I'm a passionate follower of the "Adopt don't shop" movement. For those of you who don't know, it is all about pet rehoming - basically encouraging people to adopt animals from rescue centres and shelters rather than paying a breeder or store for a dog. Now I'm not criticising anyone who has done this - at the end of the day, what you do with your money is your own business, however I was shocked to find out there is such a thing as pet finance. Maybe this is more of an American thing, as I first heard about it via one of my favourite American money bloggers, but I just don't get it!
Now, adopting a pet will very rarely cost you nothing as it did for me and my cats (I got mine through a colleague whose cat had gotten out and ended up with an accidental litter as cats sometimes do), however it is much much cheaper than buying from a pet store or breeder. If you are looking for a specific breed or have breed specific requirements, maybe this is the only way you will get what you need, but you can usually search the available animals at different shelters online and who knows what you might find? There are plenty of animals out there desperately looking for a new home. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a rant against all pet stores - most of them are lovely, and really care for the animals, but there are some which get their pets from puppy farms or similar - and that practice definitely needs to stop. Having a pet isn't cheap and if you need to get a loan to even pay for it, it's not setting yourself off on the right foot.
I have pet insurance, because with animals there are no guarantees abut what costs may come along down the line, and if I don't have to pay it myself, why should I? With a pet on finance - what if you can't afford the repayments? Do you lose your pet? That's not fair on you, your family or the pet.
I think if I'm honest what bugs me most about this is that paying for a pet doesn't make it any better than any other pet. It won't love you more, it won't get sick less, and it won't make you happier, so what's the point? I never imagined I'd have cats. I was allergic growing up and only went with my friend to help her choose from the litter (I now keep well away from kittens - I've learnt my lesson)! They have however brought so much joy into my life. They are funny, cute, give great cuddles and I couldn't love them any more. They were also FREE! They would have ended up in a shelter for rehoming if I hadn't taken them and my life would be much emptier!
As an advocate of not spending money if you don't need to - I would definitely say: "Adopt don't shop"!