Owning a pet requires a big financial investment. Fifteen percent of pet owners admit to spending more than $100 per month on their pet and the annual cost of owning a dog is anywhere from $700 to $1,500 and up.
So if you’re considering adding a new pet to the household, make sure you can afford it.
Here are a few ways to save on pet expenses:
1. Set a budget
When you’re budgeting your monthly expenses, make sure to set aside money for your furry friend. Make sure to include costs for things like food, treats, flea medication, heartworm medication, yearly vaccines and checkups. Emergencies and trips to the vet are bound to happen as well, so set aside a little extra per month to cover you when these things come up.
2. Understand the set-up costs
The actual cost of the animal is only a small portion of what you’ll need to spend up front. You will likely need to buy all the equipment (crates, play toys, leashes), the first month of food and pay for any vaccines and vet visits up front. These add up so know exactly how much you’ll be spending before you pick up your new friend.
3. Compare boarding prices
Once you own a pet, leaving town or being gone all day suddenly becomes more difficult to do. Your pet might need to be let out, maintain exercise or just need food and water while you’re gone. Look into boarding options and compare prices when you need to book a stay. Rover.com or dogvacay.com are great resources for pairing people with pet sitters who operate out of their own homes or are willing to come to your home as well.
4. Save money at the vet
If your pet needs a procedure, or anything done at the vet, book the appointment first thing in the morning that way you don’t risk an overnight stay (also known as extra boarding expenses!). Make sure to ask your vet for discounts on procedures or even generic medications. Talk about which vaccines are necessary to understand exactly what you’re paying for. A lot of medications are available at local pharmacies for less than the vet as well, so shop around for meds. Check GoodRX, LowestMed and your neighborhood pharmacy for competitive prices.
5. Save on grooming
Bathing your pet and brushing their hair, fur or teeth regularly can do a lot to keep them healthy. These are all cheap things to keep up with that will save you money in the long run. Even trimming your pet’s hair in between grooming sessions can make the haircut last longer. When it is time for a groom check out Groupon for local deals and coupons.
Feature Image: Adam Katz Sinding/Le 21ème
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