Research has proven that sharing our homes with animal companions is good for both our physical and emotional health. But, depending on our choice of companion, pet care can be expensive. The good news is that there are many ways to stretch your pet care budget. Here are some suggestions:
Spay or Neuter–NOW!
Not only does spaying or neutering your pet make good common sense, it makes good financial sense too! A spayed or neutered pet is less likely to roam and fight, and far easier to train. Because they are happier to be homebodies, they are less likely to need costly emergency veterinary care resulting from street fights, car accidents, etc. Neutered pets are also less likely to suffer cancer of the reproductive organs later in life. This can save you money in the long run.
Invest in Proper I.D.
Be aware that you can save time and money and reduce stress by ensuring your dog wears his identity tag. When your local Dog Warden picks up a dog, the first thing he will do is check for identification. If your dog is wearing his Identity tag, the warden can attempt to bring him right home to you. If a dog is NOT wearing a tag, he must be transported to the Animal Shelter or dog pound, and you may have to pay more to release him.
The cost of a microchip implant is also invaluable, especially for cats, which are less likely to wear a collar and tag. In the event that your pet strays, there is far more likelihood that he will be promptly returned if properly identified. The more quickly your lost pet is safely off the streets and back home, the less likely you are to have to pay emergency vet bills or impoundment and boarding fees. Think of pet identification as a low-cost investment in "lost pet insurance."
Brush Up on Grooming
Have your vet show you how to clip your pet's nails and check his or her ears for infections. Clipping nails at home can save you upwards of €50-€100 a year. Catching an ear infection early usually requires minimal treatment at a minimal cost. Be aware that dogs with folded ears are more susceptible to suffer reoccurring ear infections. Left untreated, ear infections can be painful to your pet.
You should also take time every few days to run your hands all over your pet's body to check for tender spots, lumps and bumps, cuts, or abrasions. Again, early detection of medical problems often results in less stress on both your pet and your budget.
And don't forget your pet's teeth. Regular brushing can lessen the need for costly dental care.
If you have a pet that requires professional grooming every month or two, you can reduce this cost by diligently brushing your pet between appointments. Because it takes more time and effort to bathe, clip, and style matted fur, pet groomers must charge more for ill-kempt coats. As a bonus, regularly grooming your pet can also lower your blood pressure!
Yes, owning a pet can be expensive, but the financial sacrifice is worth it! For the price of a meal, a warm, safe place to sleep, and little attention, our pets offer unconditional love. This alone makes the privilege of owning a pet priceless!