Millions of people who adopted pets during the pandemic are facing a tough decision about their four-legged friends. Can they still afford to keep them as the cost of pet supplies and vet care keeps climbing?

smiling woman holding up a wiener dog in a field
Dominika Roseclay

Your heart might be breaking as you wonder the same thing. Your pandemic pet was your companion through some rough times, a constant furry friend while you are isolated from loved ones. The last thing you want to do is give them up as life gets back to normal.

Tips to Help You Afford Routine and Emergency Pet Care

The good news is, you might not have to. With animal support services, online fast cash loans, and budget tips, this guide is here to help keep your family together.

1. Buy Food in Bulk

Like human food, pet food can be cheaper per ounce when you can buy it in bulk. Kibble also has the benefit of being shelf-stable, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad before they can eat it.

If you’re finding it hard to justify the upfront cost of bulk, split your haul with a friend. You’ll be able to cash in that cheap rate per ounce without paying for it all on your own dime.

2. Find Pet Food Banks

If you’re still struggling to afford food for your pets, these resources may offer subsidized or free food:

  • Shelters
  • Non-Profits
  • Manufacturers
  • Online Community Boards
  • Humane Societies
  • SPCA
  • Animal Food Banks

3. Only Borrow Money in an Emergency

Many pet owners rely on credit as a crutch in tight situations. Fast cash loans are a convenient way to cover an unexpected vet visit when you have zero savings or room on your credit card. However, like any borrowing option, fast cash online comes with rates and fees. Make sure you can handle these costs by looking at the APR. This number represents the true cost of borrowing fast cash online in an emergency.

4. Keep up on Routine Vet Care

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money to save money, but your pet’s annual check-ups give you a chance to treat issues before they become expensive problems.

If you have a good relationship with your vet, ask about a possible payment plan. These plans act like installment loans, but instead of owing money to a bank, you’ll owe your vet.

5. Find Low-Cost Vet Care

Not all vets are willing or able to offer a payment plan. Unlike human doctors, vets rarely apply such a high mark-up on their prices, so they may not have as much wiggle room with their own budgets.

In that case, search your county and state for vet centers that offer sliding-scale fees based on income. You might also find non-profit vet clinics that provide subsidized services through charitable donations.

Bottom Line:

Unfortunately, Fido and Mr. Whiskers come with a big price tag. Between preventative vet care, food, and grooming, here’s what you could be spending:

  • Dogs: Most dogs average out costing their owners $153 per month. That’s $1,836 a year if you don’t run into an unexpected expense.
  • Cats: In one year, you could drop as much as $1,570 annually on Fluffy the cat.

Use these stats to help you create a budget and be prepared to slash some fun spending. While today’s tips can help, sacrificing a streaming service and takeout might just help you keep your pet happy and healthy.