Having a pet can improve your mood, calm your mind, and even improve your health. But, as much as we might love our furry friends, they don’t come cheap.
In fact, it’s normal to spend thousands of dollars over the course of your pet’s life on necessities like food, veterinary visits, and grooming.
Pet care can definitely be costly. But, luckily, there are also lots of steps you can take to make it less of a financial burden, even when you’re struggling to make ends meet.
Listed below are some tips that will help you take care of your pet while sticking to a strict budget.
Prevent Accidents as Much as Possible
When money is tight, the last thing you need is for your pet to sustain an injury or get in an accident. You can’t fully prevent injuries and accidents, but you can still reduce the likelihood that they’ll happen.
Some steps you can take to prevent accidents include:
- Don’t let your pet outside unsupervised
- Keep your dog on a leash during walks
- Throw away toxic items (cleaning supplies, personal care products, etc.) or keep them out of your pet’s reach
Simple strategies like these can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your pet safe and out of trouble.
Take Care of Your Pet with Preventative Medicine
If funds are running low, it’s tempting to skip out on vet visits.
It might make sense initially to skip these visits and avoid the bills. But, what are you going to do if your pet gets sick because they weren’t vaccinated on time or missed their yearly check-up?
Remember, as with humans, it’s almost always cheaper to pay for preventative medicine for your pets. Keep up with these visits so your pet can stay healthy and happy.
Don’t be Afraid to DIY
There are certain things you can’t do for your pet (vaccinations, exams, etc.). But, there are lots of things you can do on your own, including grooming.
Pet grooming is expensive, and you can save a lot of money by investing in a pair of clippers and doing the work yourself.
It takes more time, of course, and some pets are easier to groom than others. But, many people find that the extra effort is worth it if it saves them some cash.
Whether you’re looking for vet care, prescriptions, or pet food, be sure to compare prices before you settle on a particular product or provider.
There can be a quite a bit of variance between different vet clinics and pet supply stores. Don’t just settle for the first one you see and assume that all prices are the same.
Keep Your Pet Active
Another way to save money on pet care is to make sure your pet stays active.
By maintaining a healthy activity level, your pet is less likely to put on extra weight and develop chronic illnesses like diabetes or arthritis.
Take your dog for regular walks, or get on the floor and play with your cats during the day. Remember, your pets are just like you. They need regular exercise to stay healthy.
Get Generic Medications
If your pet already requires prescription medications, ask your vet if there is a generic version that is less expensive. Don’t be afraid to compare pharmacy prices, too.
You can purchase many pet medications from the same pharmacy where you purchase your own medications, and they’re often quite a bit cheaper than what your vet charges.
Be wary of buying pet medications online, though. They might be cheaper, but it’s harder to guarantee that you’re actually getting what your pet needs.
Invest in Pet Insurance
It’s true that pet insurance is an additional expense. But, it’s an additional expense that can save you a ton of money later on, especially if your pet gets in an accident or develops a health condition and needs emergency treatment.
In addition to pet insurance, you can also look into companies that help you get discounts on pet care (both routine and emergency).
Check out this website to learn about how you can save money on all kinds of veterinary services.
Prioritize Food Quality
It’s tempting to buy the cheapest pet food possible, especially when you’re working with a limited budget.
The truth, though, is that cheap, low-quality pet food can increase your pet’s risk of experiencing health problems later on.
If you pay for quality food now, you’re less likely to deal with a sick or overweight pet later.
If you can’t afford higher quality pet food, consider making it yourself. This is a great way to save money and maintain control over what your pet eats.
Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered
Having your pet spayed or neutered isn’t cheap. But, it’s cheaper than having multiple pets to house and feed, right?
Getting your pet spayed or neutered can also protect them from other health problems, especially hormonal issues, later on.
Save Money on Pet Sitting
Finally, if you’re struggling to pay the bills, don’t spend extra money on pet sitting or boarding.
If you travel for work or can’t leave your pet home alone during the day, look for free or low-cost alternatives.
Ask friends or family to look after them, or consider swapping pet sitting in exchange for help with another chore.
If your only option is to board your pet or take them to daycare, be sure to compare prices. And, don’t be afraid to ask for deals or look for discounts online.
Need More Money-Saving Tips?
Keep these guidelines in mind and you’ll find that it’s not so difficult to take care of your pet on a budget.
If your financial situation has changed recently, you’re probably noticing a need to cut back on more than just pet care. If you need help adhering to a budget in other areas of your life, we’ve got you covered.
Check out the business and finance section of our site today for lots of great advice on sticking to a budget and saving money when you’re strapped for cash.