Giving pets a lot of love doesn’t mean treating them like stuffed toys. They’re living beings, and you need to spend money on them to provide them with food and proper care.

Once that’s clear, it’s worth hearing some recommendations and figures that Julieta Biagioni, Corporate Communications Manager at Ualá, a finance technology company, provides us in an interview with Tec Review.

Before adopting, you should consider the financial aspects. (Photo: Anylú Hinojosa-Peña)

“People need to realize that in everyday life, even if they don’t like finance or math, they need to be efficient in purchases associated with their pets.”

To this end, Biagioni says that it’s advisable to keep detailed accounts of annual food and veterinary care costs.

“If they’re kittens or puppies, they need at least six vaccines that come out to about 350 pesos each. When they’re adults, they need two vaccines annually, and each also costs the same.”

Money under the mattress

She advises having savings that serve as a financial cushion in case of any unforeseen expense or to cover any other type of veterinary intervention. It’s also important to consider around 350 pesos per month you may need for pet hygiene and playtime activities. Soap, shampoo, brushes, and grooming services, as well as toys and accessories, fall under this category.

“You also need to take into account the expense of leaving your pet in an overnight care center when you go on vacation. If you decide to go out for about 15 days, you have to spend the equivalent of those 15 days if you don’t have a family member or friend to leave your pet with,” adds Biagioni.

In this regard, the cost of leaving a dog in care ranges from 190 to 300 pesos a day, according to rates found in CuidaMiMascota, an app that offers animal care services.

Tec Review also raised some questions with Adrián Rodríguez-Granada, Administrative Director at UNAM-Banfield Veterinary Hospital, whose answers shed even more light on the issue of pets.

See the pets of our readers

Unnecessary expenses

When it comes to your best friend, i.e. your cat or dog, which you consider a part of your family, there may be no expense too great. This will depend more on what your personal budget is and how much you want to “spoil” your pet with spa days, tailor-made diets, outfits to make it look better, water fountains (for cats), or designer beds. This will depend on each pet owner.

Instead, I’d focus on talking about what the necessary investments are: sufficient food, preventive medicine, and basic and safety amenities for pets.

What do people spend on pets such as birds, reptiles, and fish?

Each species has its own needs and characteristics and although Banfield Pet Hospital specializes only in cats and dogs, we can say that other species will have other needs.

In the case of birds, it’s necessary to consider their cage or their special habitat if you want them to have a more open space. In the case of fish, it’s necessary to keep in mind the fish tank and its maintenance.

No matter the species, they all have common needs: healthy and sufficient food, preventive care, and decent conditions to live in.

The expenses and responsibilities of having a pet

Rabbits and birds also require special care (Photo: Carolina Aguilar)

What do you tell children about the responsibility of having a pet at home?

Having a pet can be a lot of fun and that’s what it’s all about, that it becomes one more member of the family and with this we can also be better human beings. However, it’s a large commitment and responsibility that lasts for many years to come.

Caring for this new family member will bring obligations and tasks that the whole family (and not just Mom and Dad) should be involved in. We need to participate in these activities.

Pets aren’t a toy that are with us for a little while and that we can then put in a drawer or inside the closet (or leave alone to their fate in the garden, on the street, or on the roof). They’re living beings that depend on our care to be healthy and happy.

Adopt or buy?

Rodriguez-Granada says both options are valid. Adopting gives a dog or cat the opportunity to join a home that loves it. Many times, they’re cats and dogs that someone abandoned and want affection from a family.

Here the advice isn’t to adopt only kittens and puppies, which are indeed adorable when they’re babies, because there are also many older animals that deserve to spend their adult years with a loving family that cares for and protects them. Give an opportunity to older or elderly cats and dogs and also to those with a special need. They’ll know how to thank you with love and loyalty.

On the other hand, if your decision is to buy, just make sure to do so from a responsible place where the reproduction, breeding, and care of those cats and dogs are adequate and meet standards of health and treatment worthy of the mother and her young.

What do you suggest so someone doesn’t spend too much on pet care, without sacrificing their well-being or health?

Don’t shop for impulse items. My recommendation is also to invest in preventive medicine and a good diet with the advice of a veterinary doctor, which will have an impact on better health and on avoiding costly diseases or, at least, identifying them in time.

Another tip is to avoid accidents that can be very expensive to treat, not leaving cats and dogs to their fate on the street or on a rooftop. And, definitely make a special budget for your pet’s needs and try to stick to that budget.

Advice often ignored

In Mexico, where abandonment of cats and dogs prevails, many people appear to ignore all these points.

According to estimates by the Mexican Association of Veterinary Physicians Specializing in Small Species (AMMVEPE), there are around 23 million cats and dogs in the country, 70% of which are on the street, a figure that grows 20% each year.

Pets are not stuffed toys or simply a part of the urban environment (such as traffic lights and parking meters); they’re living beings with specific needs. Therefore, Biagioni and Rodríguez-Granada ask that Tec Review readers respect and care for animals according to their needs.