Providing affordable pet care for your furry friend can be easily achieved with just a little forethought and with your frugal hat on. It really is possible to have a frugal pet with regards to providing everything they need on a budget.
I have owned a pet all of my adult life and generally I have done it without having to dig deep into my pockets. Of course it would have been nieve of me to think I could own a pet without incurring additional costs and so it was important that I included an extra column in my budget for pet costs.
Well you never know and I wanted to make sure that I could provide the best care I could for my pet.
Working out what possible costs to include in my budget for my pets needs was simply a case of sitting down and working out some simple costings. Your list should include:
The initial cost of the pet - this will depend on whether you are buying from a breeder, a pet store or re-homing an animal from a pet shelter.
Generally, getting your pet from an animal shelter is the best option in the long run as they often will have already neutered and vaccinated the pet before re-homing and so these are not something you will have to pay out for initially on top of your purchase price.
You will also know that the animal is healthy, whereas you could end up with some nasty unexpected vets bills if you are unlucky enough to buy from a unscrupulous breeder.
A frugal pet owner will want to insure their pet. The last thing you will want to happen is to face the awful dilemma of having to give your pet away because you cannot afford to pay for medications and treatments.
Yes it may mean a small premium every month to pay but in the long run, if expensive medical treatment is required you will pat yourself on the back for being so prudent.
I know from personal experience that insurance can save you thousands of pounds/dollars. My own cat has had to have several major operations during her lifetime and I just don't know how I would have paid for them if it wasn't for my insurance covering most of the costs. Believe me it really is worth the extra monthly expense and will provide lifelong affordable pet care.
Vaccinations and general health care - Pets will require yearly treatment for fleas, worms and protection from serious illnesses, such as flu or enteritis depending on the pet.
Don't bother buying the cheap spot on flea treatments from the supermarkets, they are a waste of money and don't do the job. Instead buy the flea treatments in bulk online, often discounts are given when you buy more than one. Your vet will be able to tell you which flea treatments work best. See this flea treatment page for more on effective flea treatments and why it is so important.
These treatments should be taken into account on your affordable pet care frugal budget plan. This way you will always be able to provide the care your pet will need when they need it. You can check out the offers at online pet stores, which can help you out for quality medication and ensure your pets health, often at a reduce cost.
As a general rule feeding an average sized dog will cost around $218 and a cat around $188 a year. Never budget for the cheapest food either, all this will do is to possibly lead to vets bills if the pet becomes ill due to poor quality food.
I always go for the middle range of food brands, that way I know my pet is receiving good food but I am not being stung by the pet food industry for their fancy and often over priced ) premium ranges.
Extras - Grooming costs, vacation kenneling and any other day-to-day items such as bedding and toys. This might not seem like a lot but over the years it could mount up.
This is especially true if you intend to keep a cat indoors all the time, as it is important to keep their environment interesting and stimulating to prevent, weight gain, boredom leading to destructive behavior and even possibly ill health.
Cat climbers, scratching posts etc. are not necessarily cheap and unless you are a dab hand at DIY and can build your own cat gym, then the costs can soon mount up. Providing this sort of affordable pet care is possible on a frugal budget, a little bit of shopping around will always provide dividends.
Once all of these costs are realized this will help you to decide whether or not you will be able to provide affordable pet care or not. If not then getting a pet may have to be put off till later.
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