We all love our pets. They are our furry family members and most of us would do just about anything for them. Cat, dog, snake, guinea pig, iguana….we love them all and they love us back. This mutual admiration doesn’t mean there are not drawbacks to pet ownership, however. The number one issue for most pet owners is cost. Especially in these tough economic times, we need to cut our costs, and this means even when it comes to our beloved pets.
Luckily there are many things we can do to be economical and still provide everything our pets need. Here are some tips to follow that will help to ease the cost of loving Fluffy or Fido.
Save a Pet
Where possible visit a shelter or a resuce. Adopt an adult pet and save even more money since there won’t be as much cost for vaccinations, and you can probably find one already spayed or neutered.
Get a Cheaper Pet
Usually, smaller is cheaper. This may not be the case with purebred animals, however. If you are intent on getting a purebred, be sure to understand what kind of financial commitment you are making. Otherwise, go for low maintenance animals. Pick a dog or cat that won’t require a lot of professional grooming. Get an animal that you can groom and take care of on your own.
Buy food in bulk and keep it in an airtight container. Don’t scrimp on food. Be sure to buy good quality kibble, but remember that dry is usually cheaper than wet and shop around. Look for and use coupons. Check sites like Offers.com for deals on food, supplies and services for your pet if you’re concerned about the cost.
Also, plan ahead so you don’t ever run out and have to make an emergency trip to the store for food. You will spend more and your pup will have an upset stomach if you end up having to buy whatever you find out there during a late night visit. Unless you ween your dog onto a different brand of food, you’re at risk for making him ill for a few days.
Keep Them Healthy
Save on medical costs by keeping your pets healthy. Keep cats indoors so they are less likely to get hurt or ill. Fence your yard to keep your dog out of the road. Note any changes in routine your animal makes. This can be an early indication of illness and the sooner you catch a medical problem, the better. Look into health insurance for your pet and decide if it is an economical choice for you. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly to prevent dental costs later on – you can even buy something called “greenies” to clean tartar off your dog’s teeth so you don’t have to brush them yourself.
Protect Your Stuff
If your dog acts out when you leave for work and eats your couch, crate him during the day. It will save money on replacing the things in your home, or having to repair your home itself. There’s also a lot of stuff around your house that you want to accidentally feed to your pets – dogs can get into things that can make them sick, such as raisins, onions, etc. Learn to train your cat or dog to stay away from books, DVDs, etc. Well-trained pets are less destructive.
As you can see, my dog loves pop tarts. Guess where she got them from! The trash can. I have to make sure I keep a lid on it, otherwise she could eat the box and end up at the vet… like she did when she chewed up her blanket. Beware.
Follow these tips and you will surely be able to reduce some of your costs. Think economically and shop carefully. And enjoy your furry (or scaley) little family member.
With thanks to Guest Author Elysabeth Teeko