Tips to Budget Your Pet’s Needs

Come meet Ears, a 6-year-old bunny today!
Ears, adopted Oct. 2014!

We all love our pets, but sometimes money can get a little bit tight! We have put together a list of things that can help with lowering the cost of your expenses each month without skimping on your pet. There’s no need to completely disengage from your pet’s needs, just follow these helpful budget tips for your pet. It’s always a great feeling to be able to save some money! And feel free to share your pet expenses on a budget as well!

Select the Right Pet

Before adopting a pet, research how much it will cost to care for the pet; taking into account the cost of food, medical expenses, toys, accessories, training and time. If you chose to adopt your pet from the Seattle Humane, we will sit down with you and go over a pre-adoption process form to help you make the right decision on the pet that best fits your needs at this time!

Smaller pets such as mice and hamsters are much less expensive to keep than larger pets like dogs. The also require less attention.

Consider adopting a pet from the local animal shelter rather than purchasing from a pet store or breeder. They will be much less expensive and you are giving an orphaned animal a new chance at life!


Always feed your pet the correct amount of food. Refer to the food bag or cans for recommended feedings based on your pet’s weight. You can also speak to your veterinarian. Overfeeding your pet wastes food and may cause health problems that increase veterinary costs.

Buy large bags of pet food versus smaller bags and store in an airtight container to preserve freshness. You may pay up to 40% less per pound!

Use coupons and search the Internet for special discounts and promotions on food and other items you need on a regular basis. You can also call the company who produces the pet food you buy and ask for coupons. They will often send a generous supply.

Meet this 4-year-old sweetheart today, she will surely melt your heart!
Rayne was adopted Oct. 2014!

Take good preventative care of your pet to prevent future health problems by investing in good quality food. Speak to your veterinarian for healthy food suggestions.

Veterinary Services

Vet fees can vary dramatically. Take the time to call and compare local vet fees. Choosing your vet solely on the lowest prices, however, should be avoided. You want a vet that you can trust with your pet’s life. Ask your friends and neighbors who have pets for a recommendation.  You can also post a question on Craig’s List to get recommendations from other pet lovers.

Get the proper treatments, shots and vaccinations for your pet when they are recommended to keep your best friend healthy.

When your pet gets sick, take care of them right away to help prevent costlier treatment in the long run.

Brush your pet’s teeth. If you get in the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth, and keeping plaque off, then you dog will not need a dental exam. Dental exams also require your dog to be anesthetized, which presents some risks.


Instead of buying toys, you can make toys—a tennis ball (or two) inside a cotton tube sock works great. If your dog eats socks, this is the kind of toy that requires some supervision.

Place treats or kibble inside a cardboard box, tape it closed and give it to your dog –just be prepared for clean up! Or try hide and seek. Drop some kibble or favorite treats on the floor and then go and hide. When your dog finds you, give him more treats and hide somewhere else.

Cats love to chase ping pong balls or to play in a paper bag, which can be a cheap form of entertainment for them!

Shop for pet toys and equipment at garage sales or flea markets and get them at a fraction of the price of new items.


If you have a dog, you have an exercise buddy. You can save lots of money by cancelling your gym membership and going on regular walks with your dog. The best part is both you and your dog receive the physical and mental benefits of walking. No expensive equipment required—just grab your leash and go!


Learn to groom your pet yourself. Your local library or the Internet will have information on how to properly groom your pet. Although certain pets need special grooming care, most pets you can groom yourself and save the expense of paying a professional.

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