Dog is a man’s best friend, and cats make wonderful companions, too, but sometimes our favorite furry friends can be a real drain on our finances. Here’s how to cut the costs associated with pet ownership!
Make Your Own Food
Decent commercial dog and cat foods can run up the grocery bill by as much as $90. Why not look into making their food all on your own with ingredients already in your kitchen? There are tons of pet food recipes online, and the ingredients are easier to squeeze into your monthly grocery budget than a heavy bag of kibble. Plus, by becoming your companion’s personal chef, you will have the added advantage of knowing everything your fuzzy pal is eating!
It is important to consult a professional before making drastic changes to your pet’s diet. Not all pet food recipes are for all pets, and your animal may have specific dietary needs that would need to be addressed (caloric intake, vitamin and mineral needs, wheat allergies, etc). Find a recipe that you would like to use and that you think would work for you and your animal, print the recipe, or e-mail it to your pet’s healthcare provider. He or she should be able to tell you whether it will be a good fit or what adjustments would need to be made.
- Split The (Veterinary) Bill The ASPCA can help you find pet insurance. With a proper health insurance plan, you can get reimbursed for veterinary visits. These plans help with preventive care like dental cleanings, vaccines, health screenings, and more. They also cover advanced care like congenital diseases or behavioral health issues. The way most of these plans work is similar to a rebate system: you pay your vet bill, then you submit your claim, and your pet’s health insurance will reimburse you for the covered amount. Many insurance companies that provide car insurance or renters’ insurance are beginning to adopt pet insurance policies as well, so you may be able to bundle and save. Explore several plans to find the best option for you!
- Employ Your Pet
Your pet may be able to help pull their own weight. There are plenty of ways to put your pet to work for an honest paycheck. One great way for you and your dog to earn extra money, spend time together, exercise, and socialize is by dog walking for other pooches who live near you. You may be the one holding the leash, but your dog will be contributing by providing company to the canines in your care!
Additionally, many dog shows and talent competitions have a cash payout, and others have rewards like gift cards to a local pet store. There may even be a chance at stardom in your pet’s future! Ask around your social circles to see if anyone knows someone who is trying to become a “YouTuber”. Those making an attempt at becoming an internet sensation may be willing to employ your pet in their videos or even lend their services as a cameraman or video editor if your pet is more of a one-animal show star. Some dogs and cats have been able to pull in money by being featured in commercials, which can sometimes pay up to $1,000 for one shooting!
Ditch the Groomer
If you employ a groomer to bathe your dog and trim their nails, consider taking on some of these grooming responsibilities. Memory foam bath mats or an easy kneeler can make bath time easier on joints and bones.
There are several devices, one of the more popular being the PediPaw, that help to make nail trimming less of a battle. Grinding down the claws of a dog or cat can be much less expensive than a cut by the groomer, and it can be much less painful for your pet.
rushing is a great way to bond with your pet while you lounge on the couch or chair and watch your favorite show. If you have a long-haired breed, go to the library for a book or go to a breed-specific website, and research how their coats need to be trimmed. You may find that with some practice, this could also be a task you take on.
- When Affordability Isn’t an Option
It is an unfortunate truth that sometimes, no matter how many coupons we use or how much money-maneuvering we do, we simply can no longer provide our pets with a good quality of life. In these situations, it is best to have a Plan B in place. Ask a neighbor or family member if they would be willing to adopt your pet. This way, you and your pet can still visit one another from time to time.
Another option would be to look for rehoming resources in your area. Many animal shelters have a senior pet program matching other senior citizens with their perfect animal companion. Your pet could make a difference in another person’s life, and they could continue to be loved by someone who needs them.