Spoiling your pet can run up a high bill when you think their happiness hinges on fancy toys and gourmet treats. But keeping your four-legged friend happy and healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Check out these tips to help you enrich your pet’s life without throwing your finances off course.
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Budget for the Basics
Let’s face it — most cats and dogs are simple creatures at heart. All they really need is a roof over their head, food in their bowls, and a warm place to curl up with their favourite human. You need to make sure you can always provide these bare essentials for them — and yourself too!
Budgeting apps can help you prioritize their basic needs, like food and shelter. But don’t worry if you’re old school. A simple tally of your cash flow is good enough if you know where your money goes each month.
Budget for Their Health
Your pet’s health is another important aspect of their happiness, so you should budget for routine vet care like check-ups, vaccinations, and grooming. Look back at last year’s vet spending to get a good idea of what to expect in the next 12 months.
Stash Cash in an Emergency Fund for Unforeseen Health Issues
You should also set aside some cash in an emergency fund just in case you need to visit the vet outside these standard appointments. Your pet can get sick or injured just like you, and these urgent trips to the emergency clinic can be costly.
What if you don’t have enough savings? You can consider looking into a line of credit online using just your phone. Online loans offer convenience in your emergency, with flexible products that let you draw as little or as much as you need to help your four-legged friend.
You can breeze through the application process from anywhere you get Wi-Fi, including a waiting room. Just make sure you take the time to review the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you can handle a new line of credit.
DIY Toys and Treats
Now that we’ve addressed their physical needs, let’s focus on entertainment. Enrichment plays a big role in your pet’s happiness beyond the basics.
If you aren’t careful, you can drop a pretty penny on treats and toys that promise to enrich your pet’s life. But you can keep them occupied, engaged, and happy without busting your budget.
Get crafty with simple, budget-friendly DIY toys, like toilet paper roll cat toys or homemade braided ropes for dogs.
Food puzzles, licking mats, and foraging mats can entertain your fuzzy one for hours. Fill them with homemade treats made from simple, pet-safe ingredients that your pet loves. Try these recipes curated by the ASPCA and American Kennel Club to get started.
Exercise and Socialization
Just as physical activity and socializing are important in your own life, they’re vital for your pet, too. Regular walks and playtime can help your pet blow off steam and burn off excess energy before it’s channelled into destructive behaviours. These moments create mental stimulation, especially if you invest time in teaching them tricks or exposing them to new locations, toys, and smells.
And there you have it — proof you don’t have to pay top dollar for the latest gadgets and gizmos to keep your pet entertained. A DIY foraging mat filled with homemade treats will keep your furry friend happy between vet visits.