Common cents (and dollars) of pet ownership

Financial preparation is essential for the lifelong responsibility for and expense of a pet. Pets are family, and should be planned and cared for accordingly.  

Emily Holbrook, personal market director at Northwestern Mutual, offers the following tips to help ensure you can provide great lifelong care.  

·       Budget ahead. Pets can be expensive, so make sure you have enough expendable income to provide for them. Factor in everything from adoption fees to routine (and emergency) veterinary care, food, supplies, boarding, daycare and grooming. 

·       Maintain savings. Injury or disease can occur unexpectedly. Establish a monthly allotment for savings, and consider pet health insurance.  

·      Estate planning. Estate plans should always include designated guardian(s) for pets, and funds earmarked to ensure that person can provide proper care.