I’ve had my (baby) cat for about five years. I got him while I was still in school, which meant I did not have a lot of money to play with. He’s been healthy and for the most part happy (he’s a bit mean at times). I’ve set aside money in my budget for him and it has worked so far. Now that I’m married and my husband has adopted my cat, there are two people looking out for him.
Having a pet is not cheap, so if you’re struggling to make ends meet and want a pet, please wait. Even though there are ways to cut some expenses down, it cost money to take care of an animal.
Find a good and affordable veterinarian
If you’re low income, consider speaking to your local animal shelter. Some of them have clinics with reduced fees for vet visits and commonly used medications for lower income families. Also ask around for more information on vets in your area. A good vet can save you money if they can diagnose the problem early.
Also don’t be afraid to ask the vet if you can workout a payment plan. Some are willing to work with you if you’re upfront.
Consider a healthcare plan for your pet.
PetSmart also has the Banefield clinics which are supposed to be affordable to most people. They also have a monthly health plan that covers many common appointments. I haven’t used it, but my sister swears by it.
Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations.
Some cities sponsor events that offer vaccinations at lower than normal costs. Take advantage of such programs.
- FVRCP(Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydia)
- Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
- FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
- DHLPPC (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Corona combination)
- Bordetella (Internasal)
Play with your pet
By exercising with your pet you’ll:
- Keep your friend healthy
- Bond with him/her
- Get some exercise for yourself in
There are a lot of cheap toys you can buy to keep your pet entertained. My cat is addicted to his 99cent mice. Remember, though, your pet’s best companion is you. Don’t just buy toys, interact with your furry friend.
If you have a dog, taking him or her out for a walk is good both physically and mentally for them.
Groom your pet yourself.
Keep their nails, teeth, ears, and hair clean. My cat isn’t exactly a fan of when I use the fine tooth comb for his hair, but he loves when I use the wider toothed comb because it’s like a massage. You also save some money.
Being frugal doesn’t mean being skipping on vet visits and buying low quality food (which in turn can aid a pet in gaining weight and developing other problems). It means saving money in case a serious problem comes up and you don’t worry about paying the light bill or your dog’s surgery.
Please be responsible and only get a pet if you can afford the basic care.
Where to find more information on reducing your pet care expenses
In case you want to compare and find some more information, here are some other posts on the topic:
- How to reduce the costs of pet ownership
- Is pet insurance worth the price?
- How to Avoid a Hefty Vet Bill
Do you have pets? How many? How do you take care of them?
I’m curious to see how many people are pet-owners.
Photo Credit: fweez