Manage Your Finances

Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers

If you’re an animal lover, you’re likely willing to spare no expense to keep your pets safe, happy, and healthy. However, you also know that it can be quite costly at times. The average cost to raise a dog from puppyhood can be well over $15,000 depending on its size, breed, and health issues.  

From food to pet care products to the cost of unexpected vet trips, raising an animal can be financially draining. It’s important to have healthy financial habits if you want to care for your pet properly without breaking your budget.

With that in mind, let’s cover some personal finance tips you can use to give your furry friend everything they need throughout their life while offering you peace of mind about your money.

Understand the Cost Breakdown

As an animal lover, it can be tempting to own multiple pets. However, it’s important to understand the breakdown of what each animal might cost so you can build a proper budget.

Obviously, you won’t be able to predict things like emergency vet trips or unexpected injuries and illnesses. However, you can include a little extra in your budget for those things in addition to the basics like:

  • Food;
  • Supplies;
  • Standard vet care.

It’s also important to consider any extra expenditures in your budget, like pet-sitting, dog-walking, training, boarding, or grooming. Having ballpark figures for each of these things will give you a better idea of what it will cost each year to own a pet.

If you’re already keeping track of your finances, you’ll quickly see how budgeting for a pet will impact the rest of your monthly spending. This way, you can decide whether bringing an animal into your home is right for you or if you’ll have to make monetary adjustments elsewhere to be able to afford one. 

Find Ways To Save

If you already have a pet or you’re determined to get one, you can manage your finances by finding ways to cut back and save money while still making sure your furry companion has everything they need.

For example, if you have a dog or cat and you’re buying one of the most expensive pet foods on the market, ask yourself if that’s really necessary. Sometimes, branding and flashy marketing can go a long way in driving up the price of pet food.

Instead of paying more for a big brand, focus on the ingredients in your pet’s food. Avoid ingredients like: 

  • Corn;
  • Wheat gluten;
  • Meat by-products;
  • Food dyes;
  • Rendered fat.

Alternatively, you can choose to make your own pet food using whole, real ingredients. It’s often cheaper, and you’ll know exactly what your animals are eating. There are countless recipes online that you can try. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen.

You’ll love knowing your pet is eating real food, and you’ll quickly get an idea of the ingredients they like the most. Just be mindful of providing the exact nutrition that your particular pet needs if you go the homemade route.

Different animals have different needs. For example, most people are well aware that owning a horse is expensive. However, you can find safe and effective ways to cut back on your spending, even as a horse owner.

Buy bagged shavings for the barn in bulk. Borrow equipment from friends and neighbors. Stock up on hay well before winter to avoid increased late-season costs. If you need equipment, consider buying it second-hand, or sell your own unused equipment to put that money toward something new. 

From dogs and cats to horses and reptiles, unique expenses come with every type of pet. Luckily, there are often ways to reduce your expenses without sacrificing their well-being.

Additionally, you can find ways to make money to care for your animal. If you have a large house, a lot of land, or a barn, you might consider boarding other animals or offering training or grooming services. There are multiple apps and platforms that you can use to sign up as a pet sitter or dog walker.

While you’re likely not going to get rich from those side hustles, they can provide a secondary source of income that takes away some financial stress and provides extra cash to make sure your pet has what it needs. Plus, if you’re an animal lover, taking on a part-time gig that allows you to spend even more time with them is a win-win situation!

Keep Your Pet Healthy

Things like food, toys, and other necessary supplies are easy to factor in when you’re putting together a budget. However, unexpected vet trips, illnesses, or injuries can wreak havoc on your finances. 

Your financial health can impact your physical and mental health, so try to budget as well as you can so as to not stress out about owning a new animal. While having an emergency fund in place for your pet can help, you can also reduce the risk of them getting sick or injured by making their health a priority. 

Multiple studies have shown the positive health benefits of having a pet, including reduced stress levels and increased motivation to stay active. You can return the favor and prioritize your pet’s health. Not only will it keep them around longer, but you’re also less likely to spend thousands of dollars on vet bills.

Keeping your pet healthy is easier than you might think, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. Some of the easiest ways to prioritize their well-being include:

  • Making sure they’re getting proper nutrition;
  • Exercising them regularly;
  • Making regular check-up appointments with their vet;
  • Putting them on preventative medications (including flea/tick prevention);
  • Offering them plenty of affection;
  • Making sure they’re properly socialized.

Caring for your pet’s health doesn’t have to be overwhelming or time-consuming. Treat them like any other beloved member of your family, and you’ll see how easy it is to prioritize their care and save money in the process.

There’s no denying that owning an animal can cost a lot of money. However, if you’re an animal lover, that knowledge shouldn’t keep you from getting the pet you want. You can live on a budget, save money, and still have a pet or two at home.

Keep these tips in mind to make it work for you, and you’ll enjoy the fulfilling, enriching benefits of having a constant companion at home — that’s priceless!

One reply on “Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers”

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