Pet owners across the country know that having an animal at home isn’t always wallet-friendly. There are added expenses related to food, medical care, and more — and that’s when they’re healthy. If your dog or cat is older, has special medical needs, or gets injured, it can cost you even more money. However, caring for your pet doesn’t have to put a burden on your budget. Here are some helpful ways to lower your overall lifetime care costs.
Choose the Right Animal for Your Lifestyle
If you’ve yet to adopt your new friend, take some time to evaluate your lifestyle before you take the plunge. If you have allergies, for example, Nylabone suggests low-shedding breeds. The site cautions, however, that hypoallergenic dogs do not exist. If you are sensitive to saliva, you may wish to get a cat, as they are likely going to lick less frequently than a dog. A quality vacuum cleaner can also help keep allergies at bay, but check prices and capabilities before you buy since these can vary wildly, even within the same brand.
Another aspect of your lifestyle that you should consider is whether you are active and have time to care for your pet. If you’re more of a couch potato, consider adopting an older dog, which will be much calmer than a puppy and may acclimate to your home faster. By picking a pet that suits your lifestyle, will save money on pet-sitting costs, and in the case of allergies, you won’t be on the hook for extra grooming for your pet and antihistamines for you.
Stock Up When You Can
Your pet will rely on you for everything from food and shelter to treats and toys. Target is one of the best stores for buying pet supplies since the store prioritizes value. The bullseye carries everything you need for the most common types of domestic animal, including leashes, collars, and many different dental care products.
There are many ways to save at Target. One option is to download the retailer’s Cartwheel app for instant access to discounts and coupons in store. A more efficient idea is to look for Target promo codes and order online. This will keep you from making expensive impulse purchases since items can be delivered or you can pick up without perusing the aisles.
DIY Their Domain
Getting your home ready for a new pet takes time and money. You can save some of the latter by putting in a bit more of the former. For example, if your yard is not fenced, you can do this yourself for less than $1,000 depending on how much fencing you need and where you live. Professional fencing installation can cost two to three times that amount. If you plan to put in a pet door, you have two options: purchase an entire door with a pet entrance built in or modify an existing door to accommodate an insert. If you don’t have the tools to cut a hole in the existing door, buying the entire setup may be a cost-effective option when you consider tool rental costs.
Invest in Their Health
Putting your dog or cat’s health first can save you the most money. The American Kennel Club explains that puppies need several vaccinations to prevent potentially fatal diseases such as canine distemper and rabies. Check with your veterinarian for pricing, but keep in mind that many pet stores also offer vaccinations, and these retailers often advertise discounts your veterinarian can’t since they buy the vaccinations in bulk.
Also, consider buying pet insurance when your dog is young and opt for an annual premium payment. Not only will you enjoy lower rates, but you will also be financially protected in case your cat or dog develops a chronic health condition later on.
There are many reasons why a pet will enhance your life, but as with all luxuries, you have to pay for the privilege. Don’t spend more than you have to, look for discounts where you can, and invest in the things that will save you money later, such as quality food and your pet’s health.
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