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Hopefully when you adopted your pet years ago, you understood he or she came with certain financial responsibilities like food, supplies and a reasonable amount of vet care. And it was worth it to you because of the joy and companionship your dog or cat (or even goldfish) brings. But did you also know your pet can actually save you money?
Here are six penny-wise perks of owning a pet.
YouTube animal videos are a riot. That’s part of the reason we love pets—they provide plenty of free entertainment. Instead of taking your kids to the movies or some bouncy-house place, just have them play peek-a-boo with their pet turtle. Or put Hammy in a plastic ball and have them chase him around the house until they’re both panting. The awesome thing about animals is that they can turn an otherwise boring afternoon into hours of free fun.
2. Gym Memberships
It’s no real shocker that pets keep us active. Especially dogs. Even if you don’t want to walk two miles around the neighborhood while Fido sniffs and marks every single mailbox, you also don’t want those sad puppy dog eyes staring at you while you (try to) sleep at night.
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Related: Cost-Effective Fitness Tips You Can Start Today
There’s a good reason sound machines have a cat-purring feature. Pets are soothing. Ever been to the doctor or dentist and noticed the huge aquariums of brightly colored fish? Yeah, that’s to keep you calm before your root canal. Horses can also help their humans—from rebuilding core strength to befriending children with autism. In a nutshell, animals just make us feel better.
4. Doctor Visits
Infants who are exposed to dogs and cats during the first year of life (when their immune systems are still forming) have a reduced risk of developing allergies. As for adults, owning a dog has been shown to lower a person’s risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. That’s because dogs tend to lower their owners’ blood pressure and increase their activity levels.
5. Pest Control
Mice tearing up your pantry? Not to worry. Cats are notorious for their hunting skills. In fact, cats collectively kill as many as 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion small mammals each year. So while your home will still need a termite treatment, you can count on your feline friend to get rid of just about everything else.
6. Security Systems
Cats are great at killing pests, but dogs are great at defending their territory. And since that territory is your house, you’re benefiting from their protective instincts. Would-be robbers don’t know how sweet and cuddly your vicious-sounding Yorkie is. But you know the truth.
We’re not trying to say pets don’t cost money. They do. And you should be prepared for the financial responsibilities that come with owning dogs, cats, hamsters and even fish.
But the next time you have to fork over cash for Spot’s yearly vaccinations, try to look on the bright side. Think of all the ways he helps you—like fertilizing your rude neighbor’s yard. Good dog.
We know your pet is a part of the family, so make them a part of the budget too! Try Dave’s free, online budget tool EveryDollar today!