Your Money: Pets

More bark with less bite

Hello Kitty?

Hello Doggy?

If you’re thinking of bringing a pet into your life and haven’t had one for a while, get ready for sticker shock. The cost of getting a pure-bred puppy can be more than $2,000 (although it’s still pretty cheap to get a rescue animal from a shelter) and the cost of the average vet visit has climbed more than 80% in the last 10 years.

Furthermore, medical procedures once not even considered for pets can put vet bills into the thousands.

But there are ways to economize, from the birth to the death of a pet. There is even a puppy "lemon law" – not that you would take a puppy back after a while like a faulty Accord – that could help pay vet bills under certain conditions.

And there are legal ways to provide for your canine/feline companion if you pass on before them.

The key is to approach having a pet like any consumer matter, while keeping in mind that unlike a pair of shoes, you could be dealing with your best buddy in the world.


EDITION: California | U.S. & World