Pet care can range from less than $100 a year to $1,000. Some years may even require more depending on emergencies or illness. Since your pet needs and deserves quality care, use these pet care savings tips to maximize your budget.
The Cost of Owning Pets
First, let’s take a look at how much owning a pet can cost. From cats to birds to fish, expenses can vary widely. If you have not purchased a pet yet, this can be a great place to start. Rather than getting in over your head with unknown costs, you can know upfront generally how much it costs per year to take care of different kinds of pets.
Cost of Owning Cats & Dogs
Buying a dog from a shelter or from a breeder can make a big difference. Expect to pay $150-300 for a shelter dog and $300-1,500 for one from a breeder. Food, medical and insurance costs alone tally up to nearly $600. Include some toys and other costs and you will be at $695 annually to care for a dog.
If that number is a little pricey for you, a cat is not much better. Cats come in at $670 per year. Cat littler makes these cute little creatures almost as expensive as dogs.
Cost of Owning a Bird
A bird can cost $15-500 to purchase. This pet is a little more of a budget saver since the original purchase price of the bird can be quite low and annual care is only around $200. However, the cage can add a few hundred dollars to the bill.
Cost of Owning a Fish
For one of the cheapest pets, the fish has an annual cost of only $35! The fish and the aquarium costs will range from $100-250. This is a great option for a low budget.
DIY Projects & Pet Care Savings Tips
Now that you have an idea of the cost, it’s time to find some savings! Here is a list of ways to save money on pet care costs.
- Sign-up for coupons and reward programs
- Use the refillable litter from the store instead of buying prepackaged
- Adopt from a shelter- save on vaccines, purchase costs, tags…
- Frequent thrift stores & yard sales for carriers and other supplies that just need to be cleaned up
- Don’t buy special pet towels, bowls or dishes- use items from around the house
- Design your own cardboard cat scratcher
- Make your own dog bed or cat bed with a box and a soft towel or get more crafty with sewing
- Create your own cat toys- basically just need string
- Check if your bank or credit union offers a pet savings account with unique perks
For more tips, read Save Money on Pets.