Whether you consider yourself a cat person or a dog person, chances are you’ve considered becoming a proud pet owner at one time or another. Pets can serve as awesome best friends, silent therapists, or surrogate children, but what many don’t realize is how costly these furry/feathery/scaly friends can be. From expensive puppy chow, to outrageous medical bills, being a pet owner can be accompanied by many hidden costs that can end with sad animals and poor humans. To try and ease the financial burden of our animal pals, here are a few easy ways to cut costs and still be a responsible pet owner. And hey, on the plus side being broke means not having fancy shit that the little rascals can chew up or poop on. Just remember to hide your shoes!
1. Adoption fees
Ok, I’ma be strait with you. If you can’t afford the adoption fees for your puppy or kitten, you might want to rethink your ability to responsibly care for this animal at all. I’m not talking about awful puppy mills/pet stores that charge you $1300 for a dog either. Legit adoption agency fees, while usually reasonable, can still be higher than you think, so do your homework and make sure you can offer your future pet a good home. Sites like Petfinder or your local SPCA will help you find great pets who need a home and won’t cost you an arm and a leg to adopt.
I have it on good account that Costco has cheap dog and cat food. Shocking. I have also heard of some pet supply stores that give discounts if you got your pet from a rescue organization, so always ask. This is also a situation where a bit of research goes a long way. Talk to the adoption people, your fellow pet owners, and Dr. Internet to get the skinny on whether or not your pooch or puss actually needs food fortified with the blood of baby unicorns, or if they’ll be fine with the generic stuff. My guess is the latter. They do eat their own shit after all.
3. Medical Billz
You definitely can’t skimp on your pet’s health so you might just have to shut the hell up and pay the bill, but you can find a way to get deals or only pay for what is necessary. Keep an eye out for clinics and pet stores that specialize in vaccines because they will sometimes have cheap shots without hefty exam fees. If your pet is a baby, chances are by the time you get them they will have already been spayed or neutered and have had their first exam. Emergency costs and other unexpected happenings are what will hit your wallet the hardest, so make sure you have enough money saved to cover those.
4. Comfort and Entertainment
Get creative! Make your own toys and beds. There is really no reason to buy fancy pet toys when they are just going to be destroyed in the end. Many people have made bank on convincing pet owners that they need things like this, but trust me, Fido or Fluffy will appreciate anything if it is given with love, and can be chewed or chased. Also, mooching pet supplies is always a good idea. As one of my puppy-owning-pals put it, “Just live in an area with free dog poo bags.”
Photos from: allstarsecurityandfire.com, happydogsplay.com, petbeastro.com, cracked.com, dogbedswarehouse.com