Pets are so vital to people’s lives that they become family members in many households around the world. Dogs go on vacations with everyone in the car. They are there for you when you have your first break-up, and their deaths are incredibly traumatic for those who loved the animal from a young age.
And while nearly all experiences owning a pet are positive, there are several stresses and drawbacks to having an animal in your house. The expense to feed a pet, bring it to the doctor, and buy toys and accessories for it can set you back financially.
Owning an animal can also present extra expenses for rent in an apartment and insurance policies on your house. This is because some animals have behaviors that can result in risks to the insurance company. An untrained bird might fly away and go to the bathroom all over a neighbor’s belongings. A dog might bite a kid next door and do severe damage.
This is why the type of animal you own may also add to the unexpected costs involved in pet ownership. A Siberian husky and homeowners insurance don’t always mix because this is one of the most volatile breeds in the world. They are just one example of unpredictable behavior affecting a pet owner’s bottom line.
We’ll cover a variety of events that can cost you extra money on your home, insurance, car, and belongings. We’ll also give some tips on how to overcome these problems if you still want to own a pet and don’t know how to afford it.
Dog Breed Bias and Insurance Costs
Insurance companies care about what type of dog you own because they don’t want to be liable when a dog bites someone on a walk or in the neighborhood. Pets are considered an extension of the home, and insurance companies have been asked to cover the damages of dog attacks.
This means that often an insurance company will jack your rates sky high, or they won’t even insure you if they think the dog you own is too big of a risk to their company. This bias against certain breeds has many pet owners wondering whether they can take legal action against companies who do this, but there are not many measures they can take.
On the state level, some areas are stricter than others regarding breed-specific legislation. Many Southern states like Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky are strict with breed restrictions. They allow insurance companies to discriminate against the type of dog you own as much as they would like to.
That doesn’t mean you are going to run out of options if you own a pit bull or a German Shepherd, two of the breeds stereotyped as dangerous. State Farm and Nationwide are two huge insurance companies that don’t hike your rates because you own a ferocious dog.
Try to prove that your dog has been well-behaved throughout the time you have owned it. Show that they have gone to obedience training or some other sort of instruction. These classes can be expensive, though, and if you live on a tight budget, you might need to find an alternative method to train. In the end, they will be a good sign to insurers that the dog is well-mannered.
Dogs are temperamental, but most of their behavior is taught through the owner. You can make sure there is no trouble if you put in the time and the attention to help your dog reach its kindest potential.
Unusual Pets and the Cost of Owning Them
Not everyone has a cat or a dog as their pet. Some people like to go for the unconventional. And while it isn’t smart to own something like a chimpanzee or an elephant (it’s not even legal in some areas), you may see many folks throughout your life who own lizards, birds, or aquatic life.
This can actually turn into a very expensive pet choice for your home. You might have to set up different equipment depending on the pet you settled on. Getting a bigger animal like a snake is going to require a lot of food and tanks that support their temperature and the other things from their natural habitats.
Buying a bird is going to make it necessary to create a room just for flying or exploration. If you don’t give your flying friend enough space to navigate, you may find them in the yard or lose them completely from your grasp. Parrots may return home because they love companionship, but other birds will not be so kind to you. They want freedom if you don’t allow it in your house.
If you want to buy an unusual pet, think about what type of environment they need. It is almost always cheaper to buy a house that already has the essentials in place than renovating and adding on to the building after buying it.
What if I can’t find pet solutions for my home?
You may be thinking, “Do I have to resort to watching movies online with my friends or lying alone without the joys of a pet in my life?” The answer is a careful one. You can now see all the potential threats to owning a pet if you have a house, and there are certainly a lot of them.
Insurance companies are finicky with your pet status, and some states make it easy for companies to jack up your rates. Other times, pets simply make it hard on your wallet because of their natural needs and habits. Exotic animals require space and patience that some pet owners don’t have.
As long as you are aware of these potential downfalls, there is no reason to give up on owning a pet and a house. Find the right location that will be more accepting of your animal. Talk to an understanding agent at pet-friendly companies like State Farm, and know the details of your situation. If you do this, animals and homes can become fast friends.