Save Money on Caring for a New Pet
Having a new pet join the family is always exciting. If you recently had a new cat or dog come into your household, you’re probably figuring out they can be expensive additions to the budget. After all, as members of the family, you want to provide the best in care and comfort to your new friend. But you don’t have to bust your budget to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Here’s how to save on caring for your new pet:
Feed Premium Pet Food — This might seem counterintuitive, since premium food will be more expensive. However, spending a little more on food every month is going to pay off in the long run. Providing high-quality food will help your pet stay healthier and avoid potentially costly health issues such as allergies or obesity. If you’re not sure what to look for, ask your vet, breeder, or the rescue where you found your pet to recommend a premium food.
Avoid “People” Food — It’s only natural to want to share a taste of whatever delicious food you’re enjoying with your pet. However, this can lead to costly health issues. Many foods we love, such as grapes, onions and chocolate (to name just a few), are downright dangerous for pets. Plus, even safe foods can cause upset stomachs. Your pet will be healthier and happier — and you’ll spend less time and money at the vet — if you stick to pet food and treats only.
Learn to DIY — You can spend big bucks at the groomer to get your furry friend looking fly. Or, you can learn to do it yourself. Learning to give your pet a bath, clip its nails, brush its teeth and clean its ears will save you a lot of money. In fact, routinely brushing your short-haired dog and providing a quick wipe down with baby wipes will eliminate the need for too-frequent baths; once every few months should do. Long-haired pets may still require the assistance of a professional groomer to keep their coats and skin in top shape, but ask around for affordable recommendations before going to the most expensive pet spa in town.
Take it Easy on Toys — You know how kids can get a super-cool toy and end up having more fun playing with the box it came in? Pets can be like that, too. Before you go crazy buying every cute toy you see in the pet store, take some time to figure out what types of toys your pet enjoys. Some love squeakers, others love snuggly stuffed toys and there are very few dogs who will say no to a tennis ball. Not surprisingly, cats can be selective about their toys, too. Figure out what your kitty loves and then buy a few so you’ll always have a back-up on hand. Be sure to check toys regularly for signs of wear. Replace them if they have any holes, loose or missing parts to avoid choking hazards and intestinal problems that can result from swallowing fabric, stuffing or squeakers.
Stay Current on Vaccinations — Staying current on your pet’s required vaccines will help them maintain good health by preventing many costly-to-treat diseases. A yearly vet visit and regular preventive care will help catch any health issues early, which will cut down on treatment costs. Other preventive care, such as having your pet’s teeth cleaned regularly, will help minimize expensive health issues in the years to come.