By Kaitlyn Szabo • December 3, 2020
Pets are a significant part of our lives; pet owners often want to give them the best, but the prices of medical check-ups, grooming, and food are eye-popping! Here are some resources and tips on how to save money in various aspects of pet care, so you can give your furry family member the best without breaking the bank.
As always, we encourage you to use a budget whenever possible, and we strongly suggest including pet care expenses in it. For example, if you use the 50/30/20 budget technique, be sure to include your pet’s needs (such as food), wants (like toys), and savings (for unexpected medical expenses). Another budgeting idea is to create a separate sinking fund for your pet to offset the one-time and annual pet expenses.
Whether it’s an emergency vet visit or a routine check-up, healthcare is often the most expensive part of being a pet owner. Here are some tips to save money while making sure your pets are happy and healthy!
- Schedule Routine Check-Ups. Preventative care is often less expensive than emergency bills, not to mention much less stressful for you and your pet. Scheduling yearly or twice-yearly check-ups can catch potential health problems before they turn into something serious.
- Buy Medication Online. Purchasing routine medications from reputable online sources (such as Chewy.com or 1800PetMeds.com) can be more affordable than buying them directly from the vet. Always research the company before making a purchase.
- Brush Your Pet’s Teeth. Special pet-safe toothbrushes and kinds of toothpaste are relatively inexpensive and can help prevent costly and painful cavities, abscesses, infections, and other dental issues.
Consistent grooming and hygiene efforts keep your pet looking nice and feeling good. Here are everyday grooming needs that you may be able to do at home instead of paying for a service.
- Bath Dogs at Home. Bathing dogs at home with pet-safe shampoo and conditioner instead of going to professionals can save you a lot of money. If your dog doesn’t like bath time, try putting treats or dog-safe peanut butter in the tub. (Unless advised by a veterinarian, cats don’t need baths!)
- Brush Regularly. If your pet has long hair, brushing is a must to avoid matting and tangling that, if left unaddressed, may require professional care. Brushing gets rid of dirt and excess fur and can extend the time needed between professional grooming visits.
- Clip Nails at Home. Buying a nail trimmer designed for your kind of pet can save you a lot of money in the long run. Pets often don’t like getting their nails trimmed, but as mentioned above, giving them some treats during the process may help!
Throughout your pet’s life, you’ll probably spend a lot on their food. Here are some ways to bring that cost down.
- Don’t Overfeed. Here is a simple pet calorie calculator you can use to determine how much food your pet should be getting at each meal. If you have any questions specific to your pet, you can always ask your local vet.
- Make Homemade Treats: Who doesn’t love home cooking? Your pets will appreciate it, and your wallet will love not having to shell out for expensive commercial products. Fluentwoof provides a ton of dog treat recipes, and Care.com has plenty for cats!
Money Management E-Newsletter: November 2020