Owning A Pet Doesn't Have To Be Costly in Malaysia
Everyone wants a pet but a lot of us think about just getting one and not about whether we can financially afford it in the long term. So, before you decide that owning a pet is a leap you want to take, it is best to see if your wallet is as ready as you are.
We’ll look at the main types right now: Cats and dogs. Cats and dogs require very different types of care and as such, the cost of owning either one varies. For example, if we look at dogs they come in generally three different sizes which require different food and care costs.
Let’s look at how much it’ll cost to own an average dog or cat from obtaining one to taking care of it each year:
|One-time pet expenses||Dog||Cat|
|Annual pet expenses||Dog||Cat|
|Medical Exams & Vaccination||
|Toys & Treats||
Based on the figures above, having a pet can easily cost you over RM4,000 in the first year and well over RM3,000 subsequently. The costs could be much higher depending on the frequency of your furkids vet visits as well as the brand of food you buy.
Again, the table above just serves as a reference for prospective pet owners. If you are a frequent traveller, it is safe to assume that you may have to set aside additional costs for pet sitting or pet boarding services in case you need to go outstation or abroad.
As you now have a better picture on how these expenses will affect your budget, let’s explore how we can keep the costs lower while providing these adorable furkids a fantastic loving home and environment.
1. Why buy if you can adopt?
Puppies and kittens in the retail stores can be tempting but they will definitely cost a lot too compared to the young furkids in rescue shelters and organisations.
Adopting from the shelters and rescue organisations may not mean they’re cost-free – you may still have to pay for your new pet but definitely not in the region of thousands of Ringgit. These adoption fees collected, in most cases, pay for more than just the animal you have adopted itself – the fees typically include all first-time vaccinations and spaying/neutering procedures of the animal as well as other rescued animals too.
You may not know this but through adoption, you are lending a hand to put a stop on puppy mills, where dogs are cruelly stored in dark places solely for breeding only purposes. They are the number one reason why pedigree dogs are dumped and left to die once they are no longer able to breed or have past breeding age. If the retail stores are not responsible enough to share with you the information on the origins of the puppies and kittens’ parents, you may just end up with the product of puppy mills.
So when you adopt you’re saving more than just money, you are doing your part in stopping a cruel industry.
2. Buying pet food online
A typical pet owner buys his or her pet supplies from pet stores in his or her neighbourhood. In most cases, they are required to drive out, find a parking spot and then sometimes carry heavy bags of pet food to their cars and back home (especially if you have a large dog!). Worse if the specific products that you wish to buy are out of stock at the store after making the journey there.
An easier way to do this is by using online sites like Waggymeal.com. Not only do you save time in heading out to the store but it’s also a LOT easier to compare the prices of different products.
*Update: You can now potentially save up to RM105 from your next purchase when you buy above RM200 in a single order.
3. Using the right credit card
If you have been using credit cards to pay for your pet purchases and expenses, you can potentially get money back for what you have spent. For instance, if you are an online shopper, you can now shop in online pet supply sites and use the CIMB Bank Cash Rebate Platinum MasterCard to make payment as it gives the cardholder up to 5% cash rebate for online purchases.
There are also other cards that give discounts online. Find the best credit card for online purchases easily from any online site like iMoney or RinggitPlus.
Spending with the right credit cards on your pet purchases will definitely give you more savings in the form of cash back offered by the issuing banks on top of the in-store discounts. What’s more, there are also credit cards that provide rewards points on top of cash back benefits that you can use to redeem free grooming sessions or pet food packs when you have enough points to dispose.
4. Participating in loyalty and referral programmes
Some pet shops give up to 10% off selling prices when you sign up for their membership and loyalty programmes. So if you have been shopping at the same retailer every time you need to load up on your pet supplies, find out if they offer loyalty programmes for the regular customers – don’t be shy to ask even if they don’t publicise it.
Waggymeal.com handles it a little differently where they also offer cash incentives when you refer a friend to a store. It’s a pretty neat way to save cash plus you’ll be helping your friends and family save time and money on their pet shopping.
Most pet food brands offer pet owners cost saving offers and promotions through sales campaign e-mails, bulk or scheduled purchases and online coupons. Feel free to also check with your preferred brands’ distributors, importers or suppliers to see if they can extend further discounts on what you have been buying through the retailers and online store like Waggymeal.com whom they have been working closely with.
Owning a pet can be expensive but you can definitely make it cheaper by using these steps. Enjoy every moment showering love to your furkid without worrying about burning any holes in the pocket!
*This post was originally published on iMoney.my's website on 10th December 2015.