For all the emotional rewards that raising a pet come with, it can get expensive. From food and healthcare for your pet to toys, supplies, dog walkers and transportation, the costs can add up. In Britain, where the cost of raising a pet is similar to what it is in the US, pet insurance company Sainsbury’s Bank estimates in research that the lifetime cost of upkeep for a dog or cat is likely to be $18,000, assuming that the pet lives for 10 years.
When you have children and a retirement fund to think about, you might end up wondering if you need a pet at all. You don’t have to do anything that drastic, though – you can simply find out ways to do everything cheaply.
Feed your pet quality food, but make sure that you still save
Pet food can be expensive. This doesn’t mean that you should get one of the cheaper brands, though. Cutting back on quality food can tell on your dog’s health. You’ll only end up paying much more at the vet’s. What you should do is to pick top-shelf pet food but use your shopping smarts to find ways to get discounts.
The easiest way is to go with Sumo Coupon or another reliable source of coupons for pet supplies. You can practice extreme couponing too by using your coupons when there’s a sale on. You can double your discounts this way. Extreme couponing can work for toys, equipment and other supplies too.
Ask your vet for discounts on medications
Whether you need to buy pet medication for fleas or a heartworm problem, you can directly buy from your vet. You can even talk to your vet about your need for discounts. The vet will probably give you a few ideas that work for your location.
Learn how to groom your pet yourself
Whether it’s trimming your pet’s hair, clipping its nails or giving it a bath, getting it professionally done can cost plenty. You can learn these skills on your own and save.
Don’t buy new equipment
A heavy-duty 4-foot puppy playpen can cost as much as $400. If you live in an apartment and need a treadmill to help your pet get some exercise, it can cost hundreds. Rather than buy such expensive equipment new, you can buy used. You can usually shave half or more off the cost of the equipment you buy.
Rather than buying pet insurance, consider self-insuring
Pet insurance can be expensive and also difficult to deal with. These policies are often too complex to understand. Consumer forums are often full of complaints calling for pet health insurance reform. Rather than pay an insurer for a healthcare fund, you can start a fund on your own. You can start putting by money starting the day you get your pet. You’ll never have to worry about whether the insurance company will pay up. If your dog turns out to be healthy, you get to keep your money.
Russell Matthews loves his current career as stay-at-home dad with his twin girls. When not braiding hair or walking the dogs, he greatly enjoys researching budget ideas and home management techniques.