These days we are all on tighter budgets. We are spending less and saving more. We are constantly on the lookout for great deals, various ways to not overspend and counting our pennies. One area that can get quite expensive are our pets. Beyond the initial fees for a pet, including shots and all that jazz, the cost of a pet can add up pretty fast. It seems like there are a million things they need: food, toys, dishes, bedding, litter boxes, trips to the vet, dog walkers, the whole nine yards and then some.
Fortunately, we don’t have to get rid of our furry friends to save. Instead, we can cut back in a few different ways to keep our wallets from shrinking. Here are some basic tips and tricks to staying within budget with your pet(s):
1. Get rid of the dog walker: If you are paying someone to walk your dog because you may not have time, forget it. It is not worth the price. Instead, carve a few extra minutes into your day (which is probably more possible than you think) to take your dog on those necessary walks. Not only are you saving money, but it allows you to spend quality time with your pet, while getting some fresh air and exercise for yourself. Grab the leash, your tennis shoes and get going. Or better yet, assign your kids the responsibility of walking the dog. If you are going out of town, don’t leave your pet at the kennel; it can get pricey. Ask a family member or trusted neighbor to watch them. If your neighbor has a pet, make a pet exchange rather than money. You can watch their pet while your neighbor is on vacation and vice-versa.
2. Trips to the Vet: While there are trips to the vet that are necessary, when it comes to additional visits, consider the human model: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Just like humans, we can avoid having those extra visits to the vet by staying healthy. Regular exercise and healthy eating go a long way with your furry friends. There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your furry friend’s lifestyle – whether that is a trip to the dog park to play a game of fetch, long walks or playtime with the family. For cats, you can even make them home-made toys, saving money. And always look for the healthier choice in pet food. While at first it may be a bit more expensive, it will pay off in the long run. In addition, don’t overload your pet’s dish. A lot of the food will most likely go to waste, requiring you to buy food more frequently than necessary.
3. As always, when you are shopping for dog food, toys, etc., be on the constant lookout for deals. Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. When you purchase pet food and similar items, buying in bulk will save you more money long term. This reduces the number of purchases you have to make over time. For grooming, Petdoc.com suggests to “take on the grooming” yourself. Instead of having the vet or a dog salon pamper your pooch, invest a certain amount of money into a quality pair of nail trimmers, brush, shampoo, etc. Follow this guide on how to easily and cheaply groom your dog. Again, this will allow you to save more money over a period of time (similar to making your own coffee at home, instead of spending four bucks a day on a latte).
These are just a few simple ideas to help you save. All in all, you can keep your pet happy and healthy without blowing your budget.