Any pet owner knows that our furry friends are more than just an animal, they are a beloved member of the family – but with the cost-of-living crisis putting strain on UK households, our pets have become another expense to worry about.
The average dog can cost as much as £30,800 over its lifetime, while you can expect an expense of around £24,000 for cats, claims the PDSA.
According to a recent YouGov survey, 70 percent of pet owners say they are worried that it’s getting more expensive to look after their animals.
Finance experts at MoneyTransfers.com have highlighted seven ways to reduce your pet care spending during the cost-of-living crisis.
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Pet food bargains
Pet food is one of the largest monthly expenses for animal owners.
While it is important they are still properly nourished, owners shouldn’t need to splurge on pet food.
The most well-known pet food brands will often increase their prices as they are marketed as premium, but there are always cheaper alternatives available.
A savvy idea is to check the ingredients to find low-cost options with equivalent nutritional value.
Online shopping is often cheaper than purchasing in-store, and remember to buy in bulk if the food is discounted.
There are also a number of pet food banks available across the country, you can search online to find those available in your area.
You can receive money off future purchases by signing up to dog clubs as they typically offer loyalty points.
Over-the-counter pet treatment
It is important to keep on top of monthly flea and worm treatments to keep your pet free from parasites that can cause serious health risks.
It is recommended to consult your vet about any health concerns, and to receive professional advice about the most effective products.
However, you can find safe and effective alternatives at your local pet store that do not require a prescription, for a cheaper price.
DIY pet toys or buy second hand
Our furry friends enjoy playing with toys, however these don’t have to be brand new – items that you already have at home can be just as fun.
Instead of buying a new dog bed, try repurposing an old duvet into bedding to save money whilst providing your dog with a comfy place to sleep.
If you run out of ideas at home, shopping second hand for supplies and toys can be cost-effective.
Research has found that 70 percent of pet owners are not aware of how much they spend on their furry friends each year.
With the cost-of-living crisis causing financial pressure, it is recommended to keep track of your spending to avoid any surprises further down the line.
Although not every expense can be planned, set some money aside for any unexpected payments.
The experts recommend having a clear budget in mind to avoid overspending on items that aren’t essential.
Search online to find the best deals on pet insurance – remember to read the fine print before committing to any policy.
Make sure that you are aware of what your insurance policy covers and make the most of what this offers.
Driving to a walking location can cost you more on petrol.
Instead, plan some local routes that do not require a car – your pooch will also be more grateful for the extra sniffing time outdoors.
Groom your pet at home
Regular grooming of long-haired breeds is essential for their wellbeing, however the average cost is £43 per appointment.
A thrifty alternative would be to groom them yourself by kitting out the recommended brushes, clippers and shampoos.
The basics will require you to clip their nails, clean gently around their eyes, and trim their coats to remove any dead hair, dandruff and dirt – however it is important to make them feel comfortable without causing any stress.
If you are concerned about grooming them yourself, speak to a local groomer or vet for advice.
Discuss work arrangements
While many are able to work from home since the pandemic, others may have returned to the office permanently and could be struggling with pet care.
Try speaking to your boss about more flexible work arrangements, such as working from home one day a week or extending your lunch breaks to walk your dog.
Many employers welcome dog-friendly offices, which have benefits for both pet owners and office workers as the distraction of an animal can reduce stress.
There are many cost-effective ways for pet owners to save money, but remember it is important that your four-legged friend has a well-balanced diet to stay fit and healthy.
They should also have access to clean drinking water at all times – especially during the hot weather.