The companionship and affection we get from our pets are priceless, but taking care of them involves numerous costs, too. Food, vet expenses, grooming, and vaccines are some of the most significant segments that add to the total pet expenditures.
Still, we support the idea that pet care and saving money don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Learn how to save on pet supplies and check-ups without compromising your little companion’s health and well-being. Above all, being informed and knowledgeable on the topic can help you make budget-friendly decisions. Check out the ideas below and show your pets how much they mean to you!
Table of Contents
- 1 Adopt A Pet
- 2 Spay Or Neuter At A Humane Society
- 3 Find Free Rabies Vaccines
- 4 Shop At Stores That Price Match
- 5 Join A Rewards Program
- 6 Use Subscription Services
- 7 Save On Treats/Make Your Own
- 8 Groom At Home
- 9 Clean Your Pet’s Teeth
- 10 Exercise Your Pet
- 11 Buy Bags In Bulk
- 12 Find The Right Pet Insurance
- 13 Train Your Pet
- 14 Conclusion
- 15 FAQ
Adopt A Pet
Who doesn’t like a purebred pet from a trusted breeder, though unfortunately, only a few of us can afford it? Such a wish can cost you thousands of dollars to come to fruition. So, why not adopt a sheltered animal or rescue one yourself? Not only will this endeavor be cheaper, but you’ll probably save an animal’s life.
Even better, you may find shelters that work with only particular breeds if you’ve set your eyes on a specific kind. Adoption often includes costs for spay surgery and other ancillary medical procedures. Check if the homeless pet comes with a microchip, a license, and a few months of insurance, too. Imagine the total amount of all these pet expenses if you’re buying the animal from a specialized store.
Some eager animalists even fight the selling process claiming that it has become a terrible industry. Hence, if you decide to adopt, you can have your cake and eat it too. In a word, a local rescue organization can help you procure the breed you want at no cost.
Spay Or Neuter At A Humane Society
When you adopt a pet, the chances that it has already been spayed are huge. Yet, if this isn’t the case, do so as quickly as possible. You may not be aware, but taking care of a pregnant mama and little puppies can cost over the odds.
The cheapest alternative is to carry out the spaying at a humane society. It is way less expensive than getting it done at your local vet. Moreover, some shelters offer free or extremely low-cost procedures. Check ASPCA’s website and locator tool to find free spay programs near you.
In case you wonder why neutering is advisable, there are several upsides to it. First, neutered pets have fewer behavioral issues and are more obedient. Second, they tend to be healthier, and that means less money on pet meds. Last, by spaying, you tackle overpopulation and contribute to fewer stray animals.
Find Free Rabies Vaccines
Keeping up to date with the vaccination calendar is of utmost importance to prevent more serious illnesses down the road. All of you who can’t afford to pay the nominal price of vaccines can check your eligibility at local free clinics. You can also try out Vetco, which is a veterinary service that cooperates with Petco.
Some pet owners even go a step further and order vaccine shots and medicines online. Then, they administer them at home without much fuss to save on pet meds. Think about three-year vaccines, if the conditions allow it, as these tend to be less expensive.
When it comes to rabies, an average vaccine shot costs between $15 and $20. Still, specific animal shelters and clinics offer this vaccine for free. Hence, it’s crucial to check your municipality’s site for free vaccination as most cities offer residents one free shot per year.
Shop At Stores That Price Match
Are you a smart shopper who knows how to locate the best deals? In that case, there is no reason why you can’t exploit the same strategy to reduce pet food expenses. We highly encourage you to avoid buying at the nearest big-box pet store only and try price-matching.
Price-matching means you’ll probably have to check out the prices in several stores. Flyers, sales, and the Sunday paper can also prove handy in the process. Then, all you need is to go straight to the seller and ask for a price match.
For example, both Petco and PetSmart offer price matching. Therefore, always check both stores to ensure you’re getting reasonably-priced offers. Online webpages like Chewy and Wag have the same feature, so you’d better take a peek there, as well.
Saving as a pet owner starts by adopting instead of shopping. There are many homeless animals whose life you’ll be saving, plus they don’t cost a fortune like popular breeds.
Join A Rewards Program
Almost all pet shops, both brick-and-mortar and online, offer specific rewards to their loyal customers. If you’re a regular customer, then take advantage of any loyalty scheme the store may be offering and save extra money.
Some of the online sites you can visit include PetSmart Treats, where members can collect points with each purchase. Petco Pals Rewards is another useful page to earn points and redeem them for cash or discounts on products and services. Signing up for several reward clubs will further decrease your pet food expenses and boost your savings.
Additionally, don’t forget to check out coupon sites like Wag.com and Dog.com. Spending a few minutes to check for discounts at such websites can do wonders for your wallet. Most coupons offer a discount off the regular price, but some may even provide freebies. Check the manufacturer’s site, too, to benefit from deal stacking.
Use Subscription Services
Are you a regular shopper at a couple of pet shops and wouldn’t change their services for anything in the world? Then, why don’t you make the most of their offer? Consider applying for a subscription service to diminish the total spending each month.
The following four are among the most popular online sites:
· Chewy – Members save up to 30% on the first auto-ship order. Any subsequent order brings between 5% and 10% on selected brands and products.
· Petco – The first repeat delivery order entails a 30% discount for each member. Also, shipping is free for orders over $49. The site regularly abounds in deals for almost any domestic animal you can imagine.
· Amazon – The Subscribe & Save section awards subscribers with 5% off their produce. Each subsequent delivery of over five products a month includes an additional 15% off.
· PetSmart – The first order after subscribing is 30% cheaper. Then, all future auto-ship orders bring members an additional 5% discount. Also, any order above $50 includes free delivery.
Save On Treats/Make Your Own
Give your pet food expenses a dramatic cut by preparing home-made treats for your beloved little friend. Store-bought snacks can get particularly hefty when you use them as rewards when training. Thus, one viable saving option is to dehydrate food in the oven at a low temperature.
High-quality fancy treats are quite expensive, too. Try saving money by supplementing such treats with small-sized pieces of dog-safe human foods. Some healthy options you can try out with dogs include sweet potatoes, baby carrots, green beans, ice cubes, watermelon, and blueberries.
Cats, on the other hand, like steamed broccoli, boiled eggs, and baked carrots. We suggest checking WebMD’s page for a detailed list of what human food your pets can eat.
Moreover, DIY dishes and meals are a great way to keep expenses down. The Internet is full of fantastic recipes for home-made treats. All you need is a quick search and several essential ingredients to surprise your home companion with a healthier feeding option. Regardless of whether you go for cookies or donuts, your little friend will enjoy the attention.
Even if you cannot prepare the entire food menu for your pet, take care of the supplements. The opinion prevails that even human food like chicken and rice can get consumed by dogs. Still, bear in mind that certain kinds of food can be toxic for your pets.
While you’re at it, you can also go the extra mile by cooking your own food too. If you compare home cooked meals vs. fast-food, the first wins every single time. It’s healthy, it lets you control what you consume, and it’s cheaper.
Your dog loves you. They don’t need expensive toys or treats, and you don’t need to waste a fortune on such stuff.
Groom At Home
Pet expenses can reach obscure amounts if you do everything by the book and take your pet to professional grooming services. Depending on the size of the animal, such charges can reach $100. If you do the yearly calculations on grooming alone, you’ll realize that you may quickly become short of $1,000.
Hence, it’s essential to procure a few necessary tools, such as a brush, a decent set of trimmers, and some washing supplies. There is no reason why you can’t wash, comb and clip nails on your own after following several YouTube tutorials. Opt for hairstyles that don’t require a lot of work and last for more extended periods.
Apart from making significant savings, grooming is a great way to bond with your pet, too. It requires a lot of practice and patience, but both of you will enjoy the ritual once you master it. Last, if your pet puts up a fight every time you try to groom it, see what you can do yourself. Leave the most complicated procedures for the groomer.
Clean Your Pet’s Teeth
Were you aware that pets, particularly dogs, require regular dental care? Apparently, most dogs tend to suffer from some gum disease once they turn three. This issue inflicts pain on pets and can later lead to more severe health problems.
Therefore, it’s crucial to provide dental care using a standard toothbrush kit that won’t cost you more than $5. Also, make sure you purchase pet-approved toothpaste since those intended for humans can harm them. Alternatively, you can use oral rinses to keep your pet’s teeth and mouth clean and healthy.
Besides saving you tons of cash on dental services, teeth cleaning may add a couple of years to your pet’s life, too. So, undoubtedly, prevention is the only cost-effective path. Even if you have to visit the dentist once in a while, minor issues are always easier to handle. Finally, ask your vet to include the dental examination in the animal’s yearly plan to save on pet meds additionally.
Exercise Your Pet
We’re all aware that pets need to release their excess energy outdoors. Otherwise, they may become troublemakers or even destructive and attention-seeking. To prevent your home items and furniture from occasional bites, make sure your pet has a healthy daily outlet.
The most important thing when it comes to exercise is to find out what suits your pet the best. For instance, dogs love long walks and toy play, while cats prefer chasing laser points and climbing. Whatever you find most suitable for your little pal, keep them and yourself active!
Regular exercise, both physical and mental, will keep any pet healthy and happy. Physical fitness also means you’ll avoid unnecessary visits to the pet meds to deal with obesity. Long walks appease behavioral issues, thus making your puppy obedient and less hyperactive.
Buy Bags In Bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on anything, really. This strategy applies to saving cash as a pet owner, too. Any pet owner must have loads of poop bags available at any time. In short, either you’ll shop for them frequently, or you’ll buy plastic sacks in bulk. Undoubtedly, the second option will slash the cost and keep you equipped longer. Last, why don’t you try and purchase poop bags online if you find a better deal?
Alternatively, you can reuse various small plastic bags that you get with your regular grocery shopping. Another excellent idea would be to visit the nearby dollar store and buy bags used for human baby dirty diapers. Such little bags tend to be cheaper for a bunch of 100 and are the perfect size for your pet’s poop.
Not all pets will cost you the same. Still, it’s essential to learn how to properly take care of your pet to avoid unexpected medical expenses.
Find The Right Pet Insurance
Peace of mind is priceless, so any reasonable dog or cat owner would go for pet insurance. It takes one major illness or accident to hit hard on your wallet, so you better start shopping around. You don’t want to resemble people who avoid insurance policies for their fluffy buddies and face unexpected vet visits.
When shopping around, gather at least three quotes and carefully examine what each includes. Just like you can save money on car insurance, you can save cash on pet insurance, as well. The upside of most policies is that they cover a significant portion of bills at pet meds. Conversely, insurance doesn’t cover any medical condition your pet may be suffering, so you should get approval. Moreover, breeds that are more susceptible to illnesses require you to pay a higher premium, too.
In case you decide to ditch the insurance, maintain a self-insurance amount at a savings account. This way, you’ll have some money aside in case your pet gets sick or suffers an accident. On top of that, the emergency fund may accrue some decent interest.
Train Your Pet
Training your best pal is essential, but hiring a professional to do it can cost you over the moon. Even joining a class can be way beyond your monthly budget. Hence, your best shot is to go online or to the nearest bookstore and find appropriate training resources.
Online searches can help you with a bunch of useful stuff on how to train animals faster, too. Some videos will even assist you in teaching the animal how to go to the toilet. Other resources may include strategies to teach the pet tricks by a few basic commands.
Pet training is not rocket science, and with a little bit of patience, your pal’s life will be more comfortable. Praise and treat is one of the most useful tactics and works with even the most disobedient pets. Punishments are out of the question as this makes them more aggressive.
Having a domestic animal is always worth it, considering the love and compassion we get in return. However, both novice and experienced owners taking care of pets understand that owning a pet is expensive. But, who said you have to break the bank to get there? Start by applying our budget-friendly hacks, and you’ll see the difference.
What about your money-saving tips and vet care ideas? We’ll be delighted if you share some of your strategies in the comment box below. For further advice on how to save on every single aspect of your life, sign up for our newsletter.
What do pet owners spend the most money on?
The two categories that pet owners spend the most money on are food and vet care. Nearly half of the pet expenses go for high-quality food and treats for the little feathery, scale, and fuzzy friends. In short, Americans spent around $95 billion on their pets in 2019, out of which $37 on food alone. Note that routine vet care and surgical procedures seem to be the most costly for owners.
How can I save money for owning a dog?
There are hundreds of ways you can save on your dog if you’re willing to invest some time and effort. Start by preparing healthy and home-made treats and meals. Then, learn how to wash, comb, and even train your dog in your free time and save thousands of dollars a year. Last, shop around to find the best bargain on insurance policies for your dog and make your home pet-proof.
What makes you a good pet owner?
If you don’t adore animals and you’re not the nurturing type, then maybe you’re not cut out for a pet. Whatever companion you choose, they all have their needs and wants. People who are ready to sacrifice a significant deal of their time are generally the most caring pet owners. Among other things, responsibilities include regular feeding and exercise, socializing, vet check-ups, and proper hygiene.
How can I save money fast?
We all try to cut down on unnecessary expenses, but do we know how and when? Begin your saving journey by canceling any subscriptions and memberships you don’t use. Then, set up automatic monthly payments for your bills and loan installments. Make use of cashback sites, loyalty schemes, and rewards programs to maximize the potential of your money. Last, try to cook and eat at home, and avoid paying for exaggerated conveniences.