IN THE HOME YOU'VE GOT > WAYS
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buying, grooming, raising/showing (resource-heavy) animals:
Pet costs can be big players in a household's
budget. (I know - I'm a big animal lover.) Maybe it's time to look at some
pet-related expenditures you may have been choosing to be unconscious about...
Have your heart set on owning a particular breed? They do show up at pet
shelters, for various reasons - and shelter "acquisitions" are
easy to track online these days. There are also rescue organizations for
almost any breed of cat or dog (and probably other critters as well), and
not all of these animals have been dumped due to problem personalities. You
can usually save a bundle over buying from a breeder or a pet shop (most of
which perpetuate the undesirable - to say the least - breeding
"mills"), as well as rescue a pet from oblivion. Or check
the free pet ads in your local paper, of course.
Does your dog really need to be professionally groomed? (I know, you
might well need help with the toenails - a friend?) And here's a tip: Get the
teeth cleaned whenever Fido is already having to be anesthetized for some
If The Hunt is your life, or you're a professional animal
raiser/trainer/shower, well, that's that. But if you're a dilettante, maybe
it's time to back away from those major expenses (or enjoy it another
way - as a spectator, maybe?).
And I do hope you'll consider the economic and
societal consequences of letting your cat or dog have babies just for the
experience. Those are pet costs that affect all of us.