Although having pets can be an absolute joy, there are still costs associated with owning a pet and ongoing costs can add up over time. The expense of owning a cat or dog can run into the 10s of 000s over their lifetime, so it is important to make sure that you are getting the best deal when it comes to your pets. Our two cats provide many hours of entertainment when they seem to go mad for half an hour, are the cuddliest of creatures when in the right frame of mind, and our house would not be the same without them. However, they do add a cost to our budget.
Here are some tips to keep your pet costs down:
1) Insurance. A lot of people think that having pet insurance is an unnecessary expense, but personally, I think that having some insurance for your pet is a good thing. Imagine if your pet suddenly got ill and you are presented with a bill of over £1,000 to contend with? Having insurance means that you do not have to worry about having to cope with a big bill at the same as your beloved pet is ill.
2) Food. Shop around for the cheapest offers on their food. This doesn’t always mean the cheap food; get a good brand of food but look for good deals on their food. For our cats, we always have dried food down for them each day and we get premium brand cat food, as we did try a cheaper version but it upset their stomachs. Now, we watch out for deals on their dried food and stock up when there are offers on.
3) Toys – don’t go mad! There are so many things you could buy for your pet, but they really do not need every toy going. One or two well loved toys are just as good as a whole box full of unused ones. You also don’t need the most expensive toys; they all serve the same purpose, so don’t go overboard. Our cats are just happy with a cardboard box to jump in and out of than anything else, though I don’t know if that’s just them being a bit weird.
4) Get your pets vaccinated. This is a bit of a strange one, as getting your pet vaccinated is an expense to begin with, but it is definitely cheaper to do this than to have to pay vets bills if your pet does get sick with something that could have easily been prevented. We paid a slightly bigger fee up front for our cats annual booster and now for their top up each year, it is free. Ask your vet if they do anything similar where you are.
5) Get a friend or relative to “pet-sit” when you are away. This is dependent on you trusting someone in your home, but this can save hundreds of pounds if you get someone you know to come and look after your pets whilst you are away. Putting a cat or dog into a kennel or cattery can be quite expensive, but there if you know someone who is quite happy to either come and stay in your house for the duration, or have your pet at their house instead, then it can save you quite a bit of money.
If you start with these, then you should see your monthly and annual expenses for your pets decrease over time. It might take a bit of time to get more organised, but keeping an eye out for deals on things like food and vaccinations. Every little helps when it comes to the animals in your home.
How do you keep your pet expenses down? Have you got any more tips to add?