Don’t Let Your Next Pet Deplete Your Savings

Posted in Saving Money , Savings Account • October 5, 2010

Puppy Holding a Fifty Dollar Bill in Mouth

It is true that a dog is man’s best friend, but bringing Fido into your life can cost a lot of money! Fortunately, there are ways to save money when you adopt your first pet. Keep the following tips in mind if you’re looking for a furry friend.

Rescue a Pet

Thousands of dogs and cats are sent to animal shelters each year. Instead of looking to breeders and pet stores for your next pet, consider rescuing one of these animals.

We’ve rescued three animals in the last two years. First we adopted two kittens who otherwise would have ended up in the overcrowded animal shelter. The guy that was working on our house rescued the kittens when a feral cat gave birth near his house. The kittens were free and we only needed to pay for their shots and have them neutered.

We adopted our dog from the animal shelter. We spent lots of time playing with her and questioning the shelter worker about her before we made a decision. In the end, we paid $70 for the adoption, but that included the cost of a spay.

Finding a pet to rescue is as simple as asking around, visiting your local animal shelter or even checking Craigslist.

Shop Around for Vets

The charges for veterinary services can vary greatly from place to place. When our kittens got sick right after we adopted them, we just took them to the nearest vet. I was happy with the service, but it was expensive!

When we adopted our dog a year later, we shopped around for a vet. We found one in the next town over that comes highly recommended, yet charges quite a bit less than other vets in the area. We’ve been bringing our pets to him for the last year and we’ve been very happy. We’ve also saved a lot of money!

Call around for typical vet charges and ask your friends for recommendations before settling on a veterinarian for your pets.

Compare Prices on Pet Meds & Supplies

Before buying anything for your pet, shop around. In my area, I’ve found that Costco is the least expensive place to buy the cat food we like, but Walmart has our preferred brand of dog food at the cheapest price.

Similarly, the price of flea and tick control can vary widely, too. Make sure to compare prices online, as well as the prices in local stores. You may find you get the best price online, and then you save gas by not having to drive to the store!

Take Care of Your Pets

Before you commit to adopting a pet, make sure you’ll be able to take care of him. It’s important to spay or neuter your pets, keep them up to date with their vaccinations and make sure they are properly fed, groomed and exercised. Any money you save by not giving your pet what he needs in the short-term can turn into a big long-term expense if your pet gets sick or you get fined for not following the laws in your county.

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