Becoming a pet owner is as tempting as it’s ever been. Shelter in place orders have brought an increase in animal adoptions, with people turning to pets to keep them company.
If you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family, it’s important to know whether you can afford it first. As rewarding as owning a pet is, it can also be expensive. The toys, food, beds, healthcare and unexpected expenses all add up very quickly.
But before you rule it out altogether, understand that becoming a pet owner doesn’t have to put a damper on your wallet. With preparation, maintenance and some added attention to your spending, you too can afford a pet.
6 Ways to Become a Pet Owner and Save Money
Don’t let the stress on your finances affect your decision to own a pet. Follow these six pieces of advice and learn the ways in which you can save.
Adopt don’t shop
You can start saving money from the very moment that you make a new addition to your family. Adopting pets is not only less expensive than buying them from a breeder, but it’s overall a more responsible decision.
The benefits of adopting could fill this page. By adopting a pet from a shelter you’re saving a life. In addition, shelters can often provide you with behavioral information, especially for pets that have been living there for a while.
Cost wise, the average price of adopting a dog or cat from a shelter ranges between $25 to $150. Shelters also frequently host adoption events where prices are discounted or free altogether.
Groom at home
Grooming your pet doesn’t always require you to hire a professional. Just like with your pet’s healthcare, it’s all about the upkeep.
For dogs, grooming needs vary based on breed and lifestyle. Short haired dogs that spend most of their days inside may need to be brushed a lot less than a Golden Retriever. If you’re not comfortable clipping your dog’s nails, you can outsource, but maybe you can save money by bathing and brushing them at home.
For general dog maintenance, make sure that you are:
- Brushing 2-3 times per week
- Bathing every 2-4 months
- Clipping their nails every 2 weeksCleaning ears once a week
- Brushing teeth 2-3 times per week
Luckily if you’re a cat owner, you know that cats generally take care of grooming themselves. However, just like dogs, cats require your help to keep clean. The general guidelines above also apply to cats.
Regular grooming also helps keep healthcare costs down. Taking care of these responsibilities yourself will allow you to perform at home check-ups and access your pet’s health often so you will be aware of any issues before they worsen.
Have boarding options
If you’re a frequent traveler, this should factor into your decision before you adopt a pet. Though dogs and cats can be left alone periodically throughout the day, taking care of them is still a full time commitment. If you know you will be gone for more than 24 hours, consider your boarding options and weigh the costs.
Boarding facilities charge per night, a total which at $25/day on the low end, can quickly add up. Knowing your options is key to saving money during your pet’s overnight stay. In addition to shopping around for boarding options, know what friends or family members are open to watching your furry companions for an even cheaper price. Sometimes, even a pizza in exchange for pet sitting will suffice.
Buy food in bulk
Once your pet shows interest in a type of food, do a little research and try to find that food in bulk. You can find nutrient rich food without paying an extravagant price. To add a little bonus discount, look for coupons before shopping for pet food, toys and accessories. You can find coupons both from individual brands and at specific stores.
Get creative with pet toys
Not all pet toys need to be bought from a store. Get creative and make toys for your pets out of household items. Old t-shirts can be transformed into a braided rope for your pup to tug on. Cats are happy with cardboard boxes and string. Secondhand and reusable materials will help you find other uses for retired household items while saving you money at the same time.
Avoid unnecessary expenses
In addition to finding ways to repurpose materials and make toys, you can save money by avoiding unnecessary purchases. What is an unnecessary purchase? Well, that’s up to you. As much as we love dressing our dogs up in sweaters or trying out the newest cat treats on the market, if you don’t have to spend the money, save it instead.
Reward your pets with extra love and attention and they will never miss the expensive toys or treats.
Continue Saving Money After Adopting a Pet
Now that you know you can afford a pet, it’s vital to keep following these tips while continually looking for new ways to save.
A key factor in being able to afford your pet after you adopt, is learning how to save money on the essential items. You can keep your expenses low by utilizing the promo codes and coupons for pet supplies offered by RebateKey. These discounts are on a constant rotation, so you’ll always be able to find a new sale to take advantage of.
Sign up with RebateKey today and start saving with your very next purchase!