Welcoming a new pet to the family can be exciting, but also very expensive. While there are so many benefits to adopting a pet, it’s important to consider the financial obligations as well. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to care for your furry family members in sickness and in health. But with a bit of financial planning, you can care for your dog, cat, or critter more comfortably. Here are our recommended cost-saving tips for pet owners.
Find out if you can afford a pet
If you’re desiring a little company around the house, start by creating a budget of all the expenses to consider throughout your pet’s life. According to the ASPCA, a dog will likely cost between $1,500 and $2,000 for the first year, while you can expect to spend around $1,175 for a cat. And that’s only in the first year. You’ll also need to prepare for more expenses as your pet ages, since more serious health conditions can come with hefty bills.
Adopt, don’t shop
There are so many benefits to adopting a pet through your local shelter, including reduced adoption fees. While many organizations still charge fees, they are usually significantly cheaper than adopting through a breeder. By adopting through a shelter, you’re also saving a pet’s life. It’s estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year, since shelters can only house so many pets at a time.
Schedule regular check-ups with your vet
It’s much more affordable to prevent an illness than treat one. As a pet owner, it’s crucial to regularly check in on your pet’s health – and that includes scheduling their yearly exams. Don’t skip out on researching local veterinary clinics as well – you might be surprised when you compare fees for preventative care.
Consider pet insurance
While pet insurance might not be right for every dog or cat, it could help you cut costs on emergency vet visits or treating a serious illness. It’s best to start shopping for pet insurance policies while your pet is young and healthy, for the best rates and coverage.
Groom your pet at home
It’s no surprise grooming visits can get pricey over time. That’s why we recommend doing nail trimmings, baths, brushings, and more at home. Your pet’s oral hygiene is important to stay on top of as well, since a lack of dental cleaning can lead to large health concerns and bigger vet bills down the line.
Build a savings account for pet expenses
Rather than relying on insurance or dealing with expenses as they come, building a savings account dedicated to pet bills can be the best way to fund hefty fees in the future. Start by putting away at least $5 per paycheck into a pet savings account. You’ll be surprised how fast the account grows, and will thank yourself later when the next vet bill comes.
*A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account. All personal memberships are part of the Rewards First program and a $5 per month non-participation fee is charged to the base savings account for memberships not meeting the minimum requirements of the program. Click here to view full Rewards First program details. Some restrictions apply, contact the Credit Union for more information.