Save Money On Pet Care With These 21 Tips pennyhoarder
Americans love their pets. Whether it’s dogs and cats or parakeets and fish, we can’t get enough of our furry and gilled friends.
Two-thirds of dog owners are expected to spend less than $ 8,000 on veterinary care over the dog’s lifetime. The real cost? Almost $ 16,000!
Pets can be expensive, of course. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative and cut some costs where possible. We’ll help you get started.
21 Ways To Save Money On Pet Care
1. Buy smaller animals
If you haven’t chosen a pet yet, consider the smaller ones.
A small dog will cost you $ 295 less per year than a large one ($ 580 vs. $ 875), according to estimates from the ASPCA data on animal care costs which are probably higher now. That’s even less than a cat ($ 670 per year), in part because of the cost of kitty litter. And, obviously, a large Labrador will devour a lot more food than a small Chihuahua.
Of course, you can consider even smaller animals. You will spend an average of $ 200 per year for a small bird and only $ 35 for a fish.
The first year costs for all pets are significantly higher due to one-time costs like spaying and purchasing pet cages and other equipment.
2. Adopt instead of buying
The cost of raising a dog can be up to five times the cost of adopting a dog from a shelter. Not only that, but adoption costs often include vaccinations and health checks. With a breeder, you are often alone.
3. Join the loyalty clubs of pet stores
Join Petco Pals Rewards program and you will receive a $ 5 gift card for every $ 100 in purchases.
Buy foods that are already on sale and with your rewards card you can save money over time. Most major pet supply retailers have similar programs.
Join multiple if you shop in multiple locations.
4. Use discounted gift cards
For example, you will find:
5. Monitor pet food sales
There really is a difference between high end and low end pet food.
But even the best pet foods are on sale, so why not stock up on them when it costs less?
You can find weekly listings for pet supply retailers online. You can also link your email address to your customer loyalty card to receive sales alerts.
6. Feed your pets human food
What do baked carrots, steamed broccoli, and hard-boiled eggs have in common?
7. Battery saving tactics for cheaper food
For example, you could buy your regular brand of cat food from Petco using a coupon while it was on sale. Then use your credit card rebate program to increase your savings.
Or buy discount gift cards and use them when there’s a sale – a simple strategy that could make a good sale even better.
8. Store pet food properly
Some pets can pick on food if it is too old, and you will need to throw it out.
Even if you overfill their dishes and the rest sit there overnight, they probably won’t eat it.
Check the expiration date of your pet food, distribute it little by little, and store it properly to keep it fresh.
9. Have your pets spayed or neutered
You spend money up front on spaying or neutering your pets, but there are savings in the long run.
Unsterilized cats can damage furniture and rugs by spraying urine on them to attract males. Unsterilized dogs can be more violent, which can lead to legal action if they attack people.
There’s also the obvious huge cost of not fixing those pets: puppies and kittens.
10. Call the vet before you need it
The worst time to find an affordable vet is when you have a medical emergency. If you love your pets, you’ll pay what it costs right now.
To reduce the cost of routine and emergency pet care, choose an affordable veterinarian before you need one.
Use websites like VetRatingz.com to avoid bad vets. Call acceptable people and ask what they charge for a basic exam, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, and other procedures.
If you have an idea of ââwhat services your pet might need, find out about them.
Either way, find out about a few different services to get an idea of ââthe general price level of each veterinary practice.
11. Don’t shop at the vet
Everything from cat toothbrushes to flea collars costs more at the vet.
You’d better buy whatever you can from a pet store, including drugs or treatments without a prescription.
12. Buy Pet Medication Online
Many pet medications are cheaper online.
Here are some places you can fill pet prescriptions:
13. Think twice about pet insurance
Pet health insurance can save you from unexpected and large vet bills, but most medical procedures for pets aren’t as expensive as their human counterparts. Try to save money in a sinking fund for the possible medical needs of your animal.
14. Make sure your pets get exercise
Pets enjoy the exercise just like humans. It helps them stay healthy and prevent obesity, which means less vet bills for you.
15. Make pet furniture
If you are the DIY type, why not build your pet’s furniture? Why buy when you can do it for a lot less?
16. Make pet toys
Have you ever bought the “perfect toy” for your furry friend and they just ignored it? All it really takes to keep a cat entertained is a ball of yarn.
Moral of the story: Don’t spend a fortune on unwanted pet toys when you can make better ones.
Here are some resources to get you started:
17. Make your own pet enclosures
Do you want to offer an enclosed space for your dog or an outdoor âcatioâ for your cats?
18. Groom your own pets
Prices for professional pet grooming vary between $ 20 and $ 100, depending on the size of the animal (cats are in the middle of this range).
But there’s no reason you can’t comb, wash and trim the nails yourself. Not only will you save most of the cost (you’ll still spend a little on tools and shampoo), grooming is another great bonding opportunity with your beloved pet.
19. Find cheaper pet sitting
Pet care rates range from as low as $ 15 for a stop visit to as much as $ 100 for overnight stays.
Fortunately, there are alternatives.
Find a broke friend you trust who will work on the cheap. Leave a few beers in the fridge and you might get a deal. Swap animal care duties with friends and family to reduce your costs to zero.
20. Train your own pet
Instead, read one of the many books that help you train your pets on your own.
21. Protect your home from pets
Has the cat chewed on your lamp cords? Has the puppy removed about half of your shoe collection?
Preventing damage to your belongings and avoiding vet visits with simple animal protection will save you money and possibly your pet’s life.
Steve Gillman is a former contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Senior writer Robert Bruce contributed reporting.
This was originally posted on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money with practical and inspiring tips and resources on how to earn, save and manage money.