Pet's are great – they bring love, companionship, happiness, teach responsibility, and in general have all sorts of other positive benefits. However, the fact of the matter is, pets cost a lot of money. Now, the expense varies from type of pet – a goldfish costs less than an exotic fish, and a small dog can cost less than a large dog – but all pets have expenses associated with them.
To give your pet even a reasonable standard of living, can you afford it?
Common Pet Care Costs
For most pets, here are some common pet care costs to take into consideration:
- Registration Fees
- Vet Care
- Medical Costs
- Training Classes
- Toys and Fun
And pet owners spend a bunch in all of these areas. The American Pet Product Association has put together some interesting data. For 2011, it was estimated that over $50 billion will be spent on our pets, with most of the money going to food and supplies.
From their 2011 survey, here are the average annual expenses for the common pet expenses:
- Food: $254
- Vet Care: ($248 for routine visits, $407 for emergency services)
- Boarding: $274
- Supplies and Treats: $165
- Toys and Fun: $43
As you can see, it's not cheap, and it adds up quick!
Ways to Save on Pet Costs and Find Affordable Pet Vaccinations
I have a larger dog, so my expenses were higher than the ones listed above. However, here are some tips and tricks I've discovered on ways to save money on pet care costs:
Shop Online: I discovered very early on that Amazon.com offers the BEST prices on dog food and other pet supplies compared to all the brick and mortar stores in town. What makes Amazon's pet care products even better is that most qualify for free shipping. I can get a 40lb bag of dog food cheaper, and it ships free!
Buy Toys That Last: Do you have a dog that chews? Mine loves to. And as a result, stuffed toys and bones would give her maybe an hour of entertainment before it was destroyed. I've discovered Nylabone (see product at right). This thing is solid plastic, and it lasts her weeks instead of days. It is a little more expensive than regular pet products (although not much), but it lasts and lasts and lasts, which makes it totally worth it.
Find Affordable Pet Vaccinations and Vet Care: If you pet is sick or needs medication, you should also shop online to get your prescription filled. When my dog needed a prescription, I was able to get it online for 50% less than what my vet was going to sell it to me for. Huge savings! You may also want to check out the Costco pharmacy. It carries many common pet meds, and they usually offer them at great prices.
Readers, what are your thoughts on pet care costs? Any other tips or tricks I didn't mention?