My friend bought the world’s cutest puppy for his kids this past Christmas. A beautiful yellow lab named Cloe. The price tag? $800. Enough to make my warm fuzzies dissipate into the cold winter air. Surely there’s a cheaper way to get emotional satiation from our furry friends. Instead of paying high dollar from a pet store or top-of-the-line breeder, go the less traveled route.
There are breeders and pet lovers all over who you can buy from directly instead of going to an expensive pet store. If you have to get a pedigreed pet, or a rare thorn headed dung beetle, try to buy from an individual as opposed to a pet store. It could save you considerably.
If you’re buying from a breeder, wait a few months. The cute little puppy or kitten will get bigger and the seller will be more anxious to get rid of it and probably lower the cost. You miss out on the joy of owning a fur ball, but you miss out on the hassle of having a teething, urinating beast underfoot as well. Often a full-grown pet is a better investment, as house-training has probably already been done. You can save money on carpet cleaning.
Read the paper or look at the bulletin boards at the grocery store to find hundreds of free or cheap pets. Go online to Petfinder.org. Thousands of dogs, cats, birds, lizards and man-eating piranhas are being given away or let go for a small donation. Most have already had their shots and been spayed or neutered, thus saving you even more money.
Animal shelters and rescue centers are a great place to go. Once again, the animals are already fixed, vaccinated and groomed for a small donation. There are many breed-specific rescue centers where you can find a rare Chinese Water Dragon or whatever your favorite pet is. There’s just something great about taking an animal from a place that wants you to help them. It makes you feel like a pet superhero.
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