Financial planner Howard Erman recommends that people make sure they fully understand the economic commitment that comes with pet ownership and plan accordingly. Americans spent $53 billion on their animal friends last year, according to data from the American Pet Products Association, and the ASPCA estimates people will spend $1,300 to $1,800 for dogs and $1,000-plus on cats in just the first year of ownership. Erman recommends budgeting for pet expenses, including unexpected pet health emergencies.

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