As the millennial generation grows up (people born 1981-1996), many couples are actually substituting the idea of having children with have pets as the cental focus of their family. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the 2012 Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook showed that almost 40% of households in American had a pet dog. Cats were at 31% falling in seconds place and a litany of other animals were further down on the list. It turns out that if you ask most people what they think the cost to own a dog will be during its lifetime they gave an answer of $6,000. However, the range actually falls between $27,000 and $42,000 in actuality over the course of ten years. Of course children are more expensive, but here are five ways you could save money if you have a pet.
- Schedule Regular Checkups – We know that it is always better to be proactive versus reactive when it comes to handling our own health. There is no reason in the world you should treat your pet differently. By having regularly scheduled visits to the vet at least 2x per year, you can catch medical issues that can be treated before they become large scale problems. Remember, that emergency room visits are the most expensive costs you can have if your pet needs to be treated immediately. Catching early onset of digestive problems or other behavioral problems can save you big money down the road.
- Get Pet Insurance – Many large employers today offer pet insurance as a benefit during open enrollment. Ten years ago, hardly anybody even knew that pet insurance existed. Today, you have many options on how to buy pet insurance. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance (healthypawspetinsurance.com) is an example of over the counter insurance that can cover your dog from head to paw for a lifetime. This insurance can pay for vet bills, injuries, illnesses, emergencies, genetic conditions, and much more.
- Be A Vigorous Shopper – Whether you get a membership to a place like Costco or you double shop every single pet item on Amazon.com, you need to shop your food, medicine, dog bowls, and any other items you need for your dog. With the internet today, there is no reason to pay one dollar more for any item than you need to in order to take care of your pet. One really good idea is to simply check out the local dollar store where you can often get good deals as well.
- Skip The Fashion Trends – There are many upscale places where you can buy fancy vests, doggie collars, boots, and many other accessories so your dog can get on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Do your best to avoid wasting big money on doggie fashion trends that you may only use once or twice and not again.
- Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered (wouldn’t Bob Barker be happy) – If you bring home a new pet (especially a dog or a cat), it is likely they were spayed or neutered already. I would urge you to take care of this as soon as possible if it isn’t done already because if you are trying to cut down on expenses, spending the money to have them fixed will be a lot better than having a new litter of dogs or cats.