FOX – WOFL
Owning a pet isn’t cheap. Even though caring for a medium-sized dog will cost you about $700 a year, your pet could save you more money than that in other areas of your life!
Five ways owning a pet can save your money & your health!
- Pets Improve Your Physical Health
Depending on the breed of dog you get, you will need to run or walk it everyday. This exercise is excellent for you and your dog’s health, but it is just as good for your wallet too! The average monthly gym membership is about $43, or more than $500 each year, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. They also estimate that one in five people who sign up for gyms tend to drop out, when you get a dog, you’ve signed up for the equivalent of a 15-year membership. Complementary cold-nose wake-up call at not additional charge!
- Less Trips To The Doctor
Doctors say pets can boost your immunity. A 2012 study showed that children with early exposure to dogs had fewer respiratory and ear infections. “That dander on that hair, that’s natural immunotherapy.” says Dr. Karen Becker. And studies show owning a pet can lower your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recently linked pet ownership with a reduced risk for heart disease.
- Saves You Money on Mood-Boosters
Dogs are proven mood-boosters: “Even if you had a bad day at work, you lost an account or something, your dog is going to like you anyway.” says Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Science Advisor, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). In addition to approving your physical health, dogs and other pets have been shown to be great for stress management and relief, which in turn reduces medical expenses for stress-related illnesses. On this note, pets could even extend your life!
- Saves on Home Security
Dog are known to get excited and protective if a stranger comes to the door. Studies have shown that potential burglars are put off by barking dogs since they don’t know if the bark is actually meaner than the bit. Using dogs as your home security system can be a great savings and help prevent home burglary and break-ins.
- Free Entertainment
Pets are a lot of fun. Activities like going to a dog park on the weekends and meeting up with other friends who have dogs, or learning how to train your dog are not only fun for you, but are fun for your dog too! Dogs can be great social instigators. You never know who you’ll meet through your dog, your next customer or even your next boss. In addition to being absolutely adorable, they often do the littlest thing that for some reason makes you laugh every time!
Include Your Pet In Your Estate Plan
You may remember in 2007, hotel tycoon Leona Helmsley left her Maltese $12 million when she died. That may have seem excessive, but the idea is becoming quite mainstream.
Pets are members of our families and my clients are wanting to make sure that they are cared for in the way they want them to be if something happens to them. You can write a pet trust or pet agreement that provides for your pets’ care, dictating who they would live with and how that person should treat them, including things like buying certain toys and treats and mandatory annual vet visits.
Pet trusts are typically the more expensive option due to the fact that you need to fund the trust as well as pay the lawyer’s fees. If you don’t have that kind of money, identify one or more caregivers and write out an agreement that states that the person will care for your pet upon your death, or in the event you are unable to care for the pet yourself.
For your convenience here are two different documents you can use to include your pet in your estate planning!