Many households have been feeling the crunch of the cost-of-living crisis. From food to fuel to energy, our bills stack up very quickly, and as an animal-loving nation, our pets sometimes feel the brunt of it. The RSPCA says that around 78% of pet owners have experienced this. So, we’ve come up with some tips on the best way to save money as a pet owner without compromising your little one’s health.
1. Calculate your pet’s expenses
The first on our ‘Top Money-Saving Tips’ list is calculating your pet’s expenses. Going through your bank account’s spending history is not an enjoyable process. Still, if you can make a list, you’ll be able to see all the things you need money for and the things you can cut back on. From there, you can make a plan.
2. Switch Foods
You could consider switching foods if your pet isn’t on a special diet. Pet food can be a significant expense for pet owners, and changing food is one of the quickest ways to save money. However, not all pet food is made equally. What your pet eats will determine your pet’s overall health, including their weight and dental health, so when you change your pet’s food, try not to compromise the quality of it. Do some research and get in touch with your vets for advice on the best pet food to save money.
3. Bulk Buy
Many pet or online retailers do deals when you buy in bulk or do scheduled re-orders. Always keep an eye out for deals. Though, when you’ve got lots of food, you might be tempted to feed your pet more, so make sure you’re strict on their diet. A vet or nurse can help advise you on how much your pet should eat.
4. Make Toys
If your little one needs toys or more stimulation at home, try making your own toys! Some toys can be made from egg cartons or toilet roll tubes, items we would normally throw away.
5. Don’t Buy New
Sometimes, pets don’t use the gifts we buy for them, or they outgrow them, such as beds, scratch posts and even some toys. These items often find their way onto online marketplaces or charity shops where you can get them at discounted prices. However, when you do buy second-hand, ensure you do a thorough antibacterial clean before giving it to your pet.
6. Groom at Home
If you’ve got a pet that requires grooming or nail clipping, the best way to save money is to learn to do it yourself. Ask your groomer or vet for groom tips at home, as different breeds can have additional grooming requirements. We also have a guide to get you started on nail cutting at home.
7. Preventative Care
Ensure you keep up with preventative care, such as vaccinations, boosters and anti-parasitic medications. These measures are essential in stopping your pet from contracting some severe and sometimes fatal diseases. It will always be cheaper to prevent diseases than cure them, and by joining a health plan, you can spread the cost of this medication.
The Animal Trust health plan covers vaccines and parasitic treatment but also includes a third off your pet’s medication, 10% off operations, should your pet need them, and two free in-house blood tests every year.
8. Keep Your Pet Insurance
Pet insurance might be one of your biggest expenses, but we don’t recommend cancelling your policy. If the worst should happen, you could end up paying more to help your little companion than if the insurance had been able to cover it. Instead, we recommend shopping around on comparison websites or going to insurance companies directly for affordable quotes.
9. Pet food banks
The RSPCA has organised pet food banks across the UK, run by local organisations. They’re available to people struggling to feed their pets. If you need help, don’t suffer in silence. Find your local pet food bank, contact the food banks, and they will help you.
10. Talk to your vet
If you are struggling financially and your pet needs your vet’s help, be honest and upfront about your situation when you see your vet. If your pet needs treatment, the vet or nurse might be able to offer you alternatives to help you and your little one, depending on the case.
If you are struggling financially, don’t at all think that you must suffer alone; there are ways to help you and your pet. A fifth of pet owners are concerned about how they’ll afford to feed their pets. Try using our top money-saving tips to help get back on top of things, and if you need to talk to a vet, remember that our consultations are free!