Almost 20 years ago, a small sick puppy roamed around in the neighborhood.
My grandmother was walking back home, after hearing the best news her Oncologist could give: her breast cancer was in remission and there was no need to take any medication anymore.
She was walking on air, almost, happy to have survived this atrocious illness, that finally claimed her life last year. It was Lung Cancer this time and almost 20 years have passed in between.
Anyway … in ’99 she was 68 and told her life wouldn’t end then.
She noticed the puppy and decided to bring him upstairs to feed him. As soon as I saw it, I begged to her to keep it.
Thinking that God gave her the chance to live, she decided to say yes.
So we became pet owners.
In many cases the stories differ.
Our new dog was rescued from the village we renovate our weekend/holiday house. His weight was 4 times smaller than the normal for a Carpathian Shepherd dog, his previous owner just let him starve to death.
Fortunately we were able to save him in time and he’s grown into a beautiful dog. He is about half the normal size, but still big enough for our family.
You might buy a beautiful pet from the pet store, save one from the streets or adopt from a shelter.
Anyway, being a pet owner and saving money is a pretty difficult task, so, if you want to be frugal, my best advice is to NOT get a pet.
Food, medical care and everything your pet needs will cost you money. In some cases we are talking lots of money.
So, the best way to save money as a pet owner is to not get a pet in the first time 🙂
OK, leaving jokes aside, let’s see how we can still save money:
Save a pet, don’t buy it from the store
I know people who are willing to pay a small fortune for a pet that’s coming from a famous breeder.
No, they are not perfect pets, they are not better than the ones you save.
I had only rescues so far and they proved to be extremely loyal and intelligent. Not to mention their health was superior to any ‘special’ breed.
There are many shelters in your area, look there for an innocent soul. You don’t have to pay a fortune and you’ll always have the great feeling of having saved a life.
Get a small pet
I already told you about our Carpathian Shepherd. Gu, as we named him, even if pretty small for his breed, is still about 70 lbs and this means he eats A LOT.
A good friend of mine has 2 cats and a small dog and they routinely eat from a small pet food can. It’s enough for the three of them, for an entire day.
My Gu eats 4 such cans a day. Which, as you can guess, costs quite a lot.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on pet food alone, find a smaller pet that doesn’t eat more than your family combined.
I never thought our rescue would become this big (given his emaciated state), so we didn’t get the chance to pick a smaller dog. He is perfect for us, though, so we don’t plan on exchanging him with a small dog, but, if you get to choose, get a smaller pet.
Keep current with vaccinations and pet care
Regular medical care for pets is expensive, but, when they get sick, the costs skyrocket. Surgeries, short-term treatment or medication for chronic illnesses, these are all costly.
So keep your pet as healthy as possible.
Keep up with the vaccination plan, if applicable. Feed your pet quality food and make sure it develops nicely.
If you have a dog, make sure it gets enough workout, sedentary dogs tend to get sick more often than active ones.
If you have a dog, don’t let if sleep all day long. A sedentary lifestyle makes pets sick and, consequently, expensive, when it comes to paying for their healthcare.
Make sure you schedule enough time with it and it gets all the workout normal for its species / breed.
Make the toys yourself, don’t buy them
Our dog LOVES any piece of wood he can get, discarded bottles or rags. Yes, we did buy it some pretty expensive toys from the pet store and he elegantly ignored them.
Now we know our lesson and let it decide what can become a nice toy and save money in the process.
Here are just few ideas to save money as a pet owner.
What else would you add?