Pets are wonderful additions to the family and have been proven to reduce stress and blood pressure. However, their expenses add up quickly, so here’s how to welcome a new pet on a budget.
Where to Buy a New Pet
Many potential pet owners look to breeders as the best option. However, many pets languish in shelters or foster care centers waiting to find a home. Watch for free or low-cost days where the shelter might waive the adoption fee. By adopting a slightly older pet, you might be able to skip the chewing phase.
Check to see if a nearby clinic will provide reduced-fee (or free) immunizations, spaying or neutering services, and health checkups for your pet. Some colleges and universities with a veterinary school might offer services on a limited basis. If you live near smaller suburbs, check their pricing against the larger city vets. In addition, the Humane Society maintains a list of providers who help cover large, unexpected bills.
Search online for the name and brand of your pets’ medications, which may be offered cheaper. Alternately, ask your vet office if it will match the cheaper prices. Natural remedies exist for pets too – check with your vet to see if herbs will work.
Your neighborhood vet office might be convenient, but does it have the best prices? Call around to ensure your vet’s prices are competitive. Taking care of a pet on a budget means a little homework for you, but you could come out ahead.
Pet insurance deductibles, annual limits, co-payments, and premiums vary greatly. Coverage ranges from accident-only to accident-plus-sickness to wellness plans. Most cover pre-existing conditions, but purebred pets will incur higher charges or fall under exclusions related to breed-specific issues. Pro tip for the budget conscious: Consider insurance for accidents and illness, then pay wellness fees out of pocket. Or start a separate pet saving account to prepare for the unexpected.
Ask about working off your bill. Most vets also accept weekly or monthly payment plans, if you have a positive, established relationship.
Related – Get Ready to Bring Home Your New Dog