If you have pets, you know they're expensive. I have pets myself, and the combination of food, grooming, vet bills, and what have you -- it's through the roof!
If you don't think you're spending a lot on your pets, sit down one month and really track everything you spend, from your regular dog food to the occasional treat or scratching post. You might find a surprise.
That said, owning pets doesn't have to be as ridiculously expensive as some people make it. Of course pets will cost you a certain amount of money -- you have to expect that. But with a bit of savvy, you can reduce the cost of your pets substantially.
Tips for low cost pet ownership
Follow these tips to save a lot of money on your pets.
1. Know when to splurge.
This sounds like a strange piece of advice to put on a list of tips about saving money. However, there are some things that you simply have to buy, and getting proper pet supplies in the first place can save costly pet treatments in the future.
Food is a major issue here. No, you don't have to buy from your vet for $20 a can. But you also shouldn't buy the cheapest stuff in the grocery store.
Find out the least expensive and healthiest brands of food, and shop accordingly.
The same goes for regular vet visits. Your pets need their vaccinations. And if you find a lump or oozing wound on your animal, a vet visit sooner rather than later will actually save your money.
2. Invest in pet insurance
You don't need ridiculously comprehensive pet insurance, but having some can help if you find yourself facing costly vet bills in the future.
Having pet insurance can mean the difference between saving a much beloved pet with a serious illness, or who's been in a serious accident, and saying goodbye.
3. Consider how many pet supplies you really need.
How many toys does your pet actually play with?
Are you buying that expensive blue sparkly thing because blue's your favorite color or because your pet will like it?
Half the time pets find their greatest amusement in things around the house: cardboard boxes, sticks, and yes, sometimes furniture.
You don't need new toys every time you shop for pet supplies.
4. Find a friend with pets.
If you have another friend, owning a pet becomes cheaper. Why? Because you can help each other out.
Split the cost on warehouse sized pet treats, take care of one another's pets when you go on vacation -- the list goes on and on.
A friend who loves animals is the best resource you can have.
Your pet shouldn't be the central focus of your budget. Use these tips to help you save a lot of money when it comes to your pets