Pet Parenting From the Financial Planning Point of View

“Pets are beloved family members, but that love doesn’t always come cheap,” as points out. With nearly 68% of American households (some 82.5 million) owning pets, we can ill afford to overlook the costs necessary to keep our animal friends well-fed and healthy (that’s according to the American Pet Products Association 2015 survey).

There's no doubt - here at the Worley Erhart-Graves financial planning advisory firm, we have a passion for pets. Not only do pets need to figure into their owners’ financial planning, but because....well, we love pets, and almost all of us are pet owners.

That’s why, every year, our firm matches the money team members donate or raise for the Humane Society of Indianapolis. The money is used to make a donation of up to $5,000 to Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana to provide financial assistance to low-income Hoosiers who could not otherwise afford to spay/neuter their pets. That means our "Mutt Strut Pet Pack" will be helping dogs and cats currently in shelters, plus prevent other pets from ending up there. 

We’re hardly alone in valuing pets. Not only does the future look bright in the pet industry, as Clarice Brough assures pet store owners in Multibriefsthe “pet parenting” attitude has been a trend in recent years, as “increasing numbers of people are rewarding pets in human terms”.

A look at the following statistics will provide a simple answer to that question. Spending on pets will creep close to $60 billion on pets in 2014, the American Pet Products Association told CBS News, including pet food, supplies, over-the-counter medicines, veterinary care, grooming, and boarding. And with pet food trends following human food and diet trends, food costs, the biggest spending category, have done nothing but rise.

As financial planning and tax planning professionals, we take a personalized, realistic approach to both spending and saving, and that spending element has to include canine and feline household members. How important is it for us to discuss pets as part of a financial plan?

Offering advice to someone seeking to adopt a pet, Petfinder.comsays it all: “Adopting a dog requires a financial commitment to its health and well-being.”

Content was prepared by a freelance journalist on behalf of Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors