Recently, we came across alarming statistics regarding millennial pet ownership. A study from the pet insurance group PetPlan found that ten percent of millennials got a dog with the sole purpose of boosting the presence on social media sites such as Instagram and that once they realized the responsibility that came with owning a pet, they got rid of the animal.
One of the breeds most impacted by this dangerous phenomenon was French bulldogs, which are the most popular breed on Instagram. The British Veterinary Association found that nearly half of individuals who choose brachycephalic dogs – those with flat, smushed faces – are swayed to do so because of social media. However, 56 percent of brachycephalic dogs seek treatment for health issues such as:
- Breathing difficulties
- Skin problems
- Dental problems
- Eye ulcers
Most concerning is the fact that 75 percent of those polled said that they were unaware of these problems and health concerns before bringing the dog into their home. The statistics should bring to light the fact that owning a dog, or any pet for that matter, is a life-long commitment. You should do ample research beforehand to ensure that you can provide for your pet throughout its entire life. Below, you’ll find a few things you need to consider before committing to a pet.
Research The Breed
Bringing an animal into your home should never be an impulse decision. You should do considerable research beforehand to learn everything you can about the breed. For instance, if you have young children, you’ll want to research whether the pet is a good fit. Also, find out about what health problems the animal is most at risk of, and the cost of treating these conditions.
Don’t leave any stone unturned when researching your new potential pet. In addition to an abundance of online resources, we also recommend talking to a veterinarian beforehand. You should not shy from having discussions with friends, family, or coworkers who own a pet. They’ll likely provide you with an accurate depiction of pet ownership. By the time you bring a new pet home, you should be well-informed and comfortable with your decision.
Think About Your Schedule
Every pet requires love and attention. Do you have the time in your schedule to commit to their needs? For example, if you’re thinking about bringing a dog into your home, you must ask yourself whether you can commit to walking it three times per day, take it to the vet, and groom it on weekends. Your goal is bringing a pet should be to provide the best life possible for the animal. Make sure that you can carve enough time out of your schedule to do so.
Consider The Costs
Money Under 30 reports that the first-year cost of owning a cat is just over $1,050, while the first-year cost of owning a dog approaches $1,300. The publication also states that it costs roughly $500 per year after that. This figure does not account for unexpected medical costs, which could drive the cost of ownership must hire.
Before bringing a pet home, we recommend sitting down and coming up with a budget to determine if you can afford the pet. When doing so, consider all of the things for which you must pay. Annual expenses include:
- Food and Treats
- Medical Exams
- Licenses and Health Insurance
You should also set a “rainy day fund” aside in case of a medical emergency. If you cannot afford a pet now, it’s perhaps in your best interest to save for a few years so that you’re much more financially-stable before introducing a new animal into your home.