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I’m on a Low Income – Should I Get a Pet?

Veterinary treatment can be expensive

A pet really is the perfect companion, and when you adopt an animal, you have a furry best friend for the rest of their lives. But there’s a lot to take into consideration before becoming a pet owner. It’s so important that you’re able to take care of their needs and understand exactly how much responsibility an animal is.

One question that raises a lot of debate is whether you should get a pet if you’re on a low income. It’s tricky because there isn’t a black or white ‘yes or no’ answer to this. Although pets can be expensive, it’s certainly possible to provide an animal with a happy and fulfilling life without a whole lot of cash in the bank. However, there are some questions you will need to ask yourself first.

Work Out Your Current Situation

If you’re on a low income because you’re between jobs or have been made redundant, how will your situation change later down the line? You might have more money when you get back into work, but will you have the time and energy to care for your pet? If you live alone and are likely to work long hours, this is more of an issue to consider. If you’re on a low income because you’re retired or sick, what will happen to your pet if you have to go into hospital? It’s not just the low-income side of things you need to think about, but what your situation is now and how things could change.


Are You Entitled To Free Vet Care?

People on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits are entitled to free pet care at the PDSA. This can give you peace of mind that if anything were to happen, your animal would get the treatment it needs. If you’re on a low income but don’t receive any benefits, there are vets who provide lower cost care, so this is an option. However there will still be a bill to foot, so you’d need to work out if this is something you could cover if your pet got sick.


Can You Afford Food and Other Essentials

Buying food in bulk works out a lot cheaper, and means that many animals aren’t really that expensive to feed. You can purchase seventeen kilogram bags of dog kibble from any supermarket for around £12, which would last a small or medium sized breed many months. You can buy four kilograms of cat biscuits for around £10 which would last the average cat for almost three months. However if your pet is sensitive or intolerant to certain ingredients, a more specialist food will be a lot more expensive. On top of this though you will need to purchase toys, beds, collars, leads, flea and worming medicine and grooming equipment. Sit and work out your budget, and find out if you have enough to cover all of these combined costs.

Whether you’re on a low income or not, pet ownership is a huge responsibility so be sure to work out if it’s something that’s possible for you. Your finances, free time energy levels and whether you have enough space are all important questions to ask.


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