If you have a pet, there’s no doubt you love them like family. You may even consider yourself a parent to your fur baby and count them among your children when people ask how many you have. That’s purrfectly okay with us!
What a lot of new pet owners don’t realize is how expensive it can be. You might think all you have to do is water and feed them, but that’s not exactly the case. If you live in an apartment, you might be charged several hundred dollars and pay extra in rent. Some towns require a yearly tax and regular vaccines.
It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars per year on toys, food, grooming, pet sitters and walkers if you’re out of town, and so much more. It’s totally worth it, but if you’re living on a tight budget, it can be difficult to keep up with everything that goes along with owning a pet.
Here are 6 ways you can lower the cost of pet ownership:
1) Find a Vet that Does Free Initial Exams
There are numerous vets out there that offer free exams as a way of getting new clients in the door. If you need to take your pet in for any reason, you can save money by choosing one of these vets instead of paying the $60 for a visit. It’s not often pet owners have to take their pets in, but in the event it happens, this will save them money.
2) Don’t Get Your Meds from the Vet
Of course, when you do take your vet in to get checked out, they will push a variety of supplements and medications, which they sell at a huge mark-up in price. If it’s a required medication, have the vet write a script instead. Many normal pharmacies, like Walgreens ad Rite-Aid, will offer pet prescriptions savings programs.
3) Look Around for Mobile Clinics
A lot of cities are willing to help control the pet population and keep the animals we do have as healthy as possible. That’s why you might find a place that offers free screenings, free spay and neutering, and extremely cheap vaccinations, flea and heartworm meds, and microchips.
4) Ask a Friend to Pet Sit
You probably do this anyway, but if you know you’re going to be away for awhile and can’t take your furry friend with you, maybe you can drop them off at a friend’s house or with a family member while you’re away. It sure beats having to pay an additional $60+ per night at a kennel.
5) Don’t Buy Brand New Toys
Pets love stuffed animals and toys as much as the kids do, but unlike your kids, the pets won’t know if the toy you gave them is fresh out of the box, nor will they care. Why buy a brand new stuffed animal for $12 when you can browse a garage sale and get several for a quarter?
6) Comparison Shop
Just like when you by groceries for the family, take the time to do a bit of comparison shopping before purchasing things like meds and food for your pet. Amazon might have a great deal over the local pet store. And as we stated earlier, don’t buy your meds at the vet. Save money and look around first.