National Pet Day
Posted by Christy Karr on Apr 11, 2020
If you’ve always wanted a pet but thought you couldn’t afford to care for one, you might be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a pet, even on a small budget. Vet care is often expensive, as is feeding your pet. However, you can often reduce or eliminate some higher costs of pet ownership. Celebrate your pets or get a dog or cat on National Pet Day if you can fit its care into your budget. Not only will you enjoy caring for your pet, but you’ll notice that your stress and anxiety levels will decrease.
Many people bring their pets to a groomer for basic care. Save on this expense by grooming your pet yourself. If you are not sure how to cut nails, ask a veterinarian to show you when you bring your pet in for its shots. Brushing your pet daily reduces stress. Bathe your pet as needed to keep odors down. Also, learn to brush your pet’s teeth as needed.
Don’t Go Looking for Trouble
Many vet visits — other than shots and yearly physicals — are because pets get into anything and everything and are often hurt. You can minimize these incidents by keeping your pet inside. When your pet needs to go out, keep it on a leash. Always supervise your pet with toys, especially those that your pet chews — you don’t want it swallowing something that will cause a blockage.
As with anything else, shop around for goods and services. Some veterinarians are less expensive than others. Of course, be sure the vet you choose has a good reputation. You can also shop around for appropriate pet toys and make your own. Many dogs and cats are perfectly happy with an empty box or, for dogs, standard tennis balls, which are less expensive than tennis balls made for dogs.
Quality pet foods are expensive. Look for the least expensive quality food you can find. For those who prefer feeding a raw diet, look for sales on chicken, inexpensive cuts of beef and pork and other proteins. Ethnic stores often have the much-needed liver, beef heart, kidneys and chicken gizzards for less than you can find them in grocery stores. You can often feed a raw diet — if you know how to shop — for much less than feeding quality pet foods.
If your pet needs medications, ask for generic brands. Often, animals use medications, such as antibiotics and allergy drugs that are the same as humans. Ask your vet for human prescriptions — they are significantly less expensive than the same drug made for pets.
Add an emergency fund to your budget and don’t touch it. Should your pet have an emergency, you’ll have some cash set aside. You might also get pet health insurance for emergencies.