Every pet parent adores their pet and wants them to live a long, healthy and happy life. We do our best to provide our fur babies with the best food, toys and, of course, loads and loads of love.
We all love to save money where we can, and there’s no shame in admitting to wish we could spend a little less on our pets. However, the realisation of just how expensive owning a pet can be is astounding.
If you’re a pet owner who wants to spoil your feathered, furred or scaled fur baby without breaking the bank, we have great news for you. We will show you how you can save a TON of money by simply being a smart shopper.
“Overall, Australian households are estimated to have spent over $13 billion on pet services and products in 2019. In 2019, 30% of households with dogs and 21% of households with cats have pet insurance. Dog owners spent the most, with an estimated average of $1627 spent per animal each year. Cat owners spend an estimated average of $962 per animal each year”- RSPCA
Here are some tips that you can start using right now to help you tactfully stretch your funds and still provide the best possible life for your companion.
Get Things Online
By learning how to purchase online, you will come across providers who hand out coupons regularly, run sales and sites that offer free shipping for medication, food and supplies. Surprisingly, free shipping may also apply for heavier stuff, such as large boxes of kitty litter or giant sacks of kibble.
Make a habit of accessing online merchants and you might be lucky enough to get rebates of up to 15 percent.
Skip the Brand New Toys
Every pet parent who has browsed the toy aisles at a pet supply store knows just how overpriced they can be. Instead of forking a substantial amount of cash for a reshaped piece of plastic, how about considering making your own toys for your fur baby? Your pet has no idea how much money you spent on their toy. Their only thought is whether or not it’s fun to play with!
Perhaps it’s time to take this opportunity to be creative and improvise. Making your own toys from readily available materials is an economical and fun alternative to buying ready-made toys. Cat scratchers, for example, can be made by wrapping sisal around a post. As long as all your homemade toys are safe, your fur baby will thank you.
A quick search online will yield a litany of results for DIY toys for your pet and save you loads of cash. You can also get used accessories, like leashes, crates and food bowls, on Freecycle or Craigslist.
Avoid the Big Box Stores
If arts and crafts isn’t your thing but you would still like to save some money on your pets toys, look for alternative sources.
You can call your local dollar store and see if they have some low-cost toys available. Many of them stock pet toys at a fraction of the hefty price you would pay at a pet retailer.
Be sure to check for safety concerns like choking hazards, flaking paint, etc, before purchasing. Sometimes there is a not so good reason an item is cheap. Please do due diligence before purchasing!
Embrace Hand-me-Downs and Trades
Hand me downs and trades are a brilliant way to save on pet toys and supplies purchases. Once you’ve posted some pictures of your latest rescued family member, friends or family members might offer you their deceased pet’s leash, collar or unused pet bed.
You can also join pet social communities like PetsForever. Here you can swap pet-gear and accessories among other members in your area. To join this community, simply download the PetsForever app on Google Playstore or AppStore to get a wealth of information, tips and answers to pet related questions.
Thrift stores and yard sales can have that dog dish or kitty toy you’ve been dreaming about. Make frequent visits to these places near you and simply wash, disinfect and vacuum the item and voila! Good as new! These are also great places to find that old stuffed animal, ball, and other things to keep your fur baby entertained.
Additionally, invest in a bacterial and fungal spray to completely avoid any kind of infestation or germs.
Ask a Friend to be Your Pet Sitter
As a pet parent, travelling can be quite a hassle. It can be costly too. A pet sitter can be costly as much as $35 to $90 per day. If you have a pet-loving friend, you might want to ask them to pet-sit for you for a much lower cost or even free. You will have the added advantage of peace of mind when you are away, knowing that your pet is in good hands. Fellow pet owners make great pet sitters because they can care for animals well. You can have an arrangement where you do the same for their pets while they are away too.
With application of proper methods, there are many aspects of your pet’s care that you can easily do at home. Skipping the professional services for the dental care (tooth brushing), grooming, bathing and nail clipping are all fun bonding moments with your pet, not to mention much more affordable. Ticks, fleas and heartworm can also be treated at home, saving you some money and your pet that nerve wrecking trip to the vet.
For urgent and serious health needs, do not hesitate to rush your pet to the veterinarian or call an emergency vet hotline.
Choose to Adopt
Adopting your pet from an animal shelter or the pound not only saves you money but also means you are helping a needy animal with a forever home. Adoption is often not completely free depending on where you go. Even so, that donation you give when adopting plays a very important role in keeping the shelters running. It also helps cover the cost of having pets neutered or spayed and vaccinated.
For this reason, shelter rescues have the added advantage of being up-to-date on their shots and have a clean bill of health at a lower cost.
Train Your Dog Yourself
There’s a ton of information available in your local bookstore on how to train your pet. A good book will cost much less than hiring a trainer, or even joining a pet training class. Used-book stores may save you even more bucks, not to mention your local library for ultimate saving.
The World Wide Web is yet another treasure trove of information. Here you can educate yourself on a plethora of pet subjects. From articles to videos; you’ll find a wealth of information on any dog training question you might have, mostly for free!
Remember, there is a lot of unsubstantiated material online, with unverified sources and just plain bad advice. Always choose positive reinforcement training methods and if something doesn’t seem right to you, go with your gut and move on to another site.
Virtual pet training programs are also another way to go. Well-made videos showing actual training techniques are recorded. You can watch these videos over and over again till you feel confident enough to train your pet.
All you need to do is pay a monthly or flat fee to gain access to a library of instructional videos and articles.
If your dog is showing any aggression at all – whether it’s to you or someone else – get help from a professional trainer. Don’t wait until your dog bites someone or causes a dog fight.
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The information we offer is educational in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Our recommendation is to always do your research.
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