Maintaining a pet will take a toll on your budget. If you’re not careful, you’ll have to dip into your wallet every day to keep up with pet care. From pet sitters to a visit to the vet and repairs to the damage he did to the neighbor’s property, your monthly pet-care costs could add up to hundreds of dollars. However, you’re not alone. According to one report, pet owners spend billions of dollars every year on their pets. Visits to the vet and food are the most significant expenses, but pet owners are spending more money on grooming, day care and pet hotels as well. Whether you own a turtle, snake, bird, cat, or dog, here are some simple tips to cut pet costs without skimping on luxuries.
1. Choose the right pet for your budget
Some pets are more expensive than others, so saving money all starts with choosing a pet based on your budget. If you don’t have time to take your dog for walks, you’ll have to pay someone to do it for you. Find out about the common health issues when you’re considering getting a pet so you’ll know in advance the type of expenses you’ll have in the future. It also helps to research the annual expenses. For instance, a larger dog is hugely expensive to maintain while a fish will be a lot easier on your wallet.
2. Adopt a pet
You’ll stay on budget and help an animal when you adopt a pet. The local animal shelter will offer more options that you realize, and there should be no issues with adopting as long as you do your due diligence. Make sure the vaccinations are up to date and ask about the age and life expectancy. Check the animal’s medical records to get familiar with any pre-existing conditions and prepare for future expenses.
3. Use coupons
Check online for deals and coupons for pet food and toys. These coupons are available for everything from food to grooming services and household products to remove pet odors. Online pet stores offer deep discounts to first-time customers and loyalty discounts if you keep on shopping. Ask for discounts and free shipping to save even more. Another way to reduce costs is to purchase in bulk. Purchase food and grooming products in bulk but make sure there’s sufficient room at home for storage.
4. Preventative care will save you money
Keep up with routine checks at your vet, and you’ll avoid costly health related issues in the future. You could also cut costs if you get familiar with safe heartworm, flea, and tick treatments and learn to administer them yourself. Make sure to maintain your dog’s dental hygiene and you’ll avoid future health problems.
5. Treat illnesses promptly
Don’t wait until a medical situation worsens to visit the vet because you’ll end up paying more. Emergency care and call-outs cost several times more than a regular visit to the vet, and you could likely endanger your pet if you seek help when the vet’s office is closed. Take your pet to the doctor as soon as you see something amiss.
6. Get pet insurance
Pet insurance is a controversial topic among experts. Some policies limit the amount of coverage and will not pay out if there were pre-existing conditions or for common issues among some breeds, but the right plan will help relieve the burden on your wallet if you’re faced with a medical emergency. Shop around to get the best quote and make sure to read the terms of coverage before you pay out.
7. Don’t pay for grooming
Professional grooming can cost $70 and upwards for one session, so take the DIY approach and save money. Learn how to groom your pet or purchase a pet breed that doesn’t call for extensive grooming. Alternatively, you could cut the coat very low and stretch out the time between grooming visits. Brush the animal’s coat regularly because matted fur will increase the cost of grooming.
8. Training will save money in the long run
Pet training is an expensive upfront investment, but it will reduce the likelihood of accidents later on. For instance, you’ll have fewer run-ins with the neighbor’s property and pets if your dog recognizes boundaries. You could use online resources and books to do the training yourself if you need to cut costs.
9. Find an affordable pet sitter
Ask friends or your vet to recommend a reliable and affordable pet sitter when you need one. Like other professional services, make sure the sitter is insured and certified by a professional organization. Otherwise, you could ask a friend to pet-sit and save money.
10. Leave out unnecessary luxuries
Expensive toys, treats, gourmet food and fashionable pet clothes are unnecessary, so you’ll save a lot of money if you don’t purchase them. Look for lost-cost ways to keep your pet happy if you’re on a tight budget. You’ll be surprised to learn how much your pet will enjoy playing with you instead of playing with an expensive toy.
Just because you are on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t own a pet. There are many easy pets to take care of, so I think everyone can have at least one pet no matter what their budget is. Do you have any tips on how to save on pet costs?