5 Essential Tips For Owning a Pet on a Budget
Who doesn’t love their pets? Our four legged, feathered and fishy friends become so important to us that it’s easy to spoil them and, if we’re not careful, we find ourselves buried in expensive rubber toys and elaborate climbing furniture. Being a pet owner shouldn’t mean you have to break the bank so don’t buy that rhinestone encrusted pink pooch tutu just yet. Here are some great money saving advice for pet owners.
Health is wealth
As a pet owner, the biggest area with the potential to save money is your pet’s health - which, of course, you don’t want to skimp on. Making sure your pet is happy and healthy will help you to avoid expensive health-related expenses down the line. This means taking Buddy out for his daily walks and actually brushing his teeth - pet dental care is often overlooked but essential. As animals age, dental issues are a leading cause of costly trips to the vet. You’ll still have your pet insurance to pay for, but in the long run, taking proper care of your little loved ones can have a huge impact on money saving.
Choose your pet food wisely
While talking about health, we can’t not mention your pet’s food. Good quality food is one of the single most important decisions you’re going to make as a pet owner and the quality of food can prevent further health costs down the line. Here’s a tip: price doesn’t always equal value in the pet food world, so do your research online. Buying food from online retailers can help you save money, especially if you consider buying food in bulk.
And of course, remember to not overfeed your pets. They may not react as quickly as an overfed goldfish, but it’s still not good for them in the long term.
Become your own gourmet pet chef
An ever-increasing trend is to make your own food for your pet. Many people are feeding their animals home cooked meals of simple proteins. This can be done in bulk and frozen so your pet meals are ready in advance - as long as you’re not squeamish and have the freezer space. Store-bought food can be quite mysterious in origin so cooking for your pet comes with the peace of mind of knowing where your pet’s food is from. If this sounds a little too time-consuming, try using a mix of store-bought and fresh food.
Creating your own homemade pet treats can also be a big saver. The internet is bursting with simple dog treat recipes with as little as three ingredients. Again, these can often be made in bulk and thrown in the freezer.
Play time and dress up
Necessary expenses aside, it’s time to look at some money saving tips for the more fun items. Your Scottish terrier probably doesn’t need a quilted down jacket, especially not in lime green and your cat doesn’t really need those bunny ears either, but if you absolutely must buy the bunny ears, then shop smart - they’ll be on sale the day after Easter. If your chihuahua begs you to buy the boots, buy them in the summer when they are on sale. Impulse buys will be your biggest challenge to overcome.
When it comes to pet toys, a lot of plastic non-biodegradable noise-making mayhem can be avoided for everyone’s sake, including you, especially if your dog tears things to pieces in the first 5 minutes. Sometimes it would simply be better to spend your money elsewhere. Keep an eye on online coupon sales for toys and don’t forget that you can always DIY your own. After all, cats go just as gaga over a bit of extra string than that elaborate fishing pole thing-y. Check out Pinterest for ideas.
Join your local pet owning community
One of the best ways to save money is to get to know other pet owners in your area. This is easily done at a local dog park or online in local forums - it’ll even probably happen naturally. Don’t pay for an expensive pet-sitting service. Instead exchange favors with other animal lovers in town who may need you to look after their furry friend in the future. Talking to other animal lovers can help you stay ahead of sales and discover the more obscure money saving tips. For example, another pet owner may clue you into where you can find those plastic poo bags in bulk!
Having a pet is a great way to increase the quality of your life - you already know that. Coming home after a long day of work to a cuddly creature ready to give you unconditional love is priceless. Oftentimes we want to express our love in material possessions, but like with people, that’s rarely the best way. Shower your pet with love in return. They’ll appreciate your time more than your money. Unlike kids, they aren’t waiting at the door for gifts, just you.
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