Understanding the Costs of Pet Ownership (And How to Save)

Pets are excellent companions. Even simple pets, like fish, are a great hobby to have and beautiful to look at. Larger pets, like dogs or cats, however, are where the real benefits lie. Caring for a pet is excellent for your mental health and wellbeing, but the companionship you get back is tenfold. That being said, having and caring for a pet is not for everyone. Not only do pets require a lot of your time and attention, but they also come with high costs. Not being aware of the costs can immediately put you in a tight position. 

That’s why it’s important to understand the full costs of any pet in advance. Being able to afford those base costs is essential. Once you can guarantee that, there are a few great ways to save to help ease the burden so you can enjoy pet ownership to its fullest: 

Basic Costs of Any Pet 

Basic costs include: 

  • Cost of bedding and water/food dishes
  • Cost of toys and entertainment
  • Cost of food 
  • Cost of accessories 

Basic costs refer to the bare basics that it will require to keep your pet alive and cared for in your home. The cost will differ entirely on the species of pet in question. While it may seem that cats and dogs will automatically have the highest basic costs, that’s not necessarily true. Those keeping a fish tank can spend more upfront getting all of the equipment, for example. 

Advance Costs 

Two examples of advanced costs are vet bills and insurance. These two are considered advanced because they’re usually reserved for dogs and cats. If you cannot comfortably afford an emergency vet visit out of your savings, then you should get pet insurance

Insurance can help you weather big bills without breaking the bank or putting you in debt, but if you can afford the vet visits without insurance, know there is a good chance you’ll end up spending more on insurance throughout your pet’s lifetime. Other advanced costs include room and board or the cost of dog walking or pet sitting. 

How to Save on Your Pet 

There are many great ways to save on your pet. 

  • Use Coupons and Discount Codes 

Whenever you shop, you should look up any discount or promo codes that may be available. A PetSmart promo code can help you save on your purchase every time, and it just takes a few extra seconds to find it before you check out. Rewards codes and promotions are also a great way to save, though not every store or brand will offer them. 

  • Wait for Sales 

When it comes to items like toys, bedding, leashes, and the like, you can and should wait for things to go on sale unless you’re in immediate need of them. Many pet items can feel unnecessarily expensive, so waiting for a sale for soft furnishings is a smart way to save in the long run. 

  • Shop Second Hand 

Some items can easily be purchased second-hand. Take a puppy gate, for example. This is a short-use item that you don’t need to waste money buying new when you can give an older one a new home. 

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