Big cities offer convenience with 24-hour grocery stores, coffee shops on every corner, and plenty of job opportunities. However, the cost of living can be quite obstructive when you add in inflated rent prices, transportation, and other necessities. Residents with pets incur even more prohibitive costs when you add in additional security deposits, pet insurance, and food. Then there are the expenses you don’t think about, like boarding while you’re on vacation or securing pet-friendly accommodations. We know that pets are like family, so here are a few tips to help you keep the costs of housing your furry friend low:
- Be a responsible pet owner — and have proof.
Pet owners shouldn’t expect to pay the same as non-pet owners when it comes to housing, but they can make themselves more attractive to leasing agents by proving that they are responsible caretakers. Make sure that your pet’s shots are up to date and that you have the appropriate paperwork on hand in case it’s requested. If you can drum up a couple of references for your pet from previous housing managers, even better. Keep a standing appointment with your veterinarian every six months and incorporate it into your budget. Buy pet food in bulk to keep food costs down.
- Outsource pet care while you’re on vacation.
The emergence of services like Wag and Rover, which pair pet owners with dog walkers and pet sitters, make it affordable and easy to find high-quality care for your pets when you’re busy or on vacation. Rover even has a GPS tracker so you can keep up with your pets while you’re away. These services are great for those who are hesitant about boarding or whose pets don’t get along with other animals. Both services thoroughly vet and test their pet sitters to make sure they are up-to-date on pet care.
- Take a road trip.
If you want to bring your pet along for your trip, you can save a lot by taking a road trip instead of flying. Flying to your destination will require a clean bill of health from your vet as well as boarding your pet in a kennel during your flight, which many pets find distressing. A road trip allows you to be flexible with pit stops and gives your pet plenty of new ground to sniff along the way. You might also consider renting an RV and staying at a campground, most of which allow pets.
- Splurge on a vacation home.
It may seem like an indulgence, but booking a private residence for your vacation might be cheaper than trying to book a pet-friendly hotel, which will charge you for each pet and come with restrictions on pet types and sizes, as well as where they’re permitted to roam within hotel grounds. You can search by filter on sites like Airbnb to find homes that allow you to bring your pet along. This option gives you the advantage of vacationing with a full yard for your pet to roam around in.
- Book a pet-friendly vacation.
The site tripswithpets.com is a great resource for planning a stateside vacation with your pet. It offers a state-by-state database with a variety of pet-friendly activities and locations. The site has options for every type of traveler, whether you want to be adventurous or do something more lowkey like wine tasting. The best part is that none of the activities come with an additional cost.
In general, traveling with your pet will force you to be outdoors more so you could save money that would normally be spent on museum entrance fees and expensive dinners. You could even see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon, for free with your pet!