NOT only is a pet a big emotional commitment, it can be a financial burden some people don't realise until they have the new bundle of joy at home for a few months.

Friends of the Pound Tweed president Sonia Tricher has seen too many animals given up due to financial restraints and was more than happy to provide some helpful hints on saving when it comes to dogs and cats.

Mrs Tricher said the first and most important thing people could do was adopt a pet.

With the RSPCA, the pound and her own organisation constantly having animals available for rehoming, the initial money-saver is the purchase of one of these animals, which are all desexed, microchipped and vaccinated.

"Definitely buy an animal that is already desexed and had all its needles and a microchip. They are all very well priced," Mrs Tricher said.

Food is another big expense for pet owners, especially for those who have a large dog.

"Buying in bulk is a good idea," Mrs Tricher said.

"I would say just as important is buying good-quality dry food whether it is for a dog or cat.

In the long run that saves not only on food bills but vet bills when, in particular, male cats get urinary tract infections from high levels of salt in their food.

But she said don't overstock as dry food would go off if left too long.

Nail trimming and brushing as regularly as possible would also save on vet and grooming bills, she said, but be careful with nail trimming not to take too much off.

Mrs Tricher said when it came to dental costs, keeping your animal away from too much wet food was a good idea, along with feeding them a handful of dental biscuits a day mixed in with their regular food.

TOP TIPS

  • Buy an animal from the pound, RSPCA or the Friends of the Pound.
  • Buy quality dry food and buy in bulk.
  • Feed your pet a handful of dental biscuits once a day.
  • Do nail trimming and brushing/grooming yourself at home.
  • Keep your vaccinations up to date.
  • Basic obedience training helps.


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