Buying and owning a pet, for a lot of people, is high up on their bucket list. But it’s not as simple as just finding the money to buy the animal of your choice. The cost of owning a pet can be extensive and most definitely ongoing, and unfortunately lack of funds is one of the highest reasons for animals being in shelters across the UK. While a short term loan can get some pet owners out of a financial emergency, for example when you need to take your pet to the vet. We’ve gathered together some quick money saving tips to help along the way, to, hopefully avoid any unexpected costs.
Spay/Neuter your pet
Having your pet spayed or neutered can save any unexpected surprises in the future. The cost of owning and raising one pet is enough, but most people may not be able to afford a full litter if their pet happened to get pregnant, or the responsibility of taking on the litter if their pet got another pregnant. Spaying or neutering your pet from a young age will not only avoid this altogether, but can also help avoid some health and behavioural problems in the future.
Buying in bulk might not always look like you’re saving very much money – after all, a smaller bag of food will look cheaper than the larger bags – but more often than not the larger bag is better value for money. The cost per pound of food is usually higher on smaller bags than the larger ones, and so it might be worth looking into what sizes your pets preferred food comes in at your local pet store. You should also consider buying higher quality foods to help avoid your pet getting ill and having to visit the vet.
Be prepared for unexpected costs
Vet bills are something that, most animal owners will have to factor into their finances at some point in the lifespan of their pet. While we all hope that our pets stay happy and healthy throughout their entire lives, it’s not always that simple. The average consultation fee charge by a Vet General Practice costs about £60 in the UK, this increases when the consultation is with a specialist. Surgical treatments can average approximately £1,500. The worry on top of the cost can leave you worrying more than you may have to, if you plan in advance for these bills it may help to relieve the stress so you can concentrate on getting your pet healthy. Try finding a good pet insurance deal if your breed of pet is prone to illness or health issues, check providers and cover carefully as these can be quite complex. Set aside some money when you can just in case you have an unexpected visit to the vet. Having that buffer will stop you having to pay the eye-watering bills straight out of your pocket.
Adopt rather than buy
Adopt-don’t shop is a popular term in our age, rescuing an animal is wonderful and kind action. It should not be taken lightly and should be fully thought through – ensuring that you can take on the animal as it is and follow any advice seriously. These animals have usually gone through trauma or have been abandoned because their care is something the owner cannot afford. Adopting is cheaper than buying an animal from a breeder, if you can adopt after considering long term costs, then do so. Usually they have been spayed/neutered already and are well looked after. So unless stated, they should not need any immediate trips to the vets.
Groom at home
Dependent on the type of animal, grooming can be an expensive outgoing. Now we aren’t saying that trying to trim the fur of a poodle is advisable, but if you can cut down the cost of non-essential trips to the groomers by purchasing items such as brushes and nail clippers it could save you something, however small. Another essential in your animal’s care is their teeth. Any trip to the vets that involves dental work is notoriously expensive, and we all know that a trip to the dentist can be painful. Getting into a regular habit of brushing your pet’s teeth or following guidance on how to care for them is a good way to reduce costs later down the line.
Exercise is just as vital for your pet as it is for you, both mentally and physically.
Whether it’s walking a dog, letting a cat roam around, or buying a wheel for your hamster, pets need exercise. An idle pet is one that is prone to health problems, and health problems means more vet bills in the future that will cost you more than a walk around the park would.
Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.