How potential pet owners are saving time and money

July 28, 2015

Bringing home a pet is a significant investment in both time and money. If you're short on either, here's some ways you can enjoy animals and even do some good around your community.

How potential pet owners are saving time and money

Getting a rescue

  • Your local Humane Society has lots of animals available for adoption. You can visit in person or visit your local society's website, where some have postings with photos and information on particular animals.
  • Depending on where you live, the adoption charges vary from about $50 to $200 for a dog and $25 to $100 for a cat. You might also find hamsters, ferrets and birds too.
  • That fee may include vaccinations, microchip identification implants, shelter care insurance and application of a flea control product.
  • Be aware of potential problems. Although many adopted animals make excellent pets, some come with ingrained behavioural problems. Be prepared to spend some time on re-training if necessary.

Fun with (pet-friendly) friends

  • If an acquaintance has an animal that has given birth, this can be an inexpensive, or even free, way of getting a new pet.
  • Avoid potential problems by get a written guarantee if you pay a near-market price. If the animal is ill, or turns out to have congenital problems, having a guarantee document makes the situation clearer if you need to seek legal redress later.

Free advice before buying

If you have queries on types of pet, breeds or general care, take advantage of free resources, like:

  • A good pet shop can sometimes offer valuable guidance on buying a first pet, nutrition, grooming and pet care.
  • Organizations such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies offer free advice to potential pet owners to help to prevent unforeseen problems.
  • Many vet clinics have websites with great specific pet care information and articles.

Share a pet

If you can't afford the time or money for an expensive pet, you can still enjoy their companionship:

  • Local animal rescue centres and other services need people to walk animals and take care of pets. By volunteering to help, you will gain much of the day-to-day pleasure of a pet for free.
  • You can take care of puppies that are slated to be trained as seeing-eye dogs. You're responsible for the dog from the age of seven weeks to one year, when it is then handed over for training.
  • You could become a Foster Parent for animals in need at your local animal shelter.
  • Advertise locally to offer your services as a pet sitter. Most owners would be glad to have someone in the neighbourhood help them take care of their pets, especially if they work long hours or are frequently out of town.

Always remember: pets are more than a financial investment, they also require a lot of time. But if you don't have the time or money for a pet, there are many ways you can still interact with animals, and do some good in your community.

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