Set Up the Perfect Pad for You and Your Pet
For many of us, pets are treasured family members. That relationship doesn’t stop as we age—it just necessitates a few changes to make sure the four-legged and two-legged members of the family are comfortable and content. Read on for a few tips for aging in place with pets.
Room to Roam
If you have a dog, you might not be able to get out for walks as often as you once did. One solution is to modify your yard to give Fido more room to roam. If your dog has already worn another route in the yard, consider making those paths permanent; in any case, a 3-foot wide clearance should do the trick. For added ease, a pet door will allow your furry friends to get in and out of the house on their own. Estimates for a door range from $125 to $300. To save money, you might consider buying the door and then hiring a handyman to install it. Just be sure that there’s nothing in your yard that would be toxic to dogs or cats. The ASPCA offers a list of plants harmful to pets.
(Do) Fence me in
Unless you are absolutely certain that your dog will stay in the yard, consider a fence upgrade. The average cost to install a fence is a little over $2,000. If your pooch is a digger, an underground deterrent such as chicken wire or poured concrete is an option. An electric fence is another way to go.
If you want a companion but you’re concerned about keeping up with active dogs or cats, it might be worth looking into inexpensive pets that don’t require quite as much maintenance, like goldfish ($3-$15) or hermit crabs (under $10). Both of these can live for 20 years.
The Cost of (Unexpected) Care
Some pets are more expensive to own than others. Kiplinger suggests recommended emergency fund amounts to keep on hand for your animals, ranging from $2,000 for a dog or cat to $500 for a bird to $250 for aquatic pets. Another possibility you may want to consider is pet insurance.
Consider speaking to an Open Mortgage specialist at 888-602-6626 to discuss your options. Our expertise in tools such as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), also known as a reverse mortgage, could provide the financial means to set up the perfect pad for you and your pet.