Owning a pet is something that everyone should do during their lifetime. Whether it’s a childhood pet that teaches children about responsibility, life, and death, or a dog who has been in the family for years, pets play a central role in our lives and often leave a lasting impression.
Unfortunately, owning a pet isn’t always easy. Just like people, pets can become sick and injured unexpectedly. If your pet becomes ill, you will have to the shoulder the costs of their treatment. Even while your pet is healthy, there are ongoing costs associated with ownership — food, bedding, and anything else your pet needs to be happy.
Make Your Own Pet Toys
Pets are like people, they need to be able to entertain themselves. If you don’t provide your pets with any kind of entertainment, it can have a negative impact on their health, just like it would if someone took away all your stuff for a prolonged period.
Some pets remain active long into old age, but it is not uncommon for dogs in particular to become much more sedentary as they enter their twilight years. However, even in old age, dogs will still need to be walked and exercised and even the oldest dog can surprise you with bursts of energy when they want to.
If you want to reduce or minimise the amount of money that you are spending on pet toys, there are plenty of ways that you can make your own pet toys. You should be careful about handing your pets any old object, especially if you haven’t owned a pet before. Even if you have the best of intentions, there are certain things that you should never give to a cat or dog for their own safety. Some of these things are not obvious unless you have prior knowledge.
Look online for guides on making pet toys from websites that you can trust. If you happen to be seeing the vet soon, show them what you’ve made and double-check that it’s suitable for your pet.
Improvise a Cat Scratcher
Cats are easily amused and will have no problem finding things to play with for themselves. Of all the toys and furniture that cats enjoy playing with, the scratching post is possibly the easiest one to make DIY. Don’t bother shelling out on a relatively expensive scratching post from a specialist pet store – instead, look online for DIY cat scratcher guides.
Looking after a pet can quickly get expensive, especially if you have a pet that is fussy about their food or has special dietary or health needs. However, with the right approach to your family pet and their budget, you can give your pet everything they need without having to break the bank.
Get Annual Vet Check-Ups
When your pet gets sick, things can quickly get expensive. We will get on to pet insurance shortly, and why you should definitely look into having it. However, whether or not you have insurance, you should aim to get a general health check-up for your pet once a year or so. This will enable you to stop any illnesses dead in their tracks and deal with them before they become more serious.
When a beloved family pet becomes sick, you don’t want to have to make a decision about their health based on money alone. However, vet costs can be high, especially for serious illnesses. You will have to shoulder the costs of any medicine, surgeries, or other treatments. Having your pet’s health checked every year will enable you to spot and deal with any health issues when they are still survivable and affordable.
Consider Pet Insurance
Pet insurance will give you some financial protection should your pet become ill or injured. Without insurance in place, an unexpected illness can have a serious impact on your family finances. Vet bills aren’t cheap, especially when compared to the costs of even routine veterinary procedures.
With coverage from a pet insurance provider, your pet will be able to receive treatment for covered conditions when they need it, not when you can afford it. In many cases, this can be the difference between life and death.
Pet insurance is sold in packages according to the animal in question. If you have a cat and a dog, you will need to get both cat insurance and dog insurance. Everypaw.com offer dog and cat insurance – you can get a cat insurance quote here. They offer compensation for cancellation costs if your pet’s health forces you to cancel a holiday at short notice. They will also give you money towards boarding fees if you’re hospitalised. Please note that there may be policy limits in place so be sure to read the terms and conditions before purchasing.
Set a Budget
Setting a general budget for your family’s finances is always a good idea if you’re looking for ways to make your money go further. Make your pet’s needs part of your budget considerations. If you aren’t currently setting aside a specific budget for your pet costs, a good way of getting the process started is to track how much you spend on your pet over the course of a month. This will give you a base figure, try to beat it next month and repeat the process until you have identified the cheapest way of ensuring you meet your pet’s needs.
Prioritize What You Need
When you are assessing what you need to buy your pet each month, divide the purchases up into things that you want to buy for your pet and things that your pet needs and which you must purchase no matter what. Needless to say, you should aim to set aside the money for what you need before you worry about the extras that you want to buy.
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