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Kids begging you for a puppy this year? Know this first

Man’s best friend requires a lot of money and time, so if you’re planning to give the gift of a pet this holiday season, make sure you — and the gift’s recipient — are prepared.

Along with the initial cost of a pet, which can be up to $1,000 or more at a breeder or free or about $100 at an adoption shelter, there are necessities such as food and medical visits, expenses that can last for 10 years, and usually longer, for cats and dogs. Other costs can include pet health insurance (or a savings account to save for an unexpected large veterinarian bill), and of course toys, as well as dog walkers or boarding, if you need them.

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