Dig this… a portion of this post is sponsored, but opinions are my own and 110% “pawthentic”!
If you’ve spent any time recently browsing the aisles of your local pet supply store or perusing the newest pet products online and come to the conclusion that people love to pamper their pets, you’d be right! As a matter of fact, in 2015, consumer spending on pets in this country topped $60 billion.
It’s clear that pet parents spare no expense when it comes to keeping our furry family members happy, healthy, and comfortable. And why should we? For all of the joy and love that our pets bring to our lives, the least we can do is make sure that they eat good quality food, receive regular vet care, and have cozy beds and amusing toys to make their lives interesting and comfortable.
However, as much as we want to give our pets the best, we also need to be realistic. If we’re not careful, all of those expenses can really add up! The good news is that you can save on pet care without sacrificing quality or putting your pet’s health at risk.
How to Save on Pet Care
Here are a few tips to save on some of the biggest pet care expenses without sacrificing the health and well being of your pet.
Pet Food and Litter
Pets need to eat, and the cost of pet food can add up quickly. The good news is that you can save on pet food while still choosing the quality diet you want for your pet. Buying small amounts of food may feel like you’re spending less money, but it costs a lot more in the long run. Buying in bulk is really the way to go.
Purchasing dry pet food at your local warehouse store or buying the largest quantity available from your grocery or pet supply store can save you anywhere from 10-30 percent! Store the majority in an airtight bin, and leave out a week’s worth for easy use. I have an awesome airtight bin from Gamma 2 that you can find in most pet supply stores. Some stores will also give a discount on canned food if you buy it by the case. Also, price your pet’s food online too. It’s possible you can save money AND have it shipped directly to you for no additional charge. Now you’re saving gas money!
Cat litter is also much more affordable when you buy larger bags. If you have trouble with the weight of the big bags, you may want to divide it into smaller containers at home to make it more manageable. Also, natural litters are lighter than clay litters. Try World’s Best Cat Litter or okocat.
Another great way to save on pet care is to consider your grooming needs. If your pet visits the groomer weekly or monthly, you know that these trips aren’t cheap! You may be able to cut back on grooming costs by taking on some of those tasks yourself. If your pet will allow it, you can take care of simpler things like bathing, tooth brushing, nail trimming and ear cleaning at home. You probably won’t be able to totally eliminate the need for a groomer, but you can stretch the time between visits. Some groomers offer a discount if you get on a regular schedule.
Toys, Crates, and Other Pet Items
While they may not be a part of your regular pet care budget, pet toys, beds, carriers, crates, and other purchases are necessary, and they can be very expensive! If you’re willing to sniff around a bit, you should be able to find super savings on many of these items. Check with your local animal shelter to see if they have a supply shop to help raise money. Keep an eye out for pet items at garage and yard sales, and check your online classified ads. You may also find some great deals at second-hand shops or dollar stores.
Another option when it comes to many pet items is to do it yourself. If you’re in the mood for a few sewing projects, you can find lots of fur-bulous ideas online for everything from customizable pet beds and toys to doggie jackets. Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration!
If you’re up for a little carpentry, cat trees are fairly easy and inexpensive to build at home, and you can potentially save hundreds of dollars. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert carpenter, you can find countless patterns, instructions, and ideas online for do-it-yourself cat trees and other cat furniture.
When all else fails, cats are often amused by empty cardboard boxes and simple “tents” made by draping a sheet over furniture. And dogs may enjoy kicking around and chewing an empty water bottle or one with a treat inside (just make sure to watch and take away the cap and any loose scraps of plastic). Sometimes the free toys are their favorites!
If you’ve been trying to think of ways to save on pet care, the expense of pet health care may have crossed your mind. As much as you might grit your teeth when you think of paying for your pet’s annual wellness visit, you know how important it is not to skimp on veterinary care. Avoiding medical problems is much less costly than treating them (not to mention much easier on your pet!), and regular check ups provide an opportunity to monitor your pet’s health and catch problems or potential problems early.
Even with regular wellness visits, though, unexpected health issues can still arise. You may want to consider purchasing a pet insurance policy or starting a pet health savings account so that unplanned veterinary costs don’t catch you off guard or require your vet to offer less than the optimal care to fit your budget. You can check Pet Insurance Review to research cost and coverage of various providers. Also, read Cost of Caring from Petplan.
If your pet needs medications, giving those up is definitely not an option! However, you’ll be happy to know that there are several smart ways to save on pet care where medication is concerned. Compare online pharmacies to find the best price. Then, ask your veterinarian if he or she will match the online price.Many will do so to ensure keeping you a happy client! I recommend you always try to buy from your vet because it’s ideal for all health records and medications to be on file with your family vet practice.
As you can see, it’s totally paw-sible to save on pet care without sacrificing quality. With a little planning, you can spoil your pet without breaking the bank!
For more money saving tips, check out my book, Pampered Pets on a Budget: Caring for Your Pet Without Losing Your Tail.
This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen