Americans share a special love towards their pets. This is clearly visible in APPA National Pet Owners survey, according to which, 65 per cent of US households own at least one pet. The same organization, in another survey, estimates an average annual spending of $1549 on dogs and $988 on cats by these households.
We are taking mostly dogs and cats in account because, of all the households, 74.41% own dogs and cats only, and also because these two are the most expensive to own. Their expenses include surgical or routine vet visits, food and food treats, kennel boarding, vitamins, grooming aids, and toys, and other major expenses like pet purchasing itself, insurance expense, and the housing fees, especially in big cities.
Many households bring home their pets without actually realizing the involved expenses. It’s only after they sum up their first annual expense that they start to feel unsettled.
Here are the 5 ways you can minimize your pet expenses on everything beginning right from their purchase to their food, activity, and health care.
Adopt, Don’t Buy: Adopting a pet is rescuing that pet from a shelter. It makes far greater a sense than from buying a pet from a breeder. Adoption is always cheaper than buying from a pet store, and the cost actually depends on a couple of things like your place of residence, the shelter you visit, and the age and type of animal you are adopting. One more advantage in adoption is that you get a vaccinated, micro-chipped, de-wormed, and neutered animal in the same fees that you initially pay.
Buying Pet Insurance Early: One major expense area in owning a pet is their health care. Routine vet visits can be taken care of but unexpected emergencies can cost you big and real. One way to hedge against massive medical bills is to pick up pet insurance, and to pick it up when your pets are at the starting gate in their life. Insuring them at an early age, when there is no preexisting health conditions, will fetch you the best value than when you insure them in old age and with some existing health condition.
Getting Pet Tax Deductions: If you are employing your pet in your business, you can itemize their expenses to get some tax breaks. If you are employing a guard dog in a bad part of the town, the IRS allows the deductions in dog food, veterinary, and training expenses. Same is the offer, when you are employing a cat or other animal for pest control, or when you make money showing your pet, which the IRS might consider the hobby income. It’s not uncommon to receive a 1099 at the end of the year and for you to be required to include income on your tax return.
Thinking like a Veterinarian: If you don’t have a pet insurance, it may cost you dearly each time you take a round to the vet. So, it’s advisable to start thinking like a veterinarian. Start observing your pet’s behavior: are they active and playful, is their weight and body condition okay, or do they smell clean? Changes in appetite, toilet habits, and water intake can be an indication of a problem. If anything visible, you can take your pet to the vet to forestall any changes. These preemptive measures can save you a lot in your pet expenses.
Being Healthy With Your Pet: It means that you should involve in physical activities with your pet and not just buy it to keep it for a senseless show. Going out for a walk, or running in the streets in the morning or evening with your pet can help you lose some extra calories too. It’s suggested to indulge your children and other family members too in a game with your pets. This will help keep you all more active and energetic, thereby saving big on the health expenses of not only your pets, but also your family.
Follow these tips to keep your pet expenses lower!