Pet ownership is a famously pricey undertaking. In fact, lifetime ownership costs of a dog currently rest at an average of £16,900. That's a hair-raising figure when you consider that even raising a child to 18 is only going to cost £75,436. Financially, getting a pet really is akin to having another baby!
Luckily, champions of the ‘shop don't adopt' movement are proving that there are cheaper options, at least for starting out. But, does adoption really pave the way for affordable pet ownership moving forward? While there's no denying that this alternative is a fantastic way to save money straight off, far too many people fail to factor for the still-steep costs that are sure to follow.
Luckily, it needn't be that way. Adoption gives you the foundation to weather pet expenses moving forward, and the following pointers can make sure that you take that saving mentality and apply if to make all aspects of pet ownership work within your budget.
Take the guesswork out of vet's bills
Veterinary costs are, without a doubt, the steepest aspect of pet care. As such, your first step towards ensuring you can afford the storm should be to invest in pet insurance. Here's how to compare pet insurance to ensure affordable options at every stage of the journey, but whatever you do, don't delay signing up. The moment a pet comes into your care, especially an adopted one with potential health issues, you need this financial protection behind you.
Pamper your pet without spending
Adopted pets deserve pampering, so you may be tempted to get yourself into debt just trying to make them happy with toys and even sessions with your local groomer. This is obviously a bad idea, especially considering that your pet likely needs attention more than fancy things. Instead, invest in a few key toys and spend time using them to play with your dog instead of piling more into the collection. You could even develop your own grooming skills using free resources online. As simple as that, you should land yourself a more contented furry friend, and financial security to boot.
Be sensible about feeding
From the outset, budget food brands can seem like the best option for providing all-day feasts your pet clearly deserves, but this is a false economy you want to avoid. While high-end brands may cost more upfront, they also contain much higher levels of nutrition. As such, smaller servings of these will do much better by your pet, and ultimately your bank balance than attempting to save cash here in the wrong places.
Adopting is always a good idea, but don't assume your finances are in the clear just because you've taken this step. In truth, it's entirely possible to let spending grow even more out of control as you aim to overcompensate for the life your new pet has endured until now. Don't let it happen by keeping these pointers in mind, and considering that your bank balance needs some consideration here, too!