by Penny Martin
There are few things in life that can bring as much unmitigated joy as getting a new pet — and if that pet is your first one, then you’re in for a real treat. Taking care of a new dog can be tough and time-consuming, but the rewards of pet companionship outweigh all of that.
One thing you will have to come to terms with early on is that owning a pet costs money. Food, water, and shelter are the basic necessities of any pet, but their actual needs stretch beyond that, and it can be a hit to your bank account. To keep your budget in line, follow these tips to save money and make your first pet experience all the more amazing.
Use Amazon Coupon Codes to Buy Your Supply Necessities
There is simply no reason to pay full price for your pet supplies — there are countless discounts at your fingertips. Here is what you’re going to need from day one:
- Food and water bowls
- Pet bed
- Travel crate
- Bones, toys, and chews
- Litter boxes
This should be enough for any first-time pet owner to start off on the right track. There’s no getting around buying these items, so you need to look for ways to save. Using Amazon is your best option — not only can you get savings by using Amazon coupons and promo codes, but buying products on a site that offers delivery will give you more time to spend at home training your pet (instead of time spent driving to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores).
Adopt Instead of Shop
Local animal shelters charge less than $200 (in adoption fees) for most of their animals — no matter the age, size, or breed. Not only that, but they will come to you already fixed in most circumstances and with their basic vaccinations (saving you hundreds). Buying pets from breeders and expensive pet stores can cost thousands. And free pets (bought online or through classifieds) may sound good but could cost you way more in medical bills than a shelter animal.
Make What You Can at Home
Some things you’ll need to buy but some things you can make at home for much cheaper. For example, dogs need food that’s about 50 percent veggies, 40 percent protein, and 10 percent carbs. You can easily make your own with mixed veggies, ground meat, and grains like rice. Some of the more expensive types of toys can be made at home as well, using common items like tennis balls, old towels and T-shirts, and even plastic bottles. Old bedding and towels work just fine for a new pet’s sleeping quarters. You can even make stain and odor-removal concoctions that work using vinegar, baking soda, and even hot water.
Form a Good Relationship with Your Vet Early On
The more proactive you are about getting your new pet the right vaccines and medications, the better the chance you will be able to avoid devastating medical costs throughout their life. Heed the advice of a local veterinarian and ask them for discounts, deals, and even free generic medication (more will offer these than you may think).
Always Spend Time, Not Money
There is nothing you buy your new pet that will benefit them — physically or mentally — as much as spending quality time with them. This includes playtime, exercise, snuggling on the couch watching movies, and however else you can think to interact with them. Taking your new dog on a long hike, for example, is completely free and will help keep them happy and healthy. The more time you can spend with your animal, the less money you have to spend on dog walkers, dog sitters, and vets. In this regard, perhaps the best advice to being a frugal pet owner is to ensure that your pet is by your side as much as possible. This is especially true of new pets, with whom you need to bond and who may feel nervous about their new life.
Your pet ownership journey will be a rewarding one. Heed these money-saving tips to make it easy on your budget as well.
Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash