Budget-Conscious Tips for Selecting and Caring for a Pet

March 25, 2019

Most people have some ideas about the kind of pet they want based on an idealized impression of what pet ownership means. For instance, someone who enjoys spending time outdoors may decide the ideal dog is a large, active breed that they can take hiking or teach to catch a Frisbee. Another would-be owner might decide the best choice is to buy an intimidating dog that will scare off intruders, while someone else may have their heart set on a lap dog or a cat that does well on its own. There are many factors to consider, including cost. Pet ownership shouldn’t be a financial burden, so be watchful for opportunities to save money on food and supplies and avoid pet-related damage that could cost you money down the road.

Size

Size is probably the most obvious factor in choosing the right breed. Bringing home a German Shepherd or Malamute may be appealing, but this makes little sense if you’re short on square footage and don’t have a yard big enough for a big dog to run and play in. By the same token, it might be difficult to keep tabs on a small dog if you live on a property with lots of acreage. If you have a carefully landscaped yard with lots of flowers and shrubs, a dog that loves to dig may not be a good choice, while a nervous breed that likes to chew on furniture and does damage indoors is a poor selection if you have a lot of antiques and nice things to protect.

Your Availability

Be careful about buying a pet that needs a lot of attention and likes to be played with, especially if you have to be away from home a lot. You could end up with an unhappy animal, so consider hiring a pet sitter for the times when you’re away. Do your research to find a sitter who offers the right kind of services. One good way to save money is to look for a neighbor who has dogs, or by asking a friend or relative to watch your pet while you’re away.

Supplies

Pet care requires plenty of food and the right supplies, including brushes, toys, water and food dishes. It can be a costly proposition. One very effective way to save is to use online deals such as Target store cash back offers. Not only can you expect great savings, but you can also save time by having pet supplies delivered straight to your door by using a promo code. It’s a convenient and thrifty option that should fit most budgets and schedules.

Climate

You may have gotten used to living in a hot climate long ago, but a furry dog with plenty of hair is likely to have a low tolerance to high temperatures and humidity, requiring him to spend too much time indoors. Keep grooming in mind — hairy dogs that do a lot of shedding need to be brushed thoroughly to be comfortable and to keep all that dead hair under control. Save money by covering furniture with plastic or sheets that will prevent hair from accumulating and protect against general damage. Bear in mind that if allergies are a problem for someone in your family, a dog that does lots of shedding could cause serious issues.

Acclimating and Bonding

You can usually save money by adopting a rescue pet, but be aware that this animal will need a lot of attention and time to get used to its new surroundings. Establish a dedicated spot for its belongings (bed, food and water dishes, toys, etc.) so your new pet has a safe haven when it’s feeling anxious. If you’re trying to be budget-conscious, look for things like used tennis balls and old rubber toys rather than investing in new toys unnecessarily. Always make time to bond with a new pet, especially puppies and kittens, who love to play and need exercise.

There are websites that provide a pet-owning “quiz,” which you can use to find the right dog or cat for you. You can make a responsible decision by being honest about your living situation and how much time you’re able to spend with a pet. Being honest about the process will help ensure that your new family member will be happy and comfortable in its new surroundings.

Jessica Brody

Ourbestfriends.pet | jessica@ourbestfriends.pet

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