One of the biggest commitments you’re likely to have undertaken if you’re reading this website is likely to have been taking on a dog. Short of having a baby, the responsibility is up there with the biggest things in life.
From the point that pup comes home (or is born if you’re lucky enough to witness it), you’ll need to plan your holidays around them, take them out every day and, of course, buy their food with yours at the supermarket.
OK, so you’ll not be cooking for them, but they’ll need mealtimes just like any other member of your family, along with their own bedding to be cleaned regularly and their own favourite spot in the car.
Many of these take up a lot of extra time, and it’s something every dog-owner-to-be should carefully think through before accepting a new member into the family. You only have to look at the number of animals being abandoned into the care of the RSPCA or local dog pound to see just how many people really don’t understand what they’re getting themselves into.
We’ve only really considered the day to day costs too – if you add in the potential for vets bills and other considerations for your pet’s wellbeing, in some cases you might find that the cost of a baby could be less. At least a child’s medical bills fall on the NHS!
Your dog’s food will likely be the single biggest ongoing cost that you’ll notice. Depending on the size of the animal, you’ll see a significant increase in the total at the tills at Asda. You’ll find that how you feed your dog can make a huge difference too – some people go to extremes and provide food that closely resembles their own family’s meals, but you can do it much cheaper.
A large sack of dog food will last the average domestic dog breed anything up to a month. Most big supermarkets will sell these on the pet aisle, and you’ll be surprised at just how many different varieties there are if you’re a new dog owner. Just like people, you’ll find that your pet will like some more than others, so over time you can settle on their favourite brand.
To keep costs down, keep an eye on the multi-buys, as you can buy in bulk at these times. Buying enough will mean that you can stock up until the next offer is on, and minimise the hit on your finances. As well as the supermarket deals, you will often see vouchers on the packaging to cut out and get a discount from your next purchase. It’s often not a huge discount, but every little helps (to quote Tesco). The final tip is to make use of the general opportunities to save money – whether that’s an opportunity to win Asda vouchers to spend in store, or to enter your receipt details into the Price Guarantee website.