Wondering how to save money on pet care? Owning a pet takes on a whole new meaning when you’re out of mom and dad’s house! Just like having a child, bringing a new pet into your home is a potential 18-year commitment, so it’s important to be aware of the different challenges and costs that come with pet care. Here are a few tips on how to save money on pet care so that you and your fur babies don’t run into financial trouble down the road:
More and more places are cracking down on corrupt puppy and kitty mills that force animals to breed, and then the mills sell the litters for outrageous prices. Although the urge to own a purebred pup might be strong, with a little due diligence you can often find them at shelters for a fraction of the cost. Animals in shelters are often abandoned, abused, and many are euthanized if they can’t be placed in a home. You can make a difference by giving them a new life full of love and security. Often the funds you do spend will go towards keeping these facilities in operation. Check out the app AllPaws, which helps pair hopeful pet parents with their perfect match based on activity level, housing type, and other variables.
2) Buy pet food in bulk
Whether you prefer to put your pet on a specific diet or a simple, no-frills routine, you can often buy your pet food in bulk on sites like Amazon or Chewy.com. Membership warehouses like Costco and Sam’s Club and big chains like Target also sell bulk pet food to help you cut costs. Avoid paying extra for pet foods that promise “premium” nutrition without specifying their value. According to Consumer Reports, any pet foods, including store brands, labeled “complete and balanced,” “total nutrition” or “100 percent nutritious” will meet nutritional standards.
3) Make homemade pet toys
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of moving with a cat in tow, you’ve probably witnessed them go crazy climbing in and out of empty boxes. We always want our pets to have the best of the best when it comes to entertainment, but they’re much easier to please than we are. A simple string, laser pointer, or empty box can do wonders for keeping a kitty busy, and a few tennis balls can last a lifetime with an energetic pup. Here are a few fun ideas to get you started.
4) Save on pet meds
A healthy pet should have fairly low veterinary costs, and you can cut those further by ordering meds from 1-800-PETMEDS or PetCareRX, which offer regular deals and discounts, unlike your local vet’s office. Do a little research on the prescription and see if you can find a generic version at Rite Aid or Walmart for a fraction of the cost.
5) DIY grooming
You’ll notice your pet’s coat change with the seasons depending on where its breed originates from and if they’re long or short-haired. Invest in a pet shampoo and perhaps a cheap plastic kiddie pool (or a bathtub depending on the size of your animal) and groom them regularly at home instead. By brushing their teeth, clipping nails, and washing them every week or two, you will cut your grooming visits down to a few times a year.
Just like with a child, there are ways to budget and make your money go further with pet care. And unlike an infant, you won’t have to worry about the costs of daycare, health insurance or college down the line. As more people recognize the financial advantages of raising a furry friend, there’s a chance that the millennial generation might end up having more pets than children!