Do you want a pet, but are wary about the hidden costs of owning, say, a dog?
You came to the right place.
Pets are increasingly important in our lives now more than ever. In fact, pet owners are scientifically proven to live happier lives. When owning a pet comes to mind, most people default to one animal: dogs.
While dogs make for an incredible furry companion, the cost of owning them can unfortunately be prohibitive for folks on a budget.
For example, according to TheSprucePets, dogs typically cost anywhere between $1,500 to $9,900 per year depending on the breed.
While there are many ways to be frugal about owning dogs, that’s a hefty chunk of change for someone looking to own a four-legged friend. Not to mention, dogs are rather high maintenance pets. You’ll need to make quite the commitment if you plan on getting a dog.
Walking them 2-3 times a day, feeding them, loving them, letting them out to the bathroom… While a rewarding experience, dog ownership can be intimidating (and expensive) for someone looking for a pet.
The good news is that there are plenty of other rewarding animals that won’t cost thousands of dollars a year to own and maintain. Plus, these pets are generally lower maintenance compared to dogs and cats.
Parakeets are colorful little birds that can often be found for sale in various popular pet stores. They’re very social creatures and are known to grow a close bond to both owners and other animals.
Also, did we mention they only cost, at most, $300 per year to maintain? And that’s with a budgeted vet cost, too.
The ASPCA states that parakeets will run about $600 in the first year of ownership, and $300 on average each subsequent year – Making parakeets one of the most affordable pets one can buy.
Aside from cost, parakeets are known to give their owners a lot of gratification. They often sing when they’re happy, and will mimic tunes and sounds that are played around the house.
Parakeets can also be trained to talk and say various human words.
Overall, this is a great pet to own for those of you looking for a budget pet. Here are the general pros and cons of owning a pet parakeet:
• Can create bonds with humans and animals; tend to be friendly and affectionate.
• Will learn to speak and mimic sounds.
• Come in many different color varieties.
• Typically parakeets do better in captivity with other parakeets. If only buying one, this pet will require a lot more attention. Usually recommended to care for at least two at a time.
• Parakeets can be loud. While they chirp and sing, they also squawk. Be prepared for that.
A snake may not be everyone’s first thought when it comes to considering a pet companion. Though they are frightening for most, snakes can actually make a great pet for many different reasons.
First, they aren’t too expensive to purchase and maintain. On average, the initial cost of a pet snake ranges from around $180-$500, and monthly average costs typically range from $20-30/mo.
Snakes also open up entire worlds to their owners. Most snake owners become quickly infatuated with biology, genetics, and the natural world. There’s a lot to learn about these slithery fellas, and owning one can be a huge educational experience.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many snake species that are friendly and affectionate. They’re known to grow a bond with their owners after some time and can be soothing and calming to handle.
Not all snakes are the same, though. It’s important to research exactly which species will fit your preferences.
While they may not be for everyone, snakes are an affordable and often surprisingly fulfilling pet to choose from. Here’s a list of pros and cons when it comes to owning a pet snake:
• Snakes and their enclosures are very easy to maintain. Only need to be fed ~1 time a week.
• There are a ton of different species, colors, sizes, and patterns of snakes to choose from.
• Can grow a bond with you, and will become accustomed to your scents.
• Some snake species live a long time (30+ years). Be sure to plan accordingly before buying one.
• Fear of snakes is a very real thing. Be sure anyone in your household is OK with this.
• Snake enclosures can take up a lot of space depending on the species you choose. Do your research before buying!
Bunnies are undeniably cute and are often overlooked as a kind and loving pet. These hoppy furballs can grow deep bonds with their owners, making them both a great pet and emotional support animal.
Best of all, they are fairly inexpensive to own and maintain. Rabbits will cost anywhere from $10-$40, and can also be rescued from animal shelters. In the first year of owning a rabbit, you can expect to pay about $500. The costs include vet visits, spaying/neutering, cage setup, and food/toys.
After the initial cost of adopting your new floppy-eared friend, you can expect to pay about $30 in monthly maintenance (think food, litter, etc.)
If you live in a small apartment or home, you can skip buying the cage all together. Rabbits can be trained to use a litterbox just like a cat!
Here are the general pros and cons of owning and caring for a pet rabbit:
• Rabbits are known to be very affectionate and warm, making for an emotional support animal.
• They are energetic, and you’ll be able to spend a lot of quality time with them.
• They can be litter trained, and cleaning up after them is easy.
• Bunnies are a lot more demanding than other pets on this list and require more frequent care.
• They can be somewhat messy if not properly trained.
• Sometimes, they’ve been known to nibble on furniture/linens.
In Summary: Budget Friendly Pets Do Exist
While dogs can be an incredible addition to any family, they can also be quite expensive. Not all pets have to cost you an arm and a leg to care for and love, though.
Pets are an essential part of a happy life, and you shouldn’t let budgetary problems get in the way of building a bond with a furry, feathered, or scaled companion. The pet choices highlighted above not only cost less than a dog, they’re also easier to own and maintain.
If you look hard enough, you’ll find many different options to choose from: whether birds, snakes, or small mammals, there’s 100% a pet out there waiting to be your buddy.