by guest author Penny Martin
According to the ASPCA, your first-year costs for a dog can be more than $2,000, and if you are planning to adopt an older animal, you might have to spend even more. Even if you already have your pet, veterinary bills, supplies, and general upkeep can get very pricey. When you are on a limited budget, these expenses mean pet parenthood can take a toll on your finances. Fortunately, there are many ways to save on caring for your aging, furry best friend.
Save on Supplies
Supplies are one of your biggest expenses. There are a few ways to save. The first is by shopping at your local Dollar Tree or similar dollar store.
Great scores at these discount retailers include puppy training pads — the AKC recommends using these to help senior dogs avoid unnecessary trips outdoors — and pet treats.
Dollar store toys are not recommended buys,however. Even the tennis balls and ropes available in these types of stores are cheaply made and will shred easily, meaning you have to replace them often and that they are a choking hazard. Instead, shop for these at stores that cater to pets — Petsmart comes to mind. Although these specialty outlets are higher-priced, they offer better quality, and you can almost always find online codes for cashback and discounts for Petsmart at Rakuten.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Veterinary bills can get expensive, and fast. Because of this, if you really want to save money and avoid a sudden negative financial impact, spend some time ensuring that your home is a safe haven for your pet.
Start in the kitchen, and remove access to chocolate, garlic, coffee, avocados and raisins. You also want to make sure they don’t have an easy way to get to small items, such as twist ties, that they might accidentally ingest and become injured.
The Bark also recommends moving things like medications and laundry detergent out of your animal’s way.
To further pet-proof your home, keep things like shoes, batteries, and rubber bands off the floor or in a closed closet.
If you want houseplants in your home that won’t threaten your pet’s health, there are many pet-friendly options to choose from.
Pamper Them Without a High Price
Your pet certainly enjoys pampering in their golden years, but it’s likely that you like the idea that they are happy more than they actually understand indulgences. Cater in both of your needs by looking for ways to show your pet some love that don’t involve crazy expensive accessories or a trip to the doggie spa. You can do this by simply setting aside time each day for exercise and one-on-one time; go for a walk followed by a little snuggle time on the couch.
As an added benefit for you, Salon points out that petting your pup for just 10 minutes can help lower stress levels, which is crucial when you worry about finances.
Owning a pet does come with some expenses. And while you can’t get around things like food and veterinary care, you can save in other ways. Don’t overspend, but also don’t choose the cheapest option for things like toys. Sometimes, it pays to spend more in the beginning to save money over the long term.
Featured image: Public domain photo
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