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Tips To Save Money On Pet Expenses
●July 1, 2021●5 minute read
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We love our furry friends, but giving them the life they deserve can be quite expensive. Between vet visits, pet food, and supplies, it’s important to consider the costs of owning a pet.
Below, we’ve put together a guide on how you can save money on pet expenses that both your furry friend and wallet will love.
Choosing the right pet
Before bringing your new family member home, make sure they suit your budget and lifestyle. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right pet for you:
Consider the costs
Owning a pet can be a big financial commitment for over a long period of time. In fact, within the first year, you can bank on spending between $3,000 and $6,000 on your dog or cat.
According to a report by Animal Medicines Australia, it is highly dependent on the age and breed of your pet, but you can expect to pay:
- $962 per year for a cat
- $1,627 per year for a dog
Research from the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) found that, on average, owning a dog will cost over $25,000 throughout its lifetime.
While these numbers cover all the costs associated with owning and caring for your pet, they don’t include potential health risks and pet insurance. Consider all these pet expenses before making a decision:
|Microchipping, vaccinations and de-sexing
||This can be $1,000 in the first year, but if you adopt it could be free.
||Owners can expect to pay $50 – $100 for each general check up.
||According to MoneySmart, insurance can cost $20 – $60 per month.
||Registration usually ranges from $30 – $200 each year.
||Your trip to the pet store could leave you feeling $500 lighter in the first year, and $100 each year afterwards.
|Flea, tick and worm control
||The overall cost is dependent on your pet’s size, but you can expect to spend between $300 – $450 on medications.
||Dog food can cost up to $800 a year.
||Getting a pet sitter can range from $25 – $50 a night.
|Pet grooming, training, and pet care
||How much you wish to pamper your dog is up to you and your budget.
Proceed with a breed
Consider doing your research before deciding on which pet to get, because different breeds have different personalities, temperaments, and needs. For example:
- A bigger dog means a bigger stomach, which will no doubt increase food expenses.
- Some breeds, such as a bulldog, are more likely to encounter health problems that will lead to extra costs at the vet.
- If you’re looking at a pet with a luscious mane of hair, then prepare to pay the price of consistent grooming.
Adopt, don’t shop
Why not save money by adopting an animal? Animal shelters like RSPCA are filled with special friends who are in need of a forever home. Plus, adopting can often be considerably cheaper than purchasing from a breeder. You will find animals that are medically and behaviorally stable and ready to become your next family member. You may also be able to save on the extra costs of microchipping, vaccinations and desexing.
7 ways to save
Now that we’ve discussed the costs of owning a pet, let’s take a look at how you can slash the price tag without compromising your pet’s health.
1. Buy in bulk
If you’re not careful, pet expenses can add up over time and you can lose control of your budget. Our advice? Don’t buy supplies like pet food in small amounts and instead buy large portions from a single wholesaler. Yes, this means you’re paying a hefty price up front, but in the long-haul this will actually save you money.
Bonus points if you can save on discounts by ordering regularly from a large supplier!
By purchasing large amounts of high-quality food online, you can avoid cheap options each week from the supermarket. By choosing healthy options, you may also save money in the long-term on veterinary costs.
2. Lose the puppy fat
Animals with extra weight can suffer from serious health problems including pain, exhaustion, and respiratory problems. You can prevent this by keeping your pet’s weight under control. Pay attention to their serving size and ignore those puppy eyes because not overfeeding will go a long way for their health and your budget. Ensuring they get regular exercise will not only help shed a few excess kilos but it will also shed a few hundred dollars off those annual vet bills.
3. DIY pet supplies
The cost of purchasing mass-produced pet supplies like beds, bowls, and toys can quickly add up over time. Ditch the $40 velveteen pet bed and go for an old pillow instead. Trust us, your pets won’t know the difference between a commercially-made chew toy and an old fleece blanket. Not only will you save a stack of cash on pet supplies, you’ll also be doing your part to save the environment and prevent excess plastic going into landfill.
4. Purchase pet insurance
Ensuring your pet has an insurance plan can help cover the costs of preventative care including treatments for accidents, illness, and preventable diseases.
5. Invest in the vet
It’s important to not skip your pet’s annual welfare visits. Spending money on prevention will likely save you money, as you may pick up on potential health problems that could cost you more down the line. The vet can carry out quick check-ups each year and eliminate these issues early, so your pet can be treated and avoid ongoing costs.
6. Pamper on a budget
Similar to humans, professional grooming can be very expensive, and the only way to avoid these costs is to consider doing it yourself. You can cut out the costs of nail trims, ear cleanings, and haircuts by learning to do it at home. Check out YouTube for free tutorials or ask your veterinarian for tips.
According to HomeGuide, the average price of dog grooming is between $40 and $75 depending on size, weight and breed.
7. Barter with friends
See if other dog owners might be interested in doing pet swaps to cover holidays, nights out, or weekend escapes. The high costs of kennel services and catteries can break the bank for your pet expenses, which is why other owners will likely also be interested in a rotating pet sitting club. Because, what else are friends for?
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Written by Charlotte Monteath
Charlotte Monteath is a Content Intern at Jacaranda Finance. She has a Bachelor of Business Management & Journalism from the University of Queensland.