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The experience of owning a pet can extremely rewarding but it can also come at a great financial cost if you don’t take due diligence. When you own a pet, you will soon realize that it is a lot of responsibility. In fact, according to a study by Pet Product Association, Americans spent as much as $66.75 billion on their pets in 2016. That is no surprise, because providing care for a pet requires you to have basics such as healthcare and food. That is why you need to have a proper budget in mind before heading to the pet store to welcome a pet into your home.
Pets are some of the best companions that you can have around due to unconditional and nonjudgmental friendship. They can lift your spirits when you are feeling down and depressed. Moreover, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that pets can have a great positive effect on your health: they can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Over and above these great rewards that come with pets, you have to come up with some strategies to keep the budget under control.
Pick a pet you can afford
The truth is that the initial of cost of buying or adopting a pet is comparatively small in relation to the long-term expenses of taking of a pet but the choice of your pet also has a direct relation with the cost of maintaining it. You may drop by the pound and immediately fall in love with a given pet. But you must take a back seat and ask yourself how that might affect your pocket.
Research has found that some pets are more prone to disease and to other health problems than others. For instance, larger breeds of dogs and cats are more costly to keep because they eat more food and some tend to be sicklier. There are other things to consider as well if you are buying a dog. Some dog breeds are more aggressive or those with a biting history may make insurers to shy away or they will ask for higher premiums. Dog training classes may also drain several hundred dollars.
Cut on the nutritious food
Food is a major recurrent expenditure for every pet owner and if you don’t pay close attention it can suck up a lot of money. Most pet owners want to give their animals the best care that they I can and that means giving them nutritious food. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy every nutritious food that you see on TV ads. Instead you can ask your vet or other pet owners for food recommendations. You can also consult the American society for the prevention of cruelty to animals for age-based food recommendation for dogs, cats and other pets.
You need to be sure you are giving your pet the right food rations. Overfeeding the pet can lead to obesity and other health risks and it is also bad for your wallet. To put it simply’ identify what your pet likes and buy in bulk to save you from many unnecessary costs.
Keep an eye on the litter box
Litter is one expense that many pet owners don’t seem to be aware of. For those who cats or other pets spend much of their time in the house will agree that they have had to change the litter box so frequently. The best litter to buy for your pet should be odor-fighting, clumping litter which might cost somewhere from $12 to $20 per stub. You might be tempted to buy the cheap non-clumping litter. The other solution is to ensure that your pet spends much of the day playing outside.

Ensure your pet is healthy
Healthy is important to pets as it is to humans. Prevention is better than cure if you want to keep your pet ownership cost under control. Health is expensive especially if you want to wait till sickness strikes to react. Make sure that you follow through on your pet’s vaccination schedule and regular annual checkups at the vets. Detecting health issues early on and dealing with them is always the better thing to do to prevent problems that might affect the quality of life of your life. Don’t be quick to buy drugs until you have shopped around for the best deal. Sometimes your vet might recommend generic drugs that are cheaper instead of the most expensive brand medications. Check the National Association of Boards of pharmacy for a list of accredited websites where you can buy medications for your pets. However , you don’t need your vet to do keep your healthy because there are things you can by yourself such as brushing the teeth of your dog to prevent teeth decay and gum problems

Make plans for when you are not around
A responsible pet owner makes sure that the pets have somewhere safe to say when he is away. The least expensive way is to ask a neighbor, friend or relative to take care of the pet the owner is away. You can also offer pet-sitting services to your friends and neighbors when they are going away, so that they can also help you when you need their help. You can also seek the services of pet day care centers. If you don’t your pet with neighbors and friends. Most care centers have mobile apps that you can download and get someone to visit your home to feed and walk your pet in the compound. You can also ask someone to spend the night at your place while you are away to save the costs of taking your pet along on the trip.

Control your pet’s intake
It is important to keep an eye on what and the amount that your pet takes in. make sure you consult your vet to know the amount that is enough for your pet. So that you don’t overfeed your pet and waste money on food that would have been spent on something obese pet is more susceptible to health problems which can lead to more cost. Thus, you need to control portions to reduce expense and other related health problems.

To summarize, having a pet can be a great blessing to your family. It can change the life of your family due to immediate benefits such as companionship and friendship that pets provides but if not well-thought-out it can empty your pockets. So you need to have a proper plan before taking a pet into your home.