New Cat or Dog? Save Money on Pet Costs With These 5 Tips

by Connie Mei · 1 comment

If you have a pet, you definitely know how much love and joy they can bring into a household. They truly are a man’s best friend. But these furry friends can also be very expensive.

According to the ASPCA, the average cost of a small dog in it’s first year is a whopping $3,221. A cat is less expensive at $1,904, but that’s still a considerable amount.

We recently added a little kitten to our family and spent $200 on our first vet visit! There were many more visits after that, not to mention all the vaccinations and spaying that were required.

Costs can add up quickly, especially if your pets have medical emergencies, but with a little careful planning you can still enjoy having them, while spending a little less. Here are 5 ways to save money on your pets.

Check Out the ASPCA

If you are looking to add a pet to your family, adopting is a great way to go. First and foremost, you can give a homeless pet a loving home. It’s also much cheaper. Adoption fees are minimal, plus pets will already have all their vaccinations.

If you already have a pet but are looking for a cheaper alternative to a vet, most ASPCAs also offer low-cost clinics on a weekly basis that are open to the general public.

While they do not offer a full range of veterinary services, they do provide most vaccinations and medical tests at a lower cost. This should help lower your expenses for your pet significantly in their first year.

Speak to a Few Different Vets

When it comes to choosing the right vet for your pet, make sure you shop around. Call at least 2 or 3 veterinary offices in your area and inquire about general checkup costs as well as emergency services.

Picking the right vet is a very personal decision so ask around your community for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to switch vets if you feel like your pet doesn’t like the current one, or if they’re charging you too much for visits or medicine.

Buy Good Quality Pet Food

Even though this might seem contrary to everything else in this article, it’s actually a great idea to invest in good quality pet food. Even though you’re paying a little more upfront, better food equates to better health for your pets, and this means less expensive trips to the vet.

Your pet is like family, so treat them like family with preventative health care, which starts with a good diet and frequent exercise.

Use Toys Around Your House

Stop spending money on expensive pet toys! Yes, your pets will love whatever you buy them but they will love a cardboard box just as much.

You can easily find toys around your house that will occupy your pet for hours at a time. Additionally, check out local yard sales or consignment shops that have discounted toys in great condition. Just be careful what you give them, especially if it contains small parts.

Get Your Pet Neutered/Spayed

You never know when your pet might get loose, meet a friend and have a litter of puppies or kittens. Even though they’re cute, you’ll end up having to feed a whole litter of new pets for at least a few weeks until you can find them a new home.

Save yourself the trouble, time, and money and get your pet neutered or spayed. It’s also the responsible thing to do as a pet owner to help curb the pet population.

Pets are without a doubt one of the best investments a household can make. Even though you’ll have to inevitably spend money on them, most pet owners will tell you that it’s well worth it.

Do you have a pet? How do you save money on high vet bills and food costs?

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  • I am Frugal says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on adopting, buying quality food and spaying/neutering! All so important. We adopted our greyhound, Frugal Hound, almost 3 years ago and she’s such a wonderful part of our family. She costs about $930 per year, but is well worth the expense.

    We save money by doing all of her grooming ourselves–brushing her teeth, clipping her nails, bathing her, etc. And, we don’t hire a dog walker or board her at a kennel ever. But, just her food, preventative medications, and regular check-ups all add up. Pets are not cheap!

    I think it’s crucial for people to realize that getting a pet is a huge long-term financial and lifestyle decision. Pets are wholly dependent on us to care for them and we can’t let them down!

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