Many families dream of owning a pet, whether it be a dog, cat, bunny or even a tarantula. While quarantine has provided ample opportunity to welcome and train a family pet, it’s not necessarily been great when it comes to the cost of said pet. Not only have animal prices skyrocketed because of the demand, the basic and associated costs are significant. Here are some essential things to consider before buying a pet on a budget.

 

THE TIME COMMITMENT

Owning a pet is incredibly time-consuming in the first few months. While time is not money spent, it definitely is a precious commodity. Consider whether or not you can take a bit of time off work or with a smaller, less demanding animal at least a week or two of reduced activities so that you can help them adapt to life in your home.

  • A dog. A dog, puppy or otherwise, requires a fair amount of time from the owner and the rest of the family in the first few months. While this may feel extreme, it will pay off long-term. A well-trained dog will remain well-trained. Prepare to spend at least three months, if not six, to help your dog learn the ropes. Training will be incredibly time-consuming in the first few weeks.
  • A cat. Cats require less time than dogs to adapt to their new home, but just the same, they need at least a few weeks, if not a month or two, to settle in. There are plenty of things you can teach a cat if you look online.
  • A rabbit. Don’t underestimate the responsibility that comes with buying or adopting a rabbit. They are highly intelligent, have impressively frequent bathroom needs, and need to learn the ropes as any dog or cat would.
  • Other animals. Do your due diligence and make sure you research how much time the pet you are interested in will require.

 

 

THE INITIAL COST

There is always a fair amount of initial cost when bringing a new pet into your home. We will use the example of a dog to run through some of the necessities you will need for your new pet.

  • The basics. The basics are must-haves for the daily life and good health of your animal.
    • Leash, Harness and Collar
    • Identity Tag
    • Water and Food Bowl
    • Bed
    • A Couple of Toys (These are actually necessities as young puppies require something to chew on while teething.)
    • Food
    • Coat (For colder months or climates.)
  • Hygiene. It’s essential to have the following on hand and to replace them when needed to keep your pup in good health.
    • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
    • Brush
    • Detangler Comb
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Dry Shampoo
    • Nail Clippers
    • First Visit to the Vet (Including vaccinations.)
  • Training. A happy dog is a well-trained dog. It’s best to have these basics for training.
    • Short Leads
    • Pee-pee Pad
    • Bell for the Door
    • Crate
    • Gates
    • Pen (It’s important to start small, especially when it comes to the amount of space you give a new puppy.)

 

Don’t forget that items like a collar, bed, crate, coat, and so on will all need to be updated as your puppy grows. That cost can add up significantly, so it’s important to be a little extra savvy when shopping for these items.

 

THE CONTINUED COSTS

While the initial costs are significant, the ongoing cost can vary depending on the size and needs of your animal. The larger your pooch, the more food they’ll need and the larger the vet bills too.

  • Training. It’s important to choose your animals’ food wisely. Educate yourself and read up on different brands. While “all-natural” upscale brands might seem healthy, many lack the essential nutrients your dog needs. You can also ask your vet to recommend a brand or speak with friends who have dogs and get their opinions.
  • Vet Bills. Even healthy dogs should see the vet at least once a year. The larger your dog, the larger the dose of a vaccine they will require and, in turn, the larger the cost. While you may not opt for every vaccine, it’s essential to choose wisely to keep your dog healthy.
  • Training. You may try grooming your dog yourself. If you aren’t able to or are not comfortable doing so, a groomer is a dog owner’s best friend. Once again, the larger the dog, the more significant the expense. On average, dogs see the groomer once every 3 months or so.
  • Daily Wear. If you have a chewer or a destroyer, you may need to invest in a few toys every month. You will also want to always have some antlers or bones for your dog to chew on. It isn’t just a treat but essential to healthy gums and teeth.

 

GET SAVVY

There are a few ways that you can go about acquiring the necessities and even handling the everyday costs when getting a pet on a budget.

  • Savings. A good first step before buying or adopting a pet is starting a savings fund. Place a jar in a common room so that all family members can contribute. Teach your children the value of money and the benefit of saving. While you save, you will have the time to do ample research on the type of pet you and your family will want, as well as the costs they will require. If you require a little extra help, consider a quick, online loan to avoid adding to your credit card debt.
  • Second Hand. Like babies, puppies barely wear out a lot of the important gear. Things like crates, gates, pens, clothing, harnesses and so on can be washed or sterilized and passed on. Look on your local community website to find these items at a fraction of the price.
  • Do It Yourself. Learning to groom your pet, train your pet and so on can save you a lot of money, although it will take a fair bit of effort on your part. Invest in second-hand grooming tools, read up on books from your local library and give it your best shot.

 

Before you take the plunge, seriously consider the cost in time and money when buying a pet on a budget. While it can be done, you will want to make sure you put the health and happiness of the animal first. If you can’t afford one just yet, keep saving and take advantage of the extra time to become an expert when it comes to owning a pet.

 

24Cash is a Canadian company focused on supporting hard-working families. We are an online credit brokerage corporation that offers loans without credit investigations. No matter what your credit report looks like, we can provide you with a personal loan. You can always count on our professional, discreet and humane service.