If you were to look at the average American household, chances are good that you might find an animal living somewhere amongst the humans in the home. Pets are an extremely prevalent part of Western society, for a number of different reasons. They are often full of personality and act as excellent companions to many of us. Sometimes, talking to your dog or cat can sometimes feel more productive than talking to other human beings!
But while pets encompass all of these wonderful qualities, they can also be a big commitment. This commitment comes not only in the form of time and care, but also in money. No matter in which light you look at the issue, pets are expensive. Even if they have a low base cost, maintaining them often has unanticipated costs throughout the pet’s life. This article will teach you more about these pet costs, and how you can effectively save up for one today.
Why the Type of Pet Matters
Besides choosing the kind of pet that is right for your family and living conditions, there are plenty of other reasons to be cautious when pet shopping. It is obvious that different pets have different price tags, but they also have unique personalities and needs. One correlation that is easy to make is that the more attention a pet needs, the more expensive their needs generally are.
For example, look at pet fish. As relatively simple animals, fish need very little in order to survive and live a happy life. In total, you may get them a roomy tank, some rocks and plants and some fish food to sprinkle into the water. Besides cleaning their tank every once in a while, that’s all that it takes to be a responsible fish owner!
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However, dogs are on the opposite side of that spectrum. Not only do dogs need food and water, but they also need lots and lots of attention. Dogs are much more emotive animals than fish, and it is easy to see how a dog is feeling just by looking at their body language. They need to play, run around, be taken on walks to relieve themselves, be trained and given treats and so much more. Keep in mind your family’s daily and weekly schedules is crucial when getting a pet, so that you can be sure that they are properly cared for.
Saving Money to Get a New Pet
Once you are finally ready to bring a pet into your home, you have an important preparation to make. Namely, how much is the animal going to cost? While the price tag is not everything that goes into an animal’s cost, as discussed below, it is sometimes a big hurdle to get over. One great tip is to try to get an animal from a local shelter, which usually lets responsible adults adopt a pet for little to no cost. But if the animal you want is a little more expensive, try to save up some money in easy and responsible ways. Put aside a little bit of money each pay period, and don’t touch it until you are ready to buy your pet. Do not go too crazy with buying lots of toys and accessories for your pet before you are sure that they actually like them. By thinking rationally about your future pet, you can get them into your happy home in no time.
What are the different costs that a pet can have?
While you are saving money in advance of getting a pet, it is critical to not just think of the animal’s price tag. Sure, the initial price is one of the more obvious costs to owning a pet. However, there are also many more that you need to be aware of and save up for. Of course, not all of these costs will apply to every pet and every situation. Tese are some of the many different costs you should prepare for anyways:
- Their food. What will your pet eat? You will need a lot of it for the time in which they are living in your home! While you shouldn’t get all of it at once, stocking up on at least a few month’s worth and leaving it in a dry environment away from bugs is a smart move.
- Their medical costs. Going to the vet can be expensive, so keeping up with their health is a very important action to take. You can also get pet insurance to protect them even further.
- Their accessories. Certain animals such as hamsters need wheels to run in, while other animals such as lizards might need a heat lamp to be comfortable. Be aware of what your pet needs before you actually go and buy the animal!
These costs can sometimes feel overwhelming, but don’t panic! Tackling the costs of owning a pet one at a time can make the numbers seem less scary. Plus, there are many things that you can do to save money once you have finally made the big purchase!
Tips on Saving Money after Buying a Pet
Being a smart and savvy pet owner can be a challenge, but it’s worth it if you can save hundreds of dollars by changing a few habits that you may have picked up along the way. Some great ways to save money as a pet owner include the following:
- Make your own toys, and be creative. Pet toys can be one of the biggest money-sinks that pet owners can experience. Many dogs chew up their toys, and animals like cats sometimes don’t even like them at all. By giving your dog a rope to tug on or your cat some yarn tied to a ruler, you can save lots of money on expensive toys.
- Don’t go to an expensive groomer. While it can be tempting to drop your dog off at the groomer and come back to a freshly shaved pup, it can also be expensive. Give your pet a bath, brush them and learn how to give them a trim yourself. You will be happy with the results!
- Get a friend to pet-sit. On the same train of thought, taking your pet to a kennel while you are on vacation can be a huge investment. Instead, ask a friend or family member to stay at your house for food or cash. It will be cheaper, and your pet will be much happier staying in their safe environment!
Your pet is a beautiful part of your family, and should get the love and attention it deserves. However, making sure that you are not over-pampering them is also a difficult pill to swallow. Pet ownership should be a big part of your life, but there is no need to make it more expensive or time-consuming than it really needs to be. Once you can make some of these simple tips work for you, you might be surprised just how much money you can save by not changing all that much!
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By Jennifer Symonds –