Personal Finance

Give Your Pet the Best Life Ever

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Let’s talk pets. 70% of American households have at least one – yet people rarely discuss the financial side to owning an animal.

The joy of spending quality time with your pet cannot be understated. However, pet ownership always comes with financial responsibility. Your pet will rely on you to take care of their physical needs, including financial costs.
Luckily, it is possible to give your pet an amazing life without breaking the bank. With some strategic thinking and planning, you can provide the best life for your fluffy friend.

Build a pet-specific emergency fund.

One thing is certain when you bring home a pet – there is a fat vet bill looming in your future. Unfortunately, it is just a matter of time before your pet needs some extra attention from a vet. Although you can plan ahead for some vet bills, such as shots and routine medication, many pets run into unexpected medical trouble.

And, trust us, no pet owner wants to be in the position of balancing their pet’s life against what their wallet can afford. So, do yourself and your pet a favor – save for these expenses up front. With a pet emergency fund in place, you can make the best possible medical decisions for your pet without going into debt.

A good rule of thumb is to save up to $5,000 per pet. An emergency fund is always a helpful option for your pet. But if you think you’ll visit the vet quite often, you might want to also consider pet insurance. With pet insurance, you can pay a regular premium to stave off the most expensive vet bills.

Looking for a smart place to stash your emergency pet savings? Check out the high yield savings accounts available at Axos Bank

Splurge on high-quality food.

The right fuel can make all the difference for a happy pet. Like people, healthy pets are happy pets, so keeping your pet as healthy as possible is essential. And, just like humans, much of our pets’ health depends on the food we feed them.

So, give your pet the healthy stuff – don’t skimp on cheap kibble just because the short-term costs are lower. Although high-quality food can be more expensive, you’ll save money in the long term by forgoing expensive vet bills. Not to mention, your pet will be very satisfied at mealtime.

Do your research to find a high-quality food that works well for your pet’s specific breed.

Try your hand at DIY.

Top-quality pet care doesn’t have to break your wallet. Believe it or not, you can splurge on your pet without subscribing to the overpriced pet items. It just takes research, time, and a can-do spirit.
Although you might have to tap into your crafty side, DIY could be the right solution for your wallet. Here are some frugal ideas that your pet, and your wallet, will love:

  • DIY treats and food. Can’t afford expensive food and treats? Try making your own. For example, dog-safe peanut butter cookies are a tasty option.
  • DIY toys. Any object that entertains your pet safely counts as a toy. So, take a closer look at the freebies around your house, like an empty cardboard box or an old shoe that could turn into hours of entertainment.
  • DIY grooming.Skip the expensive grooming appointments. Instead, save money by doing a lot of the grooming yourself. If there are tricky items that you can’t handle on your own (like nail trims, eek!), schedule a much-cheaper appointment with a local vet for these basic services.

Take some time to get creative about solving your pet’s needs without spending more than you need to. Whether you repurpose some pillows into a new dog bed or try your hand at cooking for your pet, a DIY attitude can help you save money on the little things.

Get creative with fitness.

Just like humans, your pet needs lots of exercise to stay happy and healthy. And when your pet isn’t getting enough exercise, this can lead to long-term health problems. Make it a priority to build fitness into you and your pet’s daily routine.

Not only can exercise help your pet stay healthy, but it can help your own body as well. Since the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, playtime with your pet is the perfect way to tackle two tasks at once.

Luckily, it can be easy to make playtime a workout! This is especially true if you are a dog owner. Because of the pandemic, many people are working from home full time. If this is you, this is a no-brainer! Take your dog outside as often as you can. But if you aren’t working at home, get creative to help your pet stay active while you aren’t around.

Instead of hiring an expensive dog-walker, look for a work-from-home neighbor who would be willing to take your dog for a stroll during the day. A potential trade could be to walk a neighbor’s dog on the weekends while they walk your dog a couple of days during the week. Have a cat? Try investing in interactive toys that they can entertain themselves with all day long.

But either way, make time to play with your pet when you get home. By making fitness a daily routine, your pet will be healthier both mentally and physically, and you’ll benefit too.

Don’t skip the annual vet visit.

The small amount of money you’ll pay for an annual vet visit will save you dividends in the long run. By visiting your vet, you’ll catch any health issues upfront before they become a serious – and more costly – issue. Just like you get your yearly physical at the doctor’s office, so should your furry friend. 

Simply add a monthly amount into your pet fund to cover the annual visit so it doesn’t come as a surprise to your budget. This will save you money and help to keep your pet healthy for the long term.

Give your pet the best life ever – without breaking the bank.

Giving your pet an amazing life doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. With some creativity, you can help your pet live a healthy and plentiful life.

Give Your Pet the Best Life Ever

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