In both times of peace and times of uncertainty, having a pet by your side can be an incredible comfort and gift. With so many dogs, cats, bunnies, and other furry friends eagerly waiting to be adopted, it’s almost impossible to not find a critter that you can bond with and bring home. And with shelter overpopulation occurring all over the country, it’s an act of altruism to adopt and give a forever home to an animal.
However, adopting a pet comes with a price, and not just the price you’ll pay at the shelter or rescue. Pets are living creatures that require routine medical care and vaccinations, food, grooming, and of course, toys and treats. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to save money on pet care and supplies. Here are a few tips to help you not break the bank with your new pet:
Buy pet food in bulk – even if you don’t have a membership to a big box store. Of course, if you’re a member with Costco or Sam’s Club, buying in bulk is second nature. However, if you don’t have a membership to a big box store, that doesn’t mean you can’t still buy in bulk – e-commerce sites like Amazon and Chewy have become popular with pet parents for food, and with some sites, you can even set up a subscription to have pet food delivered on a regular basis so you never forget. Before you shop, it’s important to research the kind of food you want to buy, as not all pet food brands work for each pet.
Ask your veterinarian about pet health insurance. Just as health insurance for humans is designed to save you money on medicine, doctor’s appointments, and medical procedures, health insurance for your furry friend will save you money if you need to make an unexpected trip to the vet. While the cost of insurance may seem like a lot upfront, it’ll be helpful if your pet requires emergency surgeries or x-rays.
Budget, budget, budget. While budgeting should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle, it’s easy to forget about it when you’re wrapped up in the excitement of adopting a pet. As stated before, pets are living creatures that need to be treated as such, so before you visit the shelter, assess your income and current budget and make sure you have room for the costs that accrue from adopting a pet. Consider costs including food, medical care, grooming, toys, and comfort items for your home.