Important Items To Think About As Future Pet Parents

Often celebrated for its magical theme parks and vibrant lifestyle, Orlando boasts a lesser-known accolade: a haven for pets and their owners. In 2022, proclaimed Orlando the premier dog-friendly destination in the U.S., a testament to the city’s warm embrace of our four-legged family members. 

A Forbes Advisor survey recently illuminated the common hurdles pet owners encounter. We discussed these findings with Stephen Bardy, the Executive Director of Pet Alliance, to uncover essential considerations for anyone contemplating pet adoption.


The Forbes Survey: Top Pet Peeves

The survey reveals that 66% of U.S. households boasted pet ownership in 2024, with a staggering 97% considering their pets as family members. However, this close bond doesn’t come without its trials. The top concerns for pet owners included finding reliable dog sitters, securing dog-friendly accommodations, and managing the daily needs and costs associated with pet care.


The Cost of Love: Key Considerations for Prospective Pet Owners

Orlando shines with its pet-friendly amenities, from sprawling parks to welcoming spaces and affordable veterinary clinics. Yet, as Bardy points out, “Orlando is not immune to the rising costs affecting pet owners everywhere.”

Bardy further emphasizes being mindful of potential costs before finalizing adoption plans, stating, “An owner could easily spend $1000+ annually on pet care, depending on the pet.” This financial aspect can be particularly daunting for seniors, highlighting the need for community support programs like Meals on Wheels, which Pet Alliance collaborates with to aid pet retention among the elderly.


The Role of Preventative Care and Insurance

With pet ownership on the rise, so is the popularity of pet insurance, a crucial step in managing unforeseen veterinary expenses. Bardy advises, “More people are starting to get pet insurance because it really does save them money,” likening it to human health insurance in its necessity.

With over 500 veterinarians in Orange County, access to care is not a significant barrier, but pet owners should still know the type of pet they want and its needs since the first and final years of a pet’s life can be the costliest.


Lifestyle and Housing: Finding the Perfect Fit

Choosing the right pet goes beyond preference, extending to considerations about living arrangements and lifestyle. To illustrate this point, Bardy shares a personal anecdote: “I intentionally sold my house to get a house where the primary living was on the first floor so the dogs wouldn’t have to go upstairs anymore.”

Renters might opt for smaller dogs due to limited backyard space, while homeowners consider housing structures tailored to their pet’s needs. 


Looking Ahead: Pet Alliance’s Vision for Orlando

Pet Alliance eagerly anticipates opening a new shelter in June 2025, which promises to bolster the city’s adoption rates and veterinary services. Bardy says Pet Alliance will continue to welcome volunteers who can aid in this process by offering their veterinary skills.


Need Assistance? Pet Alliance is Here to Help

For those feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of pet ownership, Pet Alliance extends a helping hand through services like their monthly Pet Food Pantry, offering support and guidance to those in need.


Embracing the Journey of Pet Parenthood

As we navigate the complexities of pet ownership, it’s crucial to approach the decision with a full understanding of the responsibilities and costs involved. With its supportive community and wealth of resources, Orlando offers a nurturing environment for those ready to embark on the rewarding journey of pet parenthood.


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Written by Alexis George

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