Battle Against the High Cost of Pet Ownership

by Ryan Yates

This guy wouldn't cost to much . . .

If you haven’t noticed, owning a pet can get pretty expensive. Keeping your lovable 4-legged friends fed, healthy, groomed, and comfortable doesn’t come cheap. But like everything, you have the choice to prepare for the expenditures, or put the food and the doctor’s visits on a credit card.

So, how’s it going as a pet owner? Are you winning or losing the financial battle of having a pet? Below is a list we’ve compiled to help you overcome the potential financial traps that come with your pets.

A Pet Emergency . . . Fund

In the same way an emergency fund for you or me protects our bank accounts from the unexpected, your pets emergency fund will help pay for those unseen expenditures without tapping into your regular budget. Trips to the vet when your dog eats the keys or your hamster get’s stuck in the subwoofer don’t come cheap.

A Bowl a Day Keeps the Vet Away

Although food might just be the largest bill you have when it comes to pets (depending on the size of your pet) it can also be one of the best tools that you use to keep your pet from the doctor’s office. Don’t buy the cheapest food,it usually has the worst stuff in it. But you don’t have to buy the most expensive either. Find a happy medium that fits your budget and that also gives your pet the best chance at a healthy diet.

Pet Insurance?

This is a relatively new idea making it’s way around the country, especially for those of us who grew up with farm dogs that never saw the inside of a Vet’s office. However, depending on your views, pet insurance can be a vital part of keeping the veterinarian bills in check while getting the most care for your beloved friend.

Research the Best Options

As with anything you spend money on, make sure to research the products you intend to purchase for your pets and educate yourself. From medicine to flea prevention to chew toys – read all of the information you can find to make sure you make the best purchase possible. The most expensive products aren’t always the best.

Pet Meds Are Available Online

Many of the most common pet medications are available online usually cheaper than what the Vet’s office can offer. Shop around and take advantage of the discounts found on the web.

Prepare, Evaluate, and Re-think

One of the biggest money-savers when it comes to owning a pet is to evaluate your current financial situation and make a wise decision about becoming an owner. It’s a great idea to estimate the first one or two years costs before you go to the pet store. Whatever you do, don’t go pet shopping before you done a little thinking and number crunching – once you see those cute little eyes, you’re going to be hooked.

Photo By patti haskins

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John @ Married With Debt March 26, 2012 at

After seeing some friends spend $2500 on a pet emergency, I don’t plan to introduce any into our life. 2 kids is enough!

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Ryan Yates March 28, 2012 at

I agree! My parents and sisters have enough pets for us to play with. Plus, we get to go home after we’re done and there’s no mess to clean up.

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