Oh, our beloved pets. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. With the love and affection, also come some pretty hefty expenses. There are food, toys, grooming, medication and vet expenses. If you aren’t careful, you can easily blow your budget on snacks and treats.
Just as with children, it cost money to take care of pets. Even the most frugal pet owner sometimes struggles with how to get everything needed and stay on budget.
From grooming to food, there are easy things you can to do so you save money. And, the more money you save on your pet, the more you have to get another one. Maybe?
WAYS YOU CAN SAVE ON PET EXPENSES
1. Groom them yourself
It is easy to give your pet a bath. But, many breeds of dogs require regular grooming. However, if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, you can save some money by investing in your own grooming supplies up front. Trimming scissors, nail clippers, a flexible shower hose and hair trap (if needed) are all available at pet supply stores. Keep an eye out for specials and sales that can help you save on your purchase.
2. Shop around for Food
Some pets require a special diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, many times, the prices you see in the store make you gasp. But, you don’t have to pay those prices. Instead, head online to find less expensive options for pet food. For instance, you can often find coupons and deals on Amazon. Sites such as Chewy offer regular discounts as well, so you may find lower prices there than you find in your local store. If you can snag a better deal online, consider buying in bulk to spare your wallet long-term.
3. Shop with discounted gift cards
A simple way to save on everything you need for your pet is to use discounted gift cards. Sites like Gift Card Granny sell gift cards at a discount every day. You can find them for some of the most popular pet stores such as PetSmart and Petco and larger retailers including Target. Getting a $50 card for $45 is keeping money in your pocket.
4. Check for used items
When you get a new pet, you need items such as kennels or crates, dishes, leashes and more. Before rushing to your local pet supply store, check sites such as Facebook Marketplace and LetGo first. You may find items other people no longer need. It’s a simple way to save a lot of money.
5. Consider generic medications
When it comes to medication, it is important that pets receive what they need. It is important they receive monthly heartworm and flea prevention. However, the non-name brand products may prove to be a better deal. Check prices online at sites such as 1-800 Pet Meds and compare prices. You may find that you can get the same products for much less.
6. Don’t buy your treats
There is no need to go and buy treats when you can make them at home. A quick Pinterest search will give you countless reults, including this one that gives you 17 different treats you can make at home!
If you aren’t into baking, then don’t pay full price for your treats! Always pair pet treats coupons with your store’s sales to find the lowest price.
7. Spay or neuter
There are already more pets in shelters than people can adopt. A simple thing you can to do help control this situation is to get your pet spayed or neutered. If your pet has puppies, get ready for a lot of additional expenses.
8. Visit the shelter to get your pet
Puppies are adorable. But, they can also be expensive! Not only that but a puppy comes housebreaking and lots of training. Buying a pet can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars!
Check your local animal shelter first for a pet who needs a loving home. It costs much less to adopt than buy. And, many times, these dogs are already trained, and some can even do some amazing tricks!
9. Make your own toys
Pets can be like kids. You buy them an expensive toy, and they play with the box it came in. Keep this in mind at the store and skip the aisles filled with pricey toys and supplies. Did you know that dogs LOVE the scent of their owners? Instead of a $50 dog bed, give them a pillow that you’ve used. It will be an instant hit!
You’d also be surprised at how far an old piece of thick rope goes. If you’re concerned about damage, think of how bad you’ll feel spending $20 on something that’s shredded in moments. If you have a cat, the ever popular cat hotels can be a money trap, too. Paper towel rolls wrapped with remnant carpet get the job done!
10. Keep up with the shots
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s true! If you take care of your pet by getting them their regular shots and preventative medicine, you will not only keep them happy and healthy; you’ll save on possible high vet bills in the future.
11. Find the right vet
Believe it or not, vet cost can vary from doctor to doctor. Before you decide where to take your pet, call several vets and ask them what they charge for their services.
Then, ask your family and friends for a recommendation. After all, this is your furbaby, and you do not want to take them to a vet only because they are cheap. Your pet’s well-being matters most of all.
12. Skip pet insurance
You may have heard about pet insurance and wonder it is worth it? As is the case with any insurance, you may end up paying a lot for coverage that goes unused. This is a good problem because it means your pet is healthy. The truth is that rather than pay a monthly premium for insurance, set that amount back in your savings account. That way, should the need arise, you have the cash available to pay for your vet bills.
13. Check for food banks
If you struggle to pay your pet, Petco has a food bank donation program. You can find local and regional groups who will not only collect but also distribute food.
You can also look for local programs or food pantries in your area, who collect food for pets. These will often get you the food you need for free.
Just as with humans, pets need exercise as well. The healthier your pet, the less need you will have for additional medical treatments. The bonus is that you get in your daily steps too!
If it’s possible to love your pets any more, it may be because you discovered smart ways to manage expenses. Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a financial pet paradise.