Cutting the cost of pet ownership.
The soaring cost of living and rapidly rising pet costs will be something to consider as we head into the Christmas season again.
It is important to examine where we are spending money on our pets so we can make an informed decision about where we can save money. A personal budget is a very good idea, and so too is a pet budget.
One of the best ways of keeping track is to have a dairy for each of your pets. That way you can record their medical history to make sure they get all the proper vaccinations and treatments, and you can keep track of the money spent on each pet (we don’t want sibling rivalry to develop!!). It is also great having a dairy you can look back on to remember all the important events in your pets life – like the day they took their first step.
Once you know where the money is being spent on your pet you can look at ways of cutting back should you need to.
It is very important to realise not all cost cutting measures will save you money.
For example: buying the cheapest pet food might reduce your pet bill by a few dollars a week, but may cost you several thousand dollars in vet bills and medication in the advent of pet diabetes, cancer, or bowl problems.
Choosing not to invest in pet medical insurance may seem like a good cost cutting measure, but again, you may regret cutting costs in this area when a vet visit is required over Christmas.
Instead you should look at areas like basic pet care and hygiene for ways to cut costs. Are you going to specialists for procedures that you could do yourself, such as grooming and pedicures (or is that pawdicures?).
The most obvious cost cutting examples are in the pet “bling” market. Does your dog really need custom monogrammed coats made from Yak wool with daimond studs? Or your cat need a gold laced collar with sterling silver bells?
They may be slightly exaggerated examples (for most people anyway), but you know what little treats you shower upon your pet that are more for your pleasure than your pets.
If you are looking for areas to make cut backs this Christmas revisit this MarketWatch article by Andrea Coombes on keeping the costs of pet ownership in check. Below are just three of her thirteen tips:
- Don’t buy the cheapest pet food. Higher-quality food helps keep your pet healthier, and you might save on training costs, Fearing said, as cheap food with fillers can lead to hyperactivity.
- Don’t overfeed your pet. Many people feed more than the package guidelines, Zawistowski said. Feeding the right amount saves on food costs — which average about 40% of a pet owner’s total costs — and reduces the likelihood of obesity-related ailments.
- Spay or neuter your pet. “Spayed and neutered pets have fewer health problems down the road,” Fearing said, pointing to prostate and ovarian cancer. Also, once neutered, “they roam significantly less, so they’re not getting hit by cars.”