Most of us plan our financial budgets on a monthly basis. If you’re super organised, you might have a list of all your incomings and outgoings, along with the amounts and dates they are meant to occur. If you’re less organised (which, let’s face it, is most of us) then you probably have a vague idea with no spreadsheet to tell you exactly what’s happening when.
This less-than-stellar way of keeping track of household finances can cause problems, occasionally meaning you have to dip into credit to see through the month. Even if you sharpen up your financial tactics, you can still find yourself forgetting essentials – and one such essential that few people tack onto their budget is pet care.
Pets are a constant joy of that, there is absolutely no doubt. They bring fun and laughter to your household, as well as being a great way of helping to teach your kids about responsibility. However… they are an expense. There’s no getting around the expense, either. There’s no NHS for pets, so we’ve all had those moments when we’re stuck in need of loans bad credit sufferers can apply for, just to meet the cost of the latest vet trip. Then there’s the food, the toys… it all mounts up.
Do you know how much your pet is costing you on a monthly basis? It’s probably a lot more than you think…
EXPENSE 1: Food
There are options for food no matter what your budget, but there’s usually a different price to pay if you opt for the cheaper items. For example, did you know that cats shouldn’t eat dry food? That might sound like a ridiculous claim given that even vets will mention dry food, but there’s far too much evidence to suggest kibble is outright bad for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive. They can’t really digest vegetables or grains, which make up the bulk of dry food. Add into this bad mix the fact that cats are prone to dehydration and kidney problems, the likelihood of which is worsened by the moisture-free dry food, and the conclusion is obvious.
Dogs are a little easier to feed, though dry biscuits provide relatively little in terms of nutrients. You can actually save money in this area by spending more. Buy a good quality wet food, with a high meat content (the supermarket brands won’t stack up well in this area), and you could be preventing a fortune spent on vet bills in the future. The Cost: Around £20-40 per animal, depending on breed and size.
EXPENSE 2: Vaccination Boosters
A full course of boosters costs anywhere from £100-£150, depending on the area. You can lower this cost by omitting the FeLV jab if your cats never go outside. Your vet should agree to this, as FeLV is only transmitted through cat to cat contact. The Cost: Around £10 per month, per animal.
EXPENSE 3: Toys
This is one area you can definitely cut back on. Expensive cat toys aren’t necessary; cats will love a piece of twine tied to a stick as much as anything else! Dogs are much the same; tie a couple of socks together and you’ve got a toy they will love for evermore. The Cost: £5 per month, maximum.
EXPENSE 4: Insurance
Insurance is a must if you want to avoid those expensive bills, but what’s a good deal?
- Dogs – expect to pay around £10 per month for a young, healthy dog.
Cats – around £7 for young, healthy cats.
The cost will rise if your pet has prior health conditions or is over the age of seven; there’s not much you can do about that. However, you can lower your premium by having your pet microchipped or (for cats) changing them to an indoor-only lifestyle.
EXPENSE 5: Cat Litter
Obviously, this one is just for the feline owners, but cat litter can be an expensive business. If possible, use a natural or paper-based litter – the clumping, clay options can pose a threat to health. It’s possible to find good quality litters that cost around 50p per litre, but you’re still going to be paying… The Cost: Around £7.50 per month, per cat tray.
So Is It Worth It?
Notwithstanding extra vet fees, the cost of a pet is around £50 per month – which seems a lot at a time when household budgets are being tightened. However, every pet owner will tell you it’s 100% worth it – and you make your money back in snuggles!