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Are you an animal lover? You may have one or more pets and you know how expensive owning a pet can be. When I wanted to get a small dog, I wasn’t sure what type of dog I wanted. But, I knew that adoption was the best option for me.
When searching for a pet, it’s good to do your research. Since I hadn’t had a dog before, I wanted to learn about breeds. We live in a community that limits pet size and breed. This limited my choices, but I really wanted a small dog anyway.
I found a wonderful website, Petfinder, that allowed me to search for adoptable pets in my region. This site was really great, in that they gave a picture and all types of information on the pet. I browsed the site for weeks, looking for a quiet, small dog that needed lots of cuddles. With my allergies, I wanted a dog that didn’t shed too much.
There was a funny looking little dog that I kept coming back to on the site. He had a goofy little grin, but the description was what I loved, “Quiet little baby that loves to cuddle”. Wasn’t this exactly what I needed? Yes. So, I set up an appointment to meet the pup at the foster home.
He came right to me and let me hold him like a baby. He didn’t bark at all, but just loved being petted. I told the foster mom that I would love to have him. We came back after all the paperwork went through to take Archie home. Buying him through the local humane society was wonderful and saved us a lot of money.
The adoption covered his puppy shots, neutering, and micro-chip costs. Archie was perfect from the get-go. Because he was 9 months old and had lived with a family, he was house trained and crate trained. This was marvelous. He has proven to be the best pet I could have ever wanted!
Owning a pet isn’t just for a week or two. They need us for their entire life, and there are many needs to attend to. Here are some of the ways I’ve learned to save on pet-care costs:
- Veterinary Costs – Pets need to be treated by vets for many different reasons. They need preventative care, vaccinations, and possibly emergency care. It’s important to shop around for good, quality care, but at a cost you can afford. We chose a vet that wasn’t too far from our home. It was easy to go online and find all the vets in our area. Most were up front about costs and benefits. You should look for services, hours, emergency hours, discounts on medications, and location.
- Pet food – There are huge choices in pet food today. It’s up to the pet owner to decide what to spend on pet food. Get the best quality that you can afford. We shop around for the best price on our pet’s food. Compare prices on: grocery stores, Sam’s or Costco, and pet chain stores. Now, you can even get your pet food delivered at home. Some websites offer discounts and free shipping. I found Sam’s Club the cheapest per pound for my dog.
- Pet supplies: There are many purchases you’ll need for your pet. Do they need a crate or pen? They’ll need food and water bowls, combs or brushes, shampoo, blankets and toys, and more. Shopping around for good quality and cheap prices can take a little time, but it will be worth it. All these things really add up. The best thing to do is to make a list of your pet’s needs, and then compare prices online. I found prices ranging from $1.68 to $49.99 for one bowl! I chose bowls similar to this and they’ve worked well these last two years.
- Pet medications – 1800 Pet Meds is a site that offers 25% off of pet medications. My vet offers me the cheapest price, after a rebate that I have to send in. When my vet was giving Archie his medications, he told me the price range that I could choose from. He said the ones he recommended all worked the same, but had various prices. I was able to select the lower price.
- Grooming – All groomers in my area have the same price, which I can’t afford. I bought a set of grooming tools ($25) and do everything at home. My little mutt may not look perfect, but I keep him neat and tangle free. Keeping your pet clean (body, ears, teeth, and nails) and trimmed is the most important thing. We have had him professionally groomed a few times and gotten his anal glands cleaned. Watch Youtube videos to learn how to do many chores at home.
- Exercise is free and helps to keep your pet healthy and at a healthy weight. A pet who gets regular exercise will also be happier, calmer, and sleep better. If you don’t have a yard for pet play, locate a local dog park.
The most important thing is that you and your pet are happy. Pets bring so much joy to our lives! Enjoy your pet and take great care of them. But, don’t overspend when you don’t need to.
@2019, copyright Lisa Ehrman