Tips and tricks to save money on your first pet

Pet supplies

Guest Post: This article was written by Coupons.org contributing writer Ella Davidson. www.Coupons.org provides deals, coupons and consumer shopping trends and tips. Their work has appeared on CNBC.

Getting your very first pet is a special event, especially if you have young children that you are teaching the virtue of earning a pet to. However, getting a pet can be expensive when you consider all of the factors that go into owning a pet. There are ways to save money though, if you know where to look. While there are no coupons for pets, you can save money on the pet goods that you must purchase for each pet, regardless of the type.

Saving Money on Pets

Before buying any type of pet: cat, dog, or reptile you must be sure to look at the items that you must have to make the pet feel at home, otherwise you run the risk of seriously injuring the animal or making them prone to illness. Here we examine the different types of animals and where you can save money.

Cats

Cats are a common domestic animal that people keep as pets. They come in different breeds and sizes, each with particular needs. When considering purchasing a domestic house cat, you are better off buying a domestic short or long hair cat to begin with. Leave the fancy breeds such as Persians and Himalayans until you have gained some experience with raising them.

Buying a cat from the shelter or adopting a kitten from a local agency is the best way to get a cat. While you can take on a free kitten from a friend whose cat just had a litter, they do not come with vaccinations nor have they been spayed or neutered. Shelters charge a nominal fee and perform all of these services, ensuring that your cat is healthy from the beginning. Health issues can run you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in pet care so ensuring a healthy beginning is your best bet.

Cats do not need much care other than food, water and a litter box. Annual veterinarian visits keeping up on the vaccinations is recommended to avoid any illnesses – particularly if your cat spends any time outdoors or around other cats.

Dogs

Dogs come in many breeds and sizes as well; far many more options exist for buying a dog. If you are looking to save money on your first dog, stay away from breeders, especially backyard breeders. Shelter dogs, like shelter cats, come fully vaccinated and neutered or spayed. In addition, you can find any age and most breeds at the local shelter.

The big craze today is buying mixed dogs such as Labradoodles or Puggles. The truth is, these dogs are just mixed mutts that are being sold under a fancy name. They cost more because they are considered “designer” dogs and there is no guarantee as to their health. A mixed breed from the shelter will cost you far less money and will be your best friend for life.

Dogs require food, water and a collar along with toys to keep them entertained. Dogs eat a lot more food than cats do, depending upon their size. Their vet bills also tend to be more expensive than that of a cat due to other preventative maintenance.

Reptiles

Reptiles are best bought at a local pet store as reptile breeders are usually few and far between. Your pet store is also able to give you good care directions on the reptiles. Snakes and lizards are the most popular types of reptiles owned.

Reptiles are far more difficult to take care of and must be placed in the correct habitat. For example, you will be required to buy a tank to keep the reptile in, a heating lamp, and special surroundings for inside the tank to make them feel at home and live food. Adhering to the special directions is crucial to the well being of these reptiles.

You can buy the products at a discount store to save money, but they will always end up being more expensive to care for than a cat or dog.

Buying an animal is exciting, but it is also a good idea to keep the factors in mind as to how much the animal is going to cost. One of the biggest things that people do not plan for is the veterinary expenses when their animal starts to age and develop illnesses. By researching ahead of time and preparing for the necessary costs, you will start out your pet ownership on the right foot.