To welcome a pet into your life is to welcome a companionship filled with love, joy, and adventure. However, it also means adding a fair amount of responsibility to your life. While caring for your pet takes time, effort, and money, the bond that eventually forms makes it all worthwhile. What’s more, there are ways to keep your pet healthy and have a thriving relationship without going broke. From picking the right type of pet for your lifestyle to helping them adjust to their new life, here are three budget-friendly tips for owning a pet:
Choose a Pet That Fits Your Life
How much time do you spend at work? How big is your home? Does anyone in your household suffer from allergies? How flexible is your budget? Questions like these are important to ask when you’re choosing a pet. For instance, a dog typically will require more time and attention than a cat or fish. So, if you don’t have time to come home at lunch or you work until very late every night, a dog is probably not the best choice for your lifestyle.
If you do have time for a dog, you then have to think about what breed to get. For instance, if you live in a small apartment, it will probably be best to consider a smaller breed (e.g., Dachshund, Yorkie, Bichon Frise). If you live in a house with plenty of room, something like a German Shepherd or Bullmastiff could be a great fit. While there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, some breeds produce less dander (e.g., Poodle, Scottish Terrier, Shih Tzu), which makes allergic reactions less frequent.
The cost of getting a dog can range from free to around $10,000 — possibly more. The most budget-friendly path is to find a dog at your local rescue shelter. Money aside, this gives you the opportunity to give a great dog the loving home it deserves.
Get Your Home Ready
When you’ve chosen a type and breed of pet, it’s time to prepare your home for the new family member. Start by clearing out a living space where the pet will have a comfortable amount of space without being secluded from the rest of the family. You should also plan to purchase supplies for your new pet, both at the beginning and regularly thereafter. Whether it’s food or toys, you can easily find everything you need online. Shop around for the best price from major retailers like Petco or Amazon, and save even more by digging up Amazon discount codes
It’s also important to pet-proof your home, which will keep your pet safe and reduce the likelihood of injuries. Here are a few safety precautions you can take:
- Placing all chemicals and medications on high shelves
- Keeping electrical cords/wires hidden or taped to the baseboards
- Keeping choking hazards (i.e., string, toys, screws, etc.) off the floor and any other areas your pet can access
- Making sure all heating and air vents are covered
- Closing all trash cans and toilet lids
Help Your Pet Adjust
When it’s time to bring your new pet home, you will need to help them acclimate to their new surroundings. Routine is essential for pets, so make sure to set a routine they can rely on from the start. This includes everything from when you feed and potty them to when your children come home from school. Also, if your pet has some belongings that they are familiar with, those can bring them comfort and help them to adjust.
It doesn’t have to drain your bank account to be a great pet owner. Begin by making sure to pick a type and breed of pet that your life can accommodate. Then, prepare your home by creating a living space especially for them, getting them the necessary supplies, and taking safety precautions. Help them acclimate by establishing a household routine and allowing them to bring some of their old belongings with them to their new home.
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