Pets are wonderful companions, but taking care of them can really make a dent in your finances! Here are some tips on how to keep the cost of caring for your pets to a minimum without sacrificing their health and wellbeing.
Prevention is better than cure
This may sound fairly obvious, but the first step in keeping the cost of pet care down is taking every possible step you can to prevent your pets from getting sick. This includes feeding them a varied and nutritious diet, limiting the amount of treats you give them, and ensuring that they get plenty of exercises. Dogs need at least half an hour of exercise a day, but depending on your dog’s breed and age, they might need a lot more than that—even upwards of two hours. A slow walk is not enough, either: dogs need to be running around multiple times a day. Remember that cats need plenty of exercises, too: particularly if your cat lives only indoors, get them a cat tree and lots of stimulating toys and make sure to play plenty of games with your cat to keep them fit and healthy.
Choose your vet carefully
Veterinarian practices can have wildly different price ranges, and when you are shopping around for a vet, you should ask yourself why a certain practice is more expensive than another. Does the cheaper vet compromise on safety and hygiene, or is the more expensive one simply catering for high-end clients with money to burn? Ask the vet what services they offer, too: this Knoxville vet clinic, for example, keeps prices affordable by offering all routine pet care services such as vaccinations, nutritional advice, and pest prevention, and by ‘outsourcing’ rarer and more complicated treatments such as major surgery. If your pets are healthy, there’s no point in paying through the roof for services you likely won’t need.
Cook pet food at home
Making your own pet food at home can be much cheaper than buying dedicated pet food due to the high cost of wet food. You obviously need to make sure that your pet is getting a balanced diet and the right amount of calories, so tell your vet that you are thinking of making pet food at home and run some recipes past them to make sure that you are on the right track. If you have been buying pet food up until now, think about the most commonly used ingredients and incorporate those in your pet’s new diet; dogs, for instance, need a high amount of lean protein such as lean beef, turkey, and lentils, as well as whole grains such as brown rice and vegetables such as carrots and broccoli. Resist the temptation to simply serve your pet a portion of the meals you prepare for yourself, as some very commonly used human foods can be extremely harmful to other animals—these include onion and garlic for both cats and dogs.