Sadly most pet owners only think short term when they get a pet, and often times money comes into play. They get a free kitten, or pup, out of the newspaper, they buy it the cheapest food they can, and they forgo Veterinary care on the pet in efforts to save money.
In the long run these short cuts can and will cost a pet owner more cash.
Free kittens and pups still require vaccinations, in some areas failure to vaccinate against rabies can have a person fined. Let us not forget that if a pet does get sick, the expenses could pile up, and failure to care for a sick pet can have a person charged with neglect. In most cases the cost to treat a sick pet is far higher than the cost of vaccination. If people adopt a pet from a shelter it usually has all the vaccinations, deworming, and so forth, already done to it, and the adoption cost is generally lower than it would cost for an individual to have a vet do these things on their own.
Deworming is cheap, but can save money too, since worms interfere with the digestive process, a pet who has worms has to eat far more food to stay fit and healthy. Fleas can carry worm eggs, so if your pet has fleas, it probably also has worms.
Spaying and neutering is a big expense many people try to avoid. If you look at the expense over a life time you can see that it really amounts to only a few dollars, and is beneficial in so many ways. The pet is not at risk of some cancers, which could also be very expensive at the veterinarian. The pet is not as likely to get into fights with other animals – again saving you money at the vet. The pet not as likely to roam or get into trouble, costing you money to bail it out of the pound. The pet will not get pregnant, which can be very expensive if there are problems.
Saving money on food costs does not always save you money, typicaly the cheap food is cheap for a reason. Cheap food often contains filler and things that are not easily digested by your pet, as such your pet has to eat more of the food. This results in more waste for you to clean up, and a higher food bill at the end of the year. Not all expensive foods are good, not all good foods are expensive, but as a rule if a food contains corn as the main ingredient it is not suited for cats, who are carnivores. Corn should not be a top ingredient in a dog food either, being of low digestability. If the food contains “By-Products” you can be certain that it is low quality food, as by-products can be beaks, feet, and feathers, anything other than good meat.
Starting right and planning for a lifetime commitment to your pet can and will save you money in the long run.