Affordable pets - MoneySense

Affordable pets

How smart pet owners can indulge their pets, while keeping costs down.


Beware of free kittens
So-called “free” kittens and puppies from Kijiji cost up to $500 once spayed, vaccinated, microchipped and examined by a vet. Adopting from the SPCA will cost approximately $150 for cats and $350 for dogs.

Let food be their medicine
Feeding your pets quality food—without tons of fillers—will help keep them healthy, says Toronto veterinarian Scott Mathison. Opt for reputable brands such as Hills and Purina.

Accessorize for less
Forget specialty pet stores. Instead, shop online via websites like Etsy—an e-commerce marketplace—for collars. You’ll pay $10 instead of $20. Also check out the pet departments at Costco, Walmart or HomeSense.

Get more with mutts
Mixed dog breeds are less expensive to care for, as they have fewer health issues. If you like purebreds, greyhounds and standard poodles are smart options.

Healthy and wealthy
Regular exercise will lengthen a dog’s life and keep costly health issues at bay. But just in case, start an emergency fund for unexpected vet bills. It’s cheaper than paying premiums for pet insurance.

Make your own fun
Rather than buying expensive toys that will be destroyed in a matter of weeks, opt for homemade playthings. With tutorials online, it’s easy to make things like a durable rope toy from braided fleece.

Meet the cuddly creatures who starred in our photo spread