When you take in a pet, you are already committed to the big financial commitment they come along with. You can spend on average between $3000 and $6000 for a new cat or dog in their first year, and between $962 and $1627 annually thereafter.
All pet owners love their pets and want them to have a safe, happy, healthy and comfortable life. However, the costs of making sure everything is in place can sometimes be overwhelming.
Many new pet parents make the mistake of taking in a pet that does not suit their budget and lifestyle. Before you take in a new pet always make sure you choose the right breed that you can take care of comfortably without straining your finances. Here are ways you can save on your pet’s expenses without running out of cash.
Consider Gently Used Pet Accessories
You can get high-quality pet items and accessories on local classified ad websites, garage sale postings or second-hand stores that your pet can use. If you are lucky enough, you can get items for your pet that are barely used and are in perfect condition.
I too have sold some of my pet’s toys I thought he would love when buying. Unfortunately, he didn’t even use them and treated them with disdain. I had no other option but to resell them to another dog parent at a discounted price.
Go for ‘Human Versions’ Instead
New pet parents spend about $500 in the first year and about $100 on pet accessories. Many manufacturers know that pet parents are ready to pay an extra dollar for their beloved pets. Therefore, pet items and accessories are usually priced higher than the similar human version of similar items.
Many human items can be repurposed for pets use. For example, you can use your metallic bowl as your puppy’s water bowl instead of buying an expensive bowl with a cute paw logo that is specifically designed and marketed for pet owners only.
Buy Pet Food in Bulk
Pet parents spend about $800 on pet food annually. It’s always cheaper to buy pet food in bulk and enjoy the discounts that come with bulk buying. If you have a friend who has a pet that eats the same food as yours, perhaps you could buy a larger bag and share it.
Some pet stores give club cards or loyalty discounts to their customers. This may depend on the brand you purchase or it can be on any brand as long as the bag is of a certain size.
When buying food for your pet, spend a few minutes online searching for coupons. Start with the manufacturer’s website. A little price reduction will help save some money.
Do a thorough price check online
Pet toys and accessories can be sometimes cheap on online stores like eBay and Amazon. You will get items like beds, leashes, seat belts, crates and kennels for your pet at a friendly price.
However, you need to factor in shipping costs after making up your mind to purchase online. You could also take advantage of the free shipping given by some online stores when you purchase more than the required quantity.
Never Ignore Routine Vet Check-ups
Some pet parents don’t understand the importance of routine check-ups for their pets. What they don’t know is that it can save them so much money if a health issue is detected and treated early.
Depending on your pet, it costs about $450 annually to take a vet for annual checkups. This is nothing when compared to treating a pet for an ailment that could have been treated in its early stages.
Flea and tick prevention should be done routinely. It only costs about $300 to $450 annually. This will save you unnecessary headaches and expenses if there is a full-blown infestation.
Address Medical Issues Quickly
Pet medical issues should be addressed as soon as they are discovered. When medical issues are allowed to worsen, they cost a lot more to treat or they might get more complicated. Arthritis is a good example of a health condition that if left untreated, would be expensive to manage the pain in the long run.
Dental care is another issue that should not be ignored. Make sure to regularly brush and maintain your pet’s dental hygiene. Should any dental issues occur, make sure to take your pet to your vet for early treatment. Wasting time can lead to complicated surgeries and treatment that will cost a lot.
As a pet parent, make sure that you give your pet a quality diet and exercise them regularly. Senior pets need adequate exercise, too. Always remember that the food you give your pet contributes so much to their health. Obesity in pets is a big contributor to health issues like heart conditions, cancer, hypertension and osteoarthritis – which are expensive to treat.
Consider Having Pet Insurance
Just like us, pets get sick too despite the best care we provide. Having pet insurance is the best way to handle unexpected and inevitable pet bills. The best thing about having pet insurance is that large bills are taken care of. When taking your pet insurance, make sure to get several quotes to get the best plan for your individual pet.
On average, pet parents spend $20 -$60 a month that is not comparable to a medical procedure that cost thousands of dollars. In the long run, having pet insurance will save you more than you could imagine.
You may also choose to ditch pet insurance and ‘self-insure’ by saving the amount you could have used for pet insurance premiums. However, you need to have the discipline to save religiously. The good part? You can use the money saved to buy your pet whatever they may need.
Prepare your Pet’s Food
There is nothing wrong with becoming your pet’s chef. The most important thing is to give them a balanced diet with all the nutrients they need. Pet parents spend about $800 on pet food and treats annually. This amount can be saved if you carefully prepare your pet’s meals and treats.
You can choose to buy a food dehydrator to make your pet’s treats – this will make you put more money up-front, which you will recover in future. If you are not ready to spend money on the dehydrator, you can also dehydrate food in the oven at a low temperature.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
We have so many pets in the shelters and rescue organisations who are waiting to get a forever home. It costs between $0 to $500 to adopt a pet. I know you are wondering why there is an adoption fee, but it covers costs like spaying and neutering, microchipping and cost of vaccination.
Why would you spend a few thousand dollars to buy a pet from a breeder, while you can get a pet at a lower price? The best thing about adopting is that you will save a life and give a deserving animal a forever home.
Taking care of any pet may seem easy. However, it needs dedication, patience and for you to dig into your pocket to provide all the necessary items and medical care they may need. I hope this article will help you cut on your pet’s expenses and still provide the care.
For more information about cutting your pet’s expenses, join our online community through the PetsForever app that is downloadable on Playstore and Appstore. Here, you will be in a position to connect, interact with both pet parents and pet professionals and have all questions about the best way to cut on your pet’s expenses.
- Getting a pet: How much it costs to own a dog or cat. Accessed online April 2020 https://moneysmart.gov.au/getting-a-pet
- 13 Ways to Save Money on Veterinary Bills. Accessed online April 2020 https://www.thesprucepets.com/simple-ways-save-money-on-vet-bills-4088224
- Top reasons to adopt a pet. Accessed online April 2020 https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/top-reasons-adopt-pet
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