5 Ways to Save Big Money on Pet Care and Supplies

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Your pet doesn’t need fancy toys and accessories, and he probably wouldn’t know the difference anyway. Just the basics of pet care are costly enough, but thankfully there are some easy ways to save money and still have a healthy and happy companion. As long as your furry friend gets plenty of exercise, food, water, and attention, he’s sure to help keep you healthy too. Whether you have a dog, cat, or another type of animal in your care, you can always find ways to reduce expenses without jeopardizing care. Here are five easy ways to keep your pet care budget under control.

1. Choose to adopt

Adopting your pet from the pound or an animal shelter not only saves money, it also means you are helping an animal that needs a home. As opposed to expensive purebreds, mixed breeds tend to lack the genetic disposition for serious health conditions. Adoption will still cost money depending on where you go, but that donation sometimes helps cover the cost of having your pet spayed or neutered and vaccinated ahead of time.

2. Do it yourself

As long as you educate yourself in the proper methods, there are a lot of aspects of pet care that you can do at home. Grooming, baths, nail clipping, and dental care are all much more affordable if you skip the professional service. Simple problems like fleas, ticks, and heartworm can be treated easily at home, and savvy pet owners even administer certain shots themselves, saving your pet the nervous trip to the vet and saving you some cash. Rabies shots can’t be done at home, but be on the lookout for a low-cost rabies clinic in your area. Of course, for health needs that are more urgent, don’t hesitate to take your animal to the veterinarian or call an emergency vet hotline.

3. Buy food and supplies in bulk

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Stocking up on pet food and other supplies at warehouse stores, online, or wherever you get a good price will save you money in the long run. It will also save you the time it takes to go on last-minute trips to the store for cat litter or dog food. Between coupons, sales, and discount stores, all it takes is a little extra effort and research to save a lot on your pet’s expenses. Once you have the extra supply on hand, just remember not to overfeed your pet. Almost 60% of all pets are overweight, putting them at risk for serious health problems.

4. Skip the brand new toys

If you’ve ever browsed the toy aisles at a pet supply store, you know how overpriced they can be. Instead of forking over $20 for a reshaped piece of plastic, consider making your own toys for your pet. It’s a good opportunity to be creative. Cat scratchers can be made by wrapping sisal rope around a post, for example. As long as you make sure all your handmade toys are safe, your pet will thank you. You can also get free and used accessories, like crates, leashes, and food bowls, on Craigslist or Freecycle.

5. Ask a friend to be your pet sitter

Going out of town can be a hassle for pet owners. If your pet is staying home while you travel, a kennel or pet sitter can sometimes cost as much as $50 to $60 per day. A pet-loving friend might be willing to do it for free or for a lot less, and then you will have the added peace of mind of knowing your animal is in good hands. If your pet knows the sitter already, he will be more at ease too. Fellow pet owners often make great sitters because they know how to care for animals properly and are often willing to trade favors.

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