There are so many benefits to owning a dog, both physical and mental, but they can have a major impact on your family’s budget with the cost of owning a dog rising to more than £13,000 over their lifetime, according to new research findings released by a pet insurance company last year.
Everyone would love to save money on pet expenses but this doesn’t always work out as well as you’d like. Cutting back on what you spend can leave your dog susceptible to ill health which can end up costing you more in the long term.
If you’re looking into ways to save on pet expenses, here are some suggestions that will help.
1. Preventative health care is critical.
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of your beloved dog falling ill. Vaccinations and regular parasite control will protect him from such conditions as parvovirus, worm infestation and skin disease due to fleas. Spending a little on these can save you from the much larger expense of treating a preventable illness later on.
2. Be proactive in keeping your dog healthy.
Studies have shown that obesity in dogs is a risk factor for many medical conditions. Keep your pup lean and you can minimise the expense of veterinary treatments for arthritis and other weight related illnesses. Secure fencing will mean you’re less likely to have to pay for injuries due to dog fights or being hit by a car. Lock away any potential hazards around your house such as rat bait or garden chemicals. Feed your dog a nutritionally balanced food that’s suitable for his life stage and activity level to avoid illness due to nutritional deficiencies or excesses.
3. Look into purchasing pet insurance.
By spending a small amount of money on a weekly or monthly basis, you’ll be able to treat your pet for any injury or illness without worrying about the vet bill at the end. If your dog is insured, there won’t be the temptation to “wait and see” if he recovers on his own. Early treatment often means a lower vet bill and less suffering for your four legged best friend.
4. How much can you do yourself?
There’s no need to spend money on nail clipping and bathing if you learn to do these tasks yourself. It may mean spending some time learning how to give your dog a haircut or a manicure but the long term savings will add up. There will be things that you’d still prefer your vet or groomer to do, such as checking anal glands, but most routine procedures can be managed by yourself.
5. Spay or neuter your dog.
Female dogs that aren’t spayed are at risk of breast cancer or uterine infections. Not only that, if she does happen to have an amorous encounter with a male, then the cost of an emergency caesarean and raising puppies can really add up. Male dogs tend to wander in search of a lady friend, so neutering can make them more of a homebody and keep them safer.
There’s no doubt that it costs money to properly care for a dog. By taking steps to reduce the risk of illness or injury and taking on more of the pet care tasks yourself, your canine buddy will have less of an impact on your wallet.