Are you like me during the holiday season and hang Christmas stockings filled with goodies for your pets? Do you splurge, spoil, and spend hard-earned cash on your animals, especially at this time of year?
Although it’s fun to make our pets feel special, just as we are delighted to enhance all of our loved ones’ holiday, whether it’s kids, grandkids, spouses, or parents, we also need to be wise to not over-indulge. As author, speaker, and radio show host Dave Ramsey says, “You can have a giving spirit without having a negative checking account.”
Here are a few tips for not breaking the bank this Christmas:
People do spend money on their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, the amount of money people spend on their pets increases every year. In 2015, pet parents spent just over $60 billion (yes, billion with a “b!”) dollars on their animals; the following year, that amount increased to more than $66 billion, and in 2017, the organization predicts pet owners will spend nearly $70 billion dollars. Dogtime reports that $20 billion is spent on Halloween costumes, but Christmas gifts vie for an important role in pet-parent spending as well, averaging $36 per pet in the United States (pet parents in England spend a tad more, about $46 per pet).
There are NUMEROUS pet gift ideas, from Amazon picks to items at the big box stores. Some of the most delightful suggestions I’ve seen are listed/linked below:
In addition to Christmas gifts and everyday items like pet food, medical care for pets is also an expense – and can have a major effect on people’s finances. As we all know, pet care takes a lot of green (or plastic), whether that’s staples like food or for medical care. There are organizations and agencies, in states and nationally, who can help with various pet care costs, from spay/neuter procedures to prescription drugs. The Simple Dollar provides an online guide to these groups; check out your state’s pet organizations and foundations, as well as the national groups, by visiting the website with the article from The Simple Dollar.
Enjoy the holiday season without getting into financial hot water come January! And, if you need extra help with pet care needs, consider the resources listed at The Simple Dollar.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.