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4 Simple Ways to Save on Pet Expenses

Pet ExpensesIt’s not a secret that I’m in debt. I’ve got just under $18,000 of consumer debt and student loans, plus a mortgage of about $117,000. In order to help me pay off my debts as quickly as possible, I’ve been cutting lots of unnecessary expenses like eating out, shopping, and the majority of my entertainment budget.

Despite all these cuts, one category that some see as “unnecessary” that I’ve decided to keep in my budget is pet expenses. Even though I’m keeping my pets, there are a few things I’m doing to help cut down on the financial cost of owning a pet.

Don’t Overfeed

Buying high quality food and paying a bit more for it is something I’m not willing to cut from my budget. The better quality the food, the longer and healthier your pets’ lives will be. But with that said, one way you can save on pet expenses is by making sure you are not over feeding them. You can follow the feeding guidelines on your pet food’s packaging, or ask your veterinarian for suggestions, to make sure you are feeding the proper amount.

Pets, especially dogs, can be beggars and will try everything they can to get you feed them more food and treats. But if you give in, you are costing yourself unnecessary money in both food costs today and future veterinary expenses when your pet becomes overweight.

Save on Pet Expenses By Buying in Bulk

Another way I save on pet expenses and supplies is by buying in bulk. I buy dry food for my dogs and cat in bulk with coupons and sales whenever they are available. By paying close attention to sale prices on the basic pet supplies I know I’ll eventually use, I can buy them at rock-bottom prices and store them until they’re needed. Just be careful not to build up too big of stockpile that you can’t use all the perishable goods before they expire, otherwise you’ll be wasting money instead of saving it.

Skip the Groomer

Another way I save money is by grooming my own pets. My dogs get regular baths and haircuts, and my cat allows me to brush out her fur to prevent shedding from time to time. The best thing about doing this grooming myself is that I get to save money and spending time bonding with my pets. Plus, by doing these things myself, I know how my pets are being treated, ensuring that they receive proper care and are not unnecessarily stressed out by the experience of being groomed.

Invest in Training

Spending money on obedience training books, supplies, or even classes for your pets may not seem like a money saving measure, but it can pay off in the long run. When my dogs were puppies, I spent a lot of time training them basic commands, skills, and lessons. They know how to behave in public and at home, and I never have to worry about them chewing anything they shouldn’t. By ensuring they have proper manners, I can rest assured I won’t have to replace any furniture or belongings because of pet damage. Replacing things that are chewed or otherwise destroyed can be very costly compared to the time and money investment needed for training most pets.

Though pets can be a major financial expense, especially if you’re trying to get out of debt or increase your savings, pets are worth their weight in how many benefits they can bring to your life. Plus, there are plenty of ways to make pet ownership more frugal than the typical pet owner might realize.

 

 

How to do you cut down on pet costs? What kind of pets do you have? What is one thing you’re not willing to skimp on with regards to your pets?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Jerry

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

24 comments

  1. Those are really what pet lovers should know. Grooming can be done by everyone. So why bring them to a shop if you’re in a tight budget? Me? I just watch DIY videos on Youtube. It doesn’t only teach me but it helps me spend less.

  2. I have a 12-year-old dog and I feel very fortunate that he has been so healthy. All he has needed so far is food, water, love, and an annual vet visit with shots. I also had a small tumor removed off of his ear once, but that is all.

    • You are pretty lucky! I have a dog about 12 years old too (a German Shorthair that I rescued, so not totally sure on age) and I’ve been pretty lucky that he’s had good health so far too!

  3. We definitely save money by cutting back on the groomer. We have a Himalayan cat and it would cost us $50 a session to have his undercoat cleaned out. Instead, we spent $40 on a special comb and now take care of him all the time. It took less than two groomings for that comb to pay for itself.

    • That is so right! Sometimes people are hesitant to buy the grooming equipment because it seems expensive – my groomer charged me only $20 and the grooming supplies I bought cost more than that, but they were paid for in about 3 times of using them. Worth it in the long run for sure!

  4. I have fishes as I’m allergic to dogs 🙁 Good alternative as their relaxing to watch with minimum costs. Just give them food and air and their good to go.

  5. We save money by not bringing our dogs to the groomer. We’ve had bad experiences, and our dogs have caught something almost every time they’ve gone so we have stopped.

    • That makes you spend even more money if they get sick every time you take them to the groomer! Crazy!! I’m glad you stopped taking them and are now doing it yourself.

  6. The groomer can bankrupt you. I just pretty much give my dog a bath now when he needs it. He thinks its awesome! 🙂

    • I try not to bathe mine too often either, it can really dry out their skin. But, I do give them baths on a semi-regular basis because they love snuggling and I don’t want dirty dogs on my lap during a movie night at home. 🙂

  7. We save money by buying her quality prescription food. yes it’s expensive but history has shown us as long as she’s eating it her vey visitis are decreased SIGNIFICANTLY!

  8. I always make sure to have short haired dogs so we don’t need a groomer. We’ve also downsized our herd down from four dogs at one point to one. As they pass, we haven’t gotten new ones. It was more for travel than financial reasons, but the fewer you have the less it costs. If we feel the need to have an extra dog, we will foster one.

    • I have 3 dogs (2 small dogs about 10lbs and 1 60lb dog) and 1 cat right now, and I know what you mean about downsizing the “herd”. When my old-man dog passes (he’s 12 right now) I won’t be getting a new dog. Instead I’ll just proceed with the 2 small dogs and cat. That will also help lower my pet expenses for sure.

  9. I want a baby kitty so bad, but have told myself not until after debt. Glad you are finding ways to save money. I wouldn’t use a groomer, unless it was really necessary. Enjoy your pet friends for me. 😉

  10. We have a Japanese Spitz for 2 years already, we cook his food so that we can save a lot. My cousin also the one who grooms my dog, he cut the extra hair and trim the nails.

  11. These are some great tips. Here are some more, I feed my dogs a cheap commerical brand food along with fresh foods that I have at home. Also I feed them raw meats weekly as part of a BARF diet. There is no reason to over feed you pets, 2 times a day is plenty. Pet insurance can be great to have for those unseen emergencies especially if your dog is getting older.

    • I’ve never tried feeding “fresh foods” from home. I followed my vet’s instructions for feeding, along with the breeder where I got my PB dog. Thanks for sharing!

  12. By fresh foods I mean, Buy a whole pumpkin and bake it 🙂 it is good for your dog and all dogs love it.

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