Pet ownership comes with a host of benefits, from companionship to improved health to less stress. It also comes with costs, from immunizations to food to treats, toys and gear. It’s a balance, for sure.
One recent report pegged the cost of pet ownership at anywhere between $400 and $4,000 a year, depending of course on an owner’s habits and the needs of the animal. To minimize the costs associated with pet ownership, it’s helpful to instill cost-saving habits and preventative care regimens that are not only friendly on the pocketbook but are also beneficial for the animal.
Preventative care. Cats and dogs are not unlike humans, in that they benefit from regular well visits and preventative care. Not only do regular visits allow a veterinarian to set benchmarks for certain indicators, against which he or she can measure an animal’s health in the future, but they have the potential to allow for early detection of issues before they become bigger problems. In addition, regular visits foster a rapport and comfortable environment for an animal with a veterinarian — making examinations easier.
Food. Dog and cat owners can expect to pay up to $50 a month on food, and even more if an animal is on a special diet or has certain restrictions. But, there are ways to save money when it comes to food. Shop around to find the lowest price on a certain brand or mix, buy bigger bags or buy in bulk to take advantage of the best pricing on larger quantities, consider subscriptions that may offer discounts, look for coupons or promotions or review available options to find a lower cost food that still offers the benefits your cat or dog needs.
Spay and neuter. Unexpected litters of puppies and kittens can be costly, from vaccinations to extra food to the cleaning products needed before the little guys are housebroken. Pet owners who spay or neuter their cats and dogs avoid those costs while also minimizing the likelihood of potentially costly long-term complications — males are better behaved and females live longer, healthier lives.
Training and exercise. Regular exercise, whether it’s walking or running or chasing a ball, is essential for pets — particularly dogs. It helps create a routine, it helps manage weight and it helps them burn off energy that may be pent up from a lazy afternoon spent waiting for their owners to finish work. Behavior training could also realize a cost savings for pet owners, especially if potty training, scratching, digging or chewing is an issue that routinely ruins shoes, furniture, pillows…or anything else they can get their paws on.
Dental care. Committing to regular dental care, at home and with the help of a veterinarian, can help pet owners save money in the long run. Brushing at home keeps gums and teeth clear of pesky plaque buildup, which could eventually lead to gum disease if untreated. And regular dental cleanings, like those offered at Dr. Kelly’s Vet, offer similar benefits — keeping gum disease at bay or treating it as it arises before it has progressed unchecked.Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services or to schedule an appointment.