Any good pet owner knows that taking care of a pet – whether it’s a dog, a cat, a fish, or anything else – can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. But it doesn’t come for free, and that’s what we’ll be talking about today. Yes, these pets are part of our families – and like any family member, they’re going to have expenses.
We’re spending billions per year on our pets’ food, medical care, and accessories. Around half of that amount is going toward on-going food and veterinary services. Even the amount we’re willing to pay to acquire our pets has gone up, especially with designer breeds. For example, Cavoodle puppies can cost a few thousand dollars to get a beautiful mixed breed puppy. Purebred puppies can go for more, especially if they’re from a particularly distinguished line.
Many people who don’t already own a pet are worried about the cost of pet ownership. But those who already have their chosen companions know that the benefits far outweigh the financial burden. Even so, given that most of us won’t be working with an unlimited budget, what can we as pet owners do to save money while still giving our pets the absolute best quality of life possible? Read on for our tips.
Buy in bulk
Most of our pet’s things can be bought in bulk, saving money versus buying in small quantities. Food in particular can usually be bought in large amounts and stored easily since it commonly consists of dry pellets. Over the course of your pet’s life, this bulk discount can add up to a significant value. If, for some reason, you don’t have the storage space for this approach, opting for the biggest bag you can accommodate is one way to still save a little bit of money.
This tip also applies very well to non-perishable goods. Things like diapers, pee pads, pet wipes, and more can all be bought in big packs to be set aside for long-term use.
Go the DIY route
We pet owners love spending on accessories and snacks for our pets. We know some of you out there will only buy the best possible treats with the highest quality ingredients – but those can easily cost three or four times as much as the cheap stuff.
If you want to save money on treats but still give your pet a nutritious snack, you can try making your own! There are tons of recipes on the internet, and you can quickly find that some of the tastiest pet treats are actually very cheap to make on your own. We actually know some pet owners who’ve started earning money this way by selling some of their homemade treats.
The same goes for pet toys, though this requires you to be a little crafty. If you have even just decent sewing skills, then it’s entirely possible to make durable, cute toys for your dog or cat. Especially heavy-duty toys may require the use of a sewing machine, but if you already have that then it’s just a matter of putting them together.
Grow your own
Now if we want to take the previous tip to the next level, we can actually start growing our own pet food and snacks. Pet rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, and other small pets that aren’t obligate carnivores can all be fed from your own garden, if you grow the right things. One thing to note is that you should be aware of any plants that could be toxic to your pet and not grow it in the same area as your pet crops.
Skip the groomers
Depending on the type of pet you have, their breed, and their size, pet grooming services can quickly add up into a huge yearly expense. Some dogs, for example, need to be groomed very often or else their coats can get out of hand – which isn’t just messy, it can actually become a serious health problem if the dog’s hair gets matted and tangled.
Pet grooming is close behind pet toys and accessories in terms of yearly costs for pet owners. If we want to avoid spending so much on visits to the groomer, all we really need is some scissors and some nail clippers. Some pets may require electric clippers to cut through a dense fur coat, so research what your particular pet needs before you get started.
If you have the space for it, you can also bathe your pets yourself. This can also be an opportunity to bond with your pet, as they’ll naturally seek reassurance and comfort while being bathed. While it may be messier at first compared to dropping off your pet at the groomers, you’ll easily be saving money once you’ve accumulated some more experience and your pet has gotten used to being bathed.
Prevention is better than a cure
Pet medical costs are the second biggest expense after food – of course, we want our pets to be taken care of if they get sick or injured. But there’s a significant savings to be had in this regard if we do our best to ensure that our pets don’t get sick in the first place.
Preventive vet visits are the way to go here. Getting your pet’s blood work done and regular dental care are important for their long-term health, as are the regular vaccinations that protect against common illnesses. Not only that, you’ll be able to build up a relationship with your vet; this will mean they’ll be more in tune with what your pet needs to stay happy and healthy for a long time.
Pet healthcare also doesn’t just stay at home – if you’re travelling with your pet, ask your vet what you need to bring for however long you’ll be away. It’s rough to have to find pet needs when you’re on vacation, so plan ahead!
Spend your time instead of money
This is our biggest tip of all: spend as much time as you can with your pet. Instead of toys to distract your pet, give them your attention – after all, that’s what they really want. Take a walk, go on a run with them, cuddle them on the couch. You’ll get a better sense of your pet’s health the more you pay attention to them, and they’ll be happier than any toy could make them, no matter how expensive. Our pets may be a big part of our lives, but to them, we’re the only thing that matters.
Whether you’ve got a designer Cavoodle breed or standard mutt, owning a pet can be quite expensive. But it doesn’t have to break the bank if you follow these 7 money-saving tips.