I especially like the tip (#5) about trading overnight pet care duties with friends. In fact, after I shared my doggy cay care experience with another pet owner, she kindly suggested that we board each other pets whenever one of us has to travel. If our dogs get along, we might try that money-saving options.
Here's the guest post:
"According to the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association (APPMA), consumers will spend $40.8 billion dollars on their pets this year, including more than $16 billion on food and almost $20 billion on vet care and supplies. Pet owners will spend $2.9 billion on grooming, boarding and other services for pets.
Caring for your cat or dog will cost about $11,000 over their lifespan, which averages 8 years for large dogs, 14 years for smaller dogs, and 16 years for indoor cats. Does your pet have feathers instead of fur? Some birds have a life expectancy of 40-50 years.
CCCS suggests that consumers consider all the costs before bringing Fido or Fluffy home:
1. To purchase or adopt: While purchasing a pet from a private breeder is the most expensive option, it may be the best way to guarantee that you are getting exactly the breed of dog or cat you want. Costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Pet stores are another option for finding the perfect pet. Adopting a pet from your local humane society or animal rescue organization is much less expensive and most adopted animals will already be spayed or neutered.
2. Healthcare: While annual vet visits for dogs and cats can cost $175-$250, keeping your pet healthy will save money in the long run. Annual physicals, routine dental care, and vaccinations are all part of ensuring an active and healthy pet. Some owners consider pet insurance, especially those willing to spend anything to save their pet.
3. Food costs: Consumers will spend an average of $188 to feed a cat this year, and $217 to feed a dog, according to the APPMA. The cost to feed a large dog can be up to $10 or more per week. This doesn’t include vitamins or treats, which add another $70 to $140 per year. For homes with multiple pets, the cost of feeding the animals can get very expensive.
4. Boarding: If you plan to take a vacation this year and leave your pets behind, boarding or pet sitting costs can add hundreds to your annual budget. The average family will spend $150 to board a cat and $225 to board a dog this year. In-home pet sitting services may cost a little more, but can be less stressful for your pet. Offer to trade pet care duty with a neighbor and you’ll have more money to spend on your vacation.
5. Grooming and basic care: Keeping your pet groomed won’t just make him look better; it can improve overall health. Regular trips to the groomer can add up to hundreds of dollars a year, but there are inexpensive things you can do at home. Keep your dog or cat’s nails trimmed. Brush them regularly—this will help cats avoid hairballs.
Learn how to clean your pet’s ears, especially if they are prone to ear infections. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly with toothpaste specially formulated for them. This can help prevent the needs for dental cleanings, which can cost $200 or more per visit.
If you have cats, maintaining litter boxes can add an additional $250 or more to your annual budget.
6. The little extras: Designer pet attire, brand name shampoo and grooming products, gourmet treats and food, personalized food and water bowls… there is no shortage of items out there for the pampered pet. Whether it is a trip to a doggy day spa, a monogrammed sweater, or a self-cleaning litter box, the cost of these pet accessories can add up quickly. Avoid the impulse to spend money on these items and opt instead for some quality time with your pet."