If you got a puppy or kitten as a present this holiday season, some financial planning can make all the difference in providing a long and happy life for your furry friend. Pets often become like family members, and pet owners will do almost anything to make sure they are well cared for. But many people don't consider the financial risk or expense that they may incur. If your beloved pet gets sick, the costs can quickly add up.
Pet owners spent an estimated $15 billion on veterinary care in 2014. That's more than a quarter of the $58 billion in overall spending in the pet industry last year, according to the American Pet Products Association. About $870 million of those dollars were spent on pet insurance. That's a lot of money on coverage that insurance experts say is not always necessary or suitable for all pets.
"Pet insurance makes the most sense when your pet is young and the premium is a lower cost to you," said financial advisor Brittany Castro, founder of Financially Wise Women, adding that it "can definitely help you pay for any medical expenses that might come along during their lifespan."