can afford to add another pet to your home without expecting the unexpected. With 4 active dogs and now 3 cats, everyone at my vet office knows me very well. Even if they each only have an issue or need shots once or twice a year, that’s still 14 visits, or more than one a month. When we adopted each of our pets, we made them a promise to do everything in our power to give them the healthiest, happiest lives possible. Vet expenses in our eyes (no pun intended) aren’t a burden, but a responsibility and a reality for responsible pet parents.
Our animals are usually pretty healthy, thankfully, but you just never know when a month like this is going to hit. Whether you decide to get pet insurance, have a designated pet credit card for emergencies, or have a saving account to fall back on, make sure you’re ready to help your pets (current or future) get the help they need when they need it.
If you ask us, the love and companionship from our pets is definitely worth every single penny, even on crazy months like this. Just make sure you have enough pennies, just in case!
Thanks for reading,