Lifestyle

Furry and fluffy not the best choice for budget pet care

HELPING HAND: Petbarn assistant store manager Valerie Verma enjoying the view of her favourite pets.
HELPING HAND: Petbarn assistant store manager Valerie Verma enjoying the view of her favourite pets. Marc Stapelberg

SAVING money on your pet begins with purchasing the right animal to fit your household budget - and there's plenty of options besides dogs and cats.

In fact the most cost-effective pet is the humble hermit crab, according to PetBarn Lismore manager Meredith Gallanty.

Ms Gallanty said a family of hermit crabs would feel more than comfortable in a home costing as little as $100, and they require very little ongoing investment.

An added bonus is the daily maintenance routine takes less than five minutes.

Next on the affordable scale were small mammals such as mice and rats (they're also known as gentle, friendly, and curious pets) followed by budgies and canaries.

A small budgie cage suitable for hand-rearing (regularly releasing the bird to fly around the home) can be bought for just $50.

READ MORE: 

Has pet pampering gone too far? Aussies spend $8b on pets

Adopt, don't shop for furry friend: save money and a life

Is pet insurance worth it?

But for those dog or cat-loving tragics, or if the kids are simply set on having that adorable puppy, there's still plenty of ways to save.

Being frugal about pet care is a double-edged sword, however - try to cut too much off your budget and you might end up with a costly visit to the vet.

"The best way to save money when you're taking care of your pets is keep their overall health good to avoid big vet bills," Ms Gallantry explained.

"We're talking about feeding high quality nutrition; even though the bag price might be a little higher, you feed less of the high quality than the low quality so the bag goes further."

Bulk buying food is key.

Another great recommendation for dogs is buying a $60 tick collar or $20 tick medication every four to six weeks to prevent a nasty paralysis tick which could otherwise cost up to $1500 in vet care.

Another must for canine care is regular grooming, which helps and prevents skin conditions and much cheaper to prevent than treat at the vet.

Ms Gallantry said going to a pet speciality store had side benefits that couldn't be gained from buying your pet goods at the local supermarket.

"We don't replace veterinary care but if it's a common problem we can give advice and certainly help with preventing problems," she said.

PetBarn does occasional flash sales in which prices are heavily discounted and offers a loyalty program with every 11th bag of food free, among other benefits.

Topics:  animals, costbusters, pets



Our young Attenborough scoops documentary awards

Knockrow wildlife documentary maker Marli Lopez-Hope during filming for The Great Forest

"The subject has created a lot of talk, which is what we wanted."

Why this Lismore mum will no longer be forced to sell her home

MUCH NEEDED: Rotary Club of Summerland Sunrise donated almost $4500 to the Mitchell family for renovations to support mobility for their son Isaac, who has cerebral palsy. Pictured is Rose Mitchell and Isaac (foreground), with (from left) Past President Andrew Heap, Josephine Saunders, President Zell Bennett, and Graham Meineke (background).

A local club has made a huge difference for this family

Surfrider Foundation to give voice to Ballina surfers

BURIED: This steel anchor, a component of the planned Lighthouse Beach shark barrier, is now completely buried along with several others after two days of big swell and high tides.

A "positive outcome” from the shark barrier debacle.

Local Partners

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction