The annual cost of owning a dog can be pretty expensive. It’s easy to see how the costs add up when you have to pay for vaccinations, veterinarian visits, food, toys, food and water bowls, walkers, sitters, trainers, therapists, leashes, collars…and the list goes on. Owning a dog can cost between $1,675-$4,800 a year, which will probably cause you to panic if you’re thinking about adopting one. However, there are several practical ways for future pet owners to economize so they can fit the cost of owning a dog into their budget because as any pet parent knows, a dog brings more joy to a home and life than one could ever imagine until it’s experienced.
• Consider getting a mixed-breed. Many people are afraid to adopt mixed breeds because their background isn’t always known. However, the odds of the animal being healthy are greater than purebreds because purebreds may have inherited health problems.
• Compare the costs of a adopting from a shelter or rescue. Sometimes shelters can be cheaper than adopting a dog from the pound or a rescue agency. You can find out what’s included in the cost of the adoption, from neutering to basic shots. Always keep in mind though that the adoption fees are in place to help the shelter continue to function, a shelter is usually a non-profit organization so the adoption fees aren’t going towards the company jet, but towards sheltering and providing medical care for animals.
• Adopt a grown dog instead of a puppy. This can bring the cost of owning a dog down quite a bit. Puppies are adorable and hard to resist, but they aren’t always the best for people who are trying to save money. They require extra veterinary care, immunizations, neutering, and obedience training. You can save all of these hassles by finding an already well-behaved adult pup.
• Buy food in bulk. This is usually the healthiest and most cost efficient way to go about purchasing dog food. Don’t skimp on food quality or the amount that you food your dog, because a poor diet will lead to health problems long-term.
• Do it yourself ideas. There are ways that you can make your own dog shampoos, fragrances, and skin conditioners. It’s also possible for you to bake your own dog treats and make your own toys… grab a stick, tennis ball or Frisbee. Develop your own pet exercise plan, you don’t have to spend money on pet exercise equipment and fancy diet foods… because all you have to do is get up and take your dog for a walk!
• Learn to comparison shop. Here’s another big money save when it comes to the cost of owning a dog. When it comes to prescription medications, determine if they can be purchased generically from a pharmacy as opposed to brand name. In terms of over the counter products, these will generally cost a great deal at your vet’s office, but you can get the exact same thing from an established E-Commerce store for a much cheaper. Use your resources and the Internet and you should be able to save a decent amount of change.
The cost of owning a dog isn’t minuscule… but it doesn’t have to break the bank either. By following these tips, you will save yourself a considerable amount of cash. You can always check with current pet owners, veterinarians, and shelter employees for more tips on how to save money. However, if you feel that you don’t have enough money to keep a pet healthy, then it’s probably best for you to wait a little longer to adopt one.