By Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances
At the risk of exposing my advancing age, one of the songs that has a habit of sticking in my head from time to time is The Beatles, “Can’t Buy Me Love”. And, I’m here to tell you that even Rock and Roll royalty can get it wrong from time to time! The song, mind you, is awesome. But the message may not be completely accurate! Maybe, just maybe, money CAN buy you love!
In fact, I would argue that money can buy you the best kind of love…the UNCONDITIONAL kind! For a relatively meager investment, you can set yourself up to be greeted at the front door by someone who absolutely adores you no matter what.
Had a bad day? Nothing a warm greeting and lick on the nose won’t erase. Had a bad HAIR day? Your pets may be the only ones in the world who won’t judge you for it! Need some motivation to get off the couch and exercise? Your pets love you enough to encourage (read: command) you to do it. The bottom line, your pets love you no matter what. Even our parents can’t make that claim!
Unconditional love via pet ownership, like everything else in life, has a price. First, there is the cost to acquire a pet. This, ironically, is usually the least expensive part of pet ownership. There are countless options, from free-to-good-home ads (be a bit careful—free isn’t always free) to potentially high price tags from puppy stores or breeders. To make acquiring a pet more affordable, consider adopting from a local shelter or rescue group. In many cases, adoption fees include lots of other services including vaccinations, de-worming, microchips and spay/neuter surgery. Your adoption fee can be the best deal in town!
There are certainly corners I would never recommend cutting when it comes to the expenses associated with pet ownership. Annual visits to the veterinarian for a routine physical and preventative care such as vaccinations and de-worming are important to the well-being or your beloved pets. If cost is an issue, however, there are a few things to consider trying.
First, take charge of your pets’ health care. In today’s world, we humans are encouraged to get more and more involved in our health care decisions. It is the norm now to question expensive tests and procedures rather than blindly following health care professionals. Recommendations and costs will vary from one veterinary practice to another so frugal pet owners are encouraged to shop around. And, if you have multiple pets it might make sense to stagger their annual visits so the costs are allocated a bit more evenly throughout the year.
Pet training involves both science and art. And, while serious behavior problems might require the services of a professional, the average pet owner can be quite effective in teaching her own pets proper behavior. Use the internet and the library to research various methodologies and tools. PetSafe has many tools to help pet owners manage their pets’ behavior at home. A commitment of time will pay off in huge dividends for the life of your pet.
Jim Tedford serves as PetSafe’s Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances. Working on the front line of animal welfare for over 20 years, Jim has served as CEO for organizations in New York, Louisiana and Tennessee. Prior to joining PetSafe, Jim provided marketing and fundraising services to animal welfare organizations nationwide. Jim holds a degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Jim and his wife Ann share their “empty nest” in the Smoky Mountains with adopted dogs Bodie, Sam, and Lila and a formerly homeless macaw, Gipper.