Pets. We love and adore them, but sometimes pet care costs can really destroy your budget – fast!
Most people when deciding to buy a pet don’t think about the day to day costs associated with pet ownership, instead they focus on the up front cost of purchasing the pet and then only start to realise how much they cost when things like food and pet accessories start to be required.
We have a dog in our family, his name is Ricky (pictured). I don’t really see him as “just a pet”, rather I think of him as a furry member of the family who happens to bark a lot. Despite my love of our furry friend, there are a number of costs associated with having him in our life. Just this month he has cost us $494.50, which was WAY over the any budgeted amount we had for him in any 1 month.This is how we spent that money:
- $365.10 – Vet Bill
- $13 – Urine Test
- $7.40 – Medication
- $99 Dog Food
- $10 New Dog Bed
As you can see from the list above, the main cost this month was a giant vet bill. Unfortunately Ricky got sick in May and he needed to visit the vet on a couple of occasions (one of the times he got to stay overnight). Vet visits aren’t cheap, but when you become a pet owner you take on your pets health and well being – that includes vet visits, medication and the costs associated with that.
You might also look at the list and think that $99 is a lot to spend on dog food, and it is. We have to buy specific dog food for Ricky because he has a sensitive stomach. Again, this is just one of those things you discover after owning a pet for a while, there was no way we could have known this when we adopted him. We do however buy his food in bulk, which means that the food should last him close to 2 months.
The $10 we spent on a new dog bed was because Ricky destroyed his old one. He got a little bit excited and chewed through his old one, leaving chunks of cushion fluff all around the room. Now this isn’t something that Ricky would normally do and that bed was probably over a year old, but it did happen and it was yet another cost we had to cover this last month.
How to Save Money on Pet Care
So how can you save money on pet care? We’ll you can not buy a pet in the first place. This really is the cheapest option in the long run, but if you love your furry friends as much as I do, then realistically this just isn’t a good option.
Here are my top tips for keeping your pet care costs down:
- Investigate pet insurance – If you are worried about a big cost associated with your pet (it does happen) then pet insurance is one way to cover the cost.
- Keep your furry friend fit and well exercised
- Select an appropriate pet – Things like fish, rodents and birds cost a lot less than cats and dogs.
- Don’t overfeed your pet
- If you have a dog like mine that chews through toys at an alarming rate then be sure to get super tough toys that will last
- Be sure to keep up with any regular medications like worming tablets for dogs
Even if you follow all of the best advice on reducing pet care costs, there is the chance that you will have horror months like we just had. These things happen and there isn’t a lot you can do about it, just make sure that you budget accordingly for your pet and that you have enough to cover emergencies.