Buying a pet is a great idea for many reasons. In addition to the joy that they bring, many studies have shown that pet owners live longer. But before you make the decision to buy, you should first consider the financial implications. Whether or not you own a cat, dog, or some other sort of pet, expenses are going to come up from time to time.
I have owned at least one dog for more than 15 years. Over this time, I have learned a lot about pet care, including how to save money. Here are several tips to keep in mind:
1. Search for pet food coupons. At first, I believed this to be a waste of time. But soon enough I began searching online and realized that coupons were available for pretty much every type of pet food and treat.
Sometimes I save a couple of bucks on a bag of dog food. Other times I find a really great “buy one get one free” coupon. If you search online and through local periodicals, you will eventually find coupons that can help you save money. When added up over the course of a year, it is easy to look back and realize that I have saved hundreds of dollars.
2. Buy pet insurance. When you take your pet to the vet, regardless of the reason, you can expect to pay a lot of money. On the low end, a basic checkup will set you back around $75. If something is wrong with your pet, though, the sky is the limit for how high your bill can soar.
If you buy pet insurance, you are able to offset some or all of these expenses. If you don’t understand how pet insurance works, think about it like this: it is the same as health insurance for humans. There are things that will be covered, things you will have to pay for on your own, deductibles, and out of pocket limits.
3. Shop at the dollar store. This may sound completely crazy, but it is something that saves me a lot of money on a regular basis. I just started shopping at the dollar store for dog-related items last year. I wish I would have thought of this idea sooner. The dog treats are the same as those that you would find at a well known retail or grocery store. Along with this, all of the dog toys cost a dollar. To make this option even more appealing, it seems as if my dog actually enjoys treats and toys from the dollar store more than those that I paid twice as much for.
Don’t feel bad if you have overlooked these three tips. To be honest, I never thought much about them for the first few years of owning a dog. Even if you only consider one of the methods above, it is safe to say that you are going to save a lot of money.
Do you have any other tips on saving money on pet care?
(photo credit: chrissie_un)