We really love our furry (and fur-less) friends a whole lot. They’re part of the family and want to do our best for them, but man can pets be expensive! Luckily, having your own pampered pooch or cute kitty doesn’t have to leave you with an empty wallet. Here are some simple ways you can save money while taking good care of your precious pet:
Whether you’re looking to purchase flea protection for your poodle or seed for your birds, you can almost always save cash by purchasing what you need online. Physical pet stores and veterinary surgeries seem to be so much more expensive than the online options, that if you implement only one thing from this post, it should be this.
Coupons aren’t just for people stuff – there are plenty of animal orientated coupons to be found on everything from pet food to a pampering session at the local puppy parlor. Seek these out, and you should be able to save at least a few dollars each month.
Bulk Buy Pet Food
When you’re buying food for your pets, it is usually a good idea to buy in bulk if you can. Dry pet food is almost always less expensive than canned food, and many vets believe that it is a healthier alternative too. The more pet food you buy at once (bearing in mind expiry dates), the cheaper your purchase will be. Just make sure that you store the kibble in airtight storage bags, or containers so that your money isn’t wasted.
Another way that you can save money on the cost of pet food is by actually paying attention to the serving size on the package. So many of us just fill our dog or cat’s bowls right up, not even bothering to check how much we should be feeding them. Not only does this make our wallets slimmer, but it makes our pets fatter, and neither of those is a good thing!
Ration the Treats
It might seem mean, but treats are meant to be just that. You shouldn’t be rewarding your animal friends with food unless they have really earned it. It isn’t good for them, and it is likely to be costing you a small fortune in unnecessary foods.
Fill Prescriptions Online
Although there are some pet medications which are strictly controlled and can only be obtained from your local vet, there are others which can be purchased online, providing you have a prescription, and it is often much, much cheaper to do so, especially if your pet has an ongoing condition.
You might also be able to save some money on pet medications by purchasing packs for larger animals and then splitting the doses. Medications for bigger pets usually cost little more and can work out to be more cost effective, but you must be careful to adjust the dose accurately for the sake of your four-legged friend.
If you have a dog or a cat, you absolutely must look into getting pet insurance. There are various policies to suit any pocket, Money saving experts like Michael Banks always advocate getting insurance for the important things in life and having a policy means that you don’t have to choose between paying thousands of dollars and getting into debt or putting your much-loved friend to sleep. This is a heart-breaking decision that you can easily avoid having to make by taking sensible steps now.
Spend More on Toys
It might seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to save money on the cost of owning a pet, but if your dog is the kind who can destroy a brand new toy in three seconds flat, it’s probably a good idea to invest in high-quality toys from brands like Kong. These will last much longer than cheaper versions, so you’ll save money in the long term.
If your dog doesn’t wreck his toys in a hurry, you can usually find cheap options at the dollar store or at online retailers such as Amazon.
Make Your Own
Of course, the ultimate way to save money in the cost of pet toys is to make your own with things you have lying around the house. Cats, in particular, can be very easily entertained by something as simple as a piece of string, which keeps things nice and cheap. For dogs, you can use old clothes and kids toys to make cute little playthings they can tear apart – just make sure you don’t use any small parts that could present a choking hazard.
If your pets require lots of essentials to ensures their comfort and safety, it is worth checking out your local thrift store before you buy anything. You can often find beds, cages, and bowls in good condition for a fraction of the price it would cost you to buy new. Of course, you should be careful to check their suitability if you use this option because any instructions or warnings may no longer be with the product.
When it comes to things like dog beds, blankets, and bedding for small pets, you can often use your old papers, blankets, and bedding to create something new for your pet.
Learn How to Groom
Having your pet groomed can be pretty expensive if you take them to a professional so why not learn the skill yourself. It isn’t as hard as it looks and there are lots of low-cost courses and online tutorials that can teach you how. If you get good at it, not only can you save money on the cost of keeping your pooch clean and presentable, but you could even make money by offering your services to friends and neighbors who have pets.
As well as learning how to safely clean and groom your pets, you should also take the time to learn the art of pet nail trimming. This is something that needs to be done very carefully, but it isn’t actually that difficult to do. That being said, if you’re in any doubt of your ability to do it safely, take your pet to the vets. If you combine the nail cutting with a visit for another problem, it won’t cost you as much because you won’t have to pay two sets of call fees.
Use Preventative Medicine
Instead of waiting until your pet has fleas, kennel cough or any other easily preventable malady, spend a little on vaccinations and preventative treatments to protect them. Not only is this better for your animal, who will not have to go through the pain and discomfort of an infestation or illness, but it will also save you money in the long-term. After all, treating an illness is much more expensive than preventing it in the first place.
Protect Your Furniture
If you’re bringing a new pet into your home for the first time, it’s always smart to protect your furniture in any way you can, whether that’s placing a throw over your couch or spraying anti-chewing repellent on your chairs. This will help to combat your new puppy’s chewing habit and the damage that unruly animal nails can do to the upholstery, which means you won’t have to fork out for on new furniture anytime soon.
Sharing your life with an animal is a joy, and it’s even better when it doesn’t cost you a princely sum. If you implement as many of these suggestions into your life as possible, I guarantee that your bundle of fur won’t break the bank and you’ll have lots of happy times together!