If you are anything like me, your pet is a member of your family. We have a sweet 5 year old cat named Pirate Jo and he is our child (since we don’t have kids). Pets bring so much joy to our lives, and ask for very little in return. I used to feel compelled to give my cat the best of everything. But I realized I needed to find alternative ways of giving my cat the things I wanted to give him. In this post, I have compiled a list of ways you can save money on your pet and give them more with less.
Buy From A Shelter
The savings can begin from the day you purchase your furry friend. When you purchase a pet from a shelter you are not only saving their life, but you are saving money compared to if you purchased a pet from a breeder or a pet store. I was fortunate enough to have Pirate given to me by a friend when he was born. But my husband and I have talked about wanting to get a second cat and I really want to adopt from the shelter this time. Shelter pets often come with great personalities and stories and can be such a blessing to your family.
This is such a huge way to save money on your pet. When I first got Pirate I used to buy him all these toys from local pet stores. As a kitten he would play with everything, including his toys. Now that he is older, we’ve bought him a few things but he has not been into them. However, he really loves an old shoe string that we use to get him to chase around the house. I also found this feather toy attached to a stick at The Dollar Tree. It was only $1 and it is Pirate’s favorite toy to this day.
I highly recommend repurposing items you already own to turn into toys for your pets. Use some old boxes to make a cat tree, use a stress ball (that you probably got as a free promotional item) to play catch with your dog, or fill empty toilet paper rolls with cat nip. If you can’t think of items to repurpose, check out Pinterest for inspiration.
I strongly recommend that your purchase pet food that is grain free and healthy for your pet. These brands may be more expensive, but can save you money in veterinary bills in the future. Pirate was sick with crystals once (he wasn’t able to pee), and the vet told us to switch to a grain free food. We actually had to try a few different foods, but found a canned food that he would eat that didn’t make him sick. It cost us more money than traditional dry food but it is so much better for him.
I also recommend buying pet food in bulk or using coupons. The brand that we give to Pirate isn’t available online so I spoke with the manager of the pet store we buy his food from and asked if they could order his food for me in bulk. They were able to do this for me. Now normally this wouldn’t save us any money, however I make this bulk purchase using a store coupon while the brand is on sale! I end up saving $20-$30 each time I do this so I highly recommend doing this.
It is very important to take your pet to the vet for their annual visits. Preventative care is key to avoiding expensive treatments as your pet ages. Many apartment complexes and residential properties also require your pet to have updated vaccinations which is another reason this is important. Another thing you could do, is look into pet insurance for your fluffy pal. Now you need to do your research on this to decide if the monthly premium is going to be more beneficial than the possible vet costs down the road. However, having pet insurance really can save you a lot of money if you have a pet who needs extra medical attention.
Don’t Buy Non-Necessities
A great way to save money on pets is to avoid purchasing things that your pet doesn’t need. Lately, clothing, fancy collars, travel bags, and fancy litter boxes are becoming more popular. But does your pet actually need these things? The answer is no. They are nice to have sure, but they aren’t necessary and who is benefiting from these things, your pet or you? (Hint: not your pet). Save yourself some money and skip these unnecessary items when you shop for your pet.
Taking your pet to a grooming salon can be very costly. My parents take their dogs to get their fur trimmed every couple of months and this expense adds up over the span of a year. It is much more affordable if you groom your pet yourself. Just be sure to be responsible, careful, and educate yourself so you don’t injure your pet.
One way you can groom your pet is to trim their nails/claws. A few weeks ago I noticed Pirate was chewing on his claws. He was doing this so often that I looked at his claws one day and noticed they looked kind of shredded towards the tips. This was because he was trying to trim them with his mouth. Instead of taking him to a grooming salon that would have charged me $15 to trim his claws for one visit, I purchased a pair of grooming clippers and very carefully trimmed his nails for him. I haven’t seen him chewing on his claws for months now and I made sure to not trim them too short.
Also be sure to brush your pet to help avoid shaggy and unkempt fur, hairballs, and to keep your pet looking more comfortable. My husband purchased a cheap grooming brush and dry shampoo that we use on Pirate frequently. It keeps him smelling much nicer and really cuts down on the fur we used to see everywhere.
We all have reasons we may have to leave our pet for a short period of time whether it be vacations or a business trip. I strongly recommend asking friends or family to keep your pet while you are gone. Boarding your pet can be very costly, and emotionally damaging to your pet. You could also ask someone to pet sit while you are away so your pet doesn’t have to leave the home they know so well.
Train at Home
A lot of people who own dogs want their dog to be trained. Many people pay a trainer or take their pet to a training school or class. Instead, try watching some Youtube videos or purchase a cheap training book and teach your pet yourself.
There are items that you will have to purchase when you make the decision to purchase a pet. Examples would be a food and water dish, a crate, a leash, etc. Try purchasing these items used at yard sales, online, or from a friend before purchasing them new. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.
I hope you find this list helpful when looking at ways you can make owning a pet more affordable. Share below ways that you found you can save money on your pet! Also please remember to share and like on social media! I love reading what you write too!