It’s no secret that pet care gets expensive.
Your pets are your babies. You want them to live long, happy lives. Lifelong health requires routine vet visits, high-quality pet food, daily walks, prescriptions, and more.
All these costs add up, including your time investment. What do you do when you lose a job or the cost of living rises?
Thankfully, you have options.
You don’t have to pay full price for your favorite pet supplies. Follow these tips to create a pet-friendly home at a fraction of the cost.
What It Takes To Keep a Pet-Friendly Home
There isn’t a flat rate for pet care. Every pet has its own unique needs.
For example, taking care of a rabbit can be more expensive than taking care of a cat.
Many cats are independent and self-reliant, especially when they’re young. Rabbits can require more care, like routine cage cleaning, expensive food, medications, and specialty vet care.
Dogs vs. Cats
Dogs are more expensive to take care of than cats too. Puppies require training, while kittens don’t need any training. At most, you’ll need to train your cat to stop climbing up the curtains.
Cats don’t need daily walks, unlike dogs. Outdoor cats roam freely around the neighborhood. They get their exercise by playing and pouncing on small prey.
Dogs can’t walk alone through residential areas. They must be leashed at all times. Leash laws apply to many outdoor areas, as well.
As a future dog owner, you must spend at least 1 to 3 hours walking your dog. You could walk them through the neighborhood or take them to an off-leash dog park. This routine typically includes a morning and evening outing.
Do you have time to walk a dog every day?
Walking a dog is a time investment. If you don’t have the time, you’ll need to hire a dog walker. Professional dog walking is another added expense.
If you travel for work a lot, a cat may be a better pet than a dog. At most, you would pay for a catsitter. Cat sitting is far less expensive than professional dog walking and boarding.
Small, Exotic, and Specialty Animals
Most pet owners adopt cats, dogs, or both. Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, and small reptiles are also popular. Despite their small size, these pets require quite a bit of care.
You already learned about rabbits. Hamsters are another fuzzy little friend that may require too much time than you can provide.
Pet owners frequently clean hamster cages. They also require attention like bunnies. Many new owners make the mistake of just leaving their rabbits, hamsters, and rodents in cages without giving them the stimulation they need.
Small reptiles also require work.
Reptiles need consistent high temperatures. In buying these vivariums, you should also take into consideration the growth potential of these animals, e.g. how big does a bearded dragon get. Pets owners buy special vivariums for lizards, snakes, and large insects. You also need accessories like ceramic heating, LED lights, live plants, rocks, and thermostats.
How To Save Money on Dog Walking
The best way to save money on dog walking is to walk your dog yourself.
You also want to make the most out of your dog’s walk time. Walking around the neighborhood is great, but your dog will get more exercise playing in an off-leash dog park or beach. Dogs get to socialize at dog parks, which is crucial for behavioral training.
Most owners walk their dogs. However, life can throw curveballs in an instant. You may get called into work early or start caring for an aging parent.
Before you hire a dog walker, consider your options. See if you can do a dog walking exchange with your neighbors, similar to carpooling. You could walk the dogs Monday and Wednesday while your neighbor takes the Tuesday and Thursday shifts.
If hiring a dog walker is your last resort, remember to do your due diligence. Read dog walker reviews, average rates, and state laws regulating dog walkers. For example, some states limit dog walkers to a certain number of dogs per walk.
You need a dog walker who knows how to group dogs. Some dogs don’t get along with each other. These tensions can lead to fights or injuries.
Once you’ve found a good dog walker, ask about any discounts. Many dog walking agencies feature discounts on their websites.
Saving Money on Vaccinations
All pets need their required vaccinations. The good news is you don’t have to pay the full price of an exam.
Many pet supply retailers provide pop-up vaccination clinics. Veterinarians and techs come to the store to administer vaccinations.
Pop-up vaccination clinics are a great idea when you need a fast rabies vaccine. Many states won’t administer dog licenses without proof of rabies vaccination.
Many vet clinics offer discounts on first exams too. You may even score a free wellness exam with your vaccines.
Check your local Humane Society for more low-cost vaccination resources.
Vet bills are notoriously expensive. Even low-maintenance cats can rack up $500 vet bills in their old age.
Fortunately, many vets offer installment plans when you fall through tough times. There are also pet care credit options for pricey exams and surgeries.
Low-Cost Pet Cleaning Tips
One expense all pets incur is cleaning.
Despite their low maintenance, cat urine is arguably worse than dog urine. Pet owners must prepare (and pay) for these accidents.
The best way to save money on urine accidents is to prevent them before they start.
For cats, accidents are typically behavioral. They may be responding to a new pet. Your cat could be telling you that it’s time to change the litter.
The problem could be related to a health condition. If the issue persists, take your cat in for a check-up. Old cats can have more bladder issues too.
There are plenty of pet stain cleaning products on the market. You can always use natural methods to save money. The article “How To Clean Pet Stains From a Carpet” discusses low-cost methods like vinegar and baking soda.
Give Your Pets the Best
You don’t have to break the bank to create a pet-friendly home. Plenty of top services and products offer discounts to pet owners like yourself.
Look for new ways to save money on pet supplies. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more updates!
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