Having pets can be one of the best parts of your life, but there’s no doubt that a furry companion is also often a pricy one. Simple day-to-day care can add up, from food to supplies to toys and vaccinations. But if one of your pets gets sick or injured, the vet bills pile up fast. Taking a few simple thrifty pet care tips into account can help you save pennies on your pet care that will add up big time in the long run.
5 Ways to Save Big Money on Pet Care and Supplies
Your pet doesn’t need fancy toys and accessories, and he probably wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Just the basics of pet care are costly enough, but thankfully there are some easy ways to save money and still have a healthy and happy companion.
1. Choose to adopt
Adopting your pet from the pound or an animal shelter not only saves money, it also means you are helping an animal that needs a home. As opposed to expensive purebreds, mixed breeds tend to lack the genetic disposition for serious health conditions.
Adoption will still cost money depending on where you go, but that donation sometimes helps cover the cost of having your pet spayed or neutered and vaccinated ahead of time.
2. Do it yourself
As long as you educate yourself in the proper methods, there are a lot of aspects of pet care that you can do at home. Grooming, baths, nail clipping, and dental care are all much more affordable if you skip the professional service.
Of course, for health needs that are more urgent, don’t hesitate to take your animal to the veterinarian or call an emergency vet hotline.
3. Buy food and supplies in bulk
Stocking up on pet food and other supplies at warehouse stores, online, or wherever you get a good price will save you money in the long run. It will also save you the time it takes to go on last-minute trips to the store for cat litter or dog food. Between coupons, sales, and discount stores, all it takes is a little extra effort and research to save a lot on your pet’s expenses.
Once you have the extra supply on hand, just remember not to overfeed your pet. Almost 60% of all pets are overweight, putting them at risk for serious health problems.
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Often you save the most money when you’re willing to get a little creative. Maybe you could make your own cat tree rather than spending a ton buying one. Or invest time and effort in training your dog at home instead of paying a specialist to do it for you. Little changes can mean big savings in the end.
20 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Pet
Between visits to the veterinarian and purchasing pet care products, owning a pet can be expensive. Luckily there are a number of ways you can reduce your expenses.
Schedule Complete Physicals
While there’s no way to prevent your pet from ever getting sick, the most cost-effective way to deal with an illness is catching it before it gets serious. You can do this by requesting a complete physical whenever you visit your vet.
By providing a full physical and performing blood tests or other diagnostics if necessary, your veterinarian is more likely to catch a condition before it gets worse and more expensive to treat.
Create a Pet Budget
If you’re not already keeping track of your monthly pet expenses, start now! Take note of how much you spend on your pet and make an allotted monthly budget. This way you’ll be mindful of how much you’re spending and able to keep yourself from going overboard.
Avoid Expensive Fashion Items
From fancy collars to customized sweaters, there are a lot of options for pet apparel these days. Most pets, however, don’t need these expensive accessories, so save your money and stick with purchasing only necessary apparel, like a well-made collar, an ID tag and a comfortable leash.
Seek Out Inexpensive Cat Scratchers
You can purchase inexpensive scratching posts, “scratch trays” made of corrugated cardboard or door hangers with cardboard or sisal surfaces instead of splurging on an expensive cat scratcher.
Also consider DIY-ing your own scratchers by wrapping a cheap sisal rope around a new or used post to make it last longer, or around a log or tree limb. Just be sure whatever you create is stable enough to not fall over on your pet and tall enough to offer a good scratch.
Keep Up-to-Date With Vaccines
The best way to keep from paying large medical bills is to keep your pet protected against diseases that will be costly to treat. Take action by making sure your pet is up-to-date on all preventive care, especially vaccinations.
Shop Around for Pet Insurance
It’s important to consider pet insurance before you run into serious health issues. Investigate all your options and compare prices to find the right policy for you. Sometimes the most expensive option doesn’t offer the right coverage for your pet, so do your research before spending money.
Learn Your Pet’s Routine and Behavior
If you know how your pet usually acts and he suddenly starts behaving differently, you may be able to tell something is wrong before it becomes serious and more costly to address. Know your pet, and if you see any changes in behavior, start investigating what may be the cause.
Skip Designer Cat Trees
It can be tempting to spoil your cat with an expensive tree or perch, but they might not be necessary if you already have a good number of toys and scratchers. If you really want to buy one, look for inexpensive multilevel trees that will give your cat plenty of room. You can also get creative and DIY your own tree to save money.
If you’re hesitant about trying any of these tips on your own, seek a professional opinion before moving forward. Be smart about the areas you decide to spend less money on and always remember that no amount of money saved is worth a risky home remedy and your pet’s health or safety.
Read more here: 20 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Pet
Have you discovered any great money-saving tips for looking after your pets? What are some homemade treats or toys that your dogs or cats love?