\\\ Dog Cat Pet Money-Saving Tips
3 Costs That Can Be Reduced When Keeping A Dog Or Cat
14 Tips to help save rising pet costs
1 Cat and Dog Food
Millions of pet owners buy from the same pet food brand year in, year out, for their pets, generally from supermarkets along with their weekly shopping. Now’s the time to look at other brands and supermarkets’ own brands which generally are priced cheaper. Buying in bulk will help to reduce costs.
Make comparisons online and even change your supermarket shop to find the best deals. It can save several hundreds of pounds a year particularly if you have a large dog to feed.
Before you switch pet brands you can try some of the many pet food companies offering free samples and deals.
Buying treats is an expensive luxury. Makeup homemade treats. Use fresh carrots and broccoli stalks, keeping your dog fitter and healthier, and even using up your meal scraps of lean chicken meat leftovers is a really special dog treat. Check the meat and vegetables before serving them up, not to give any sauces or other harmful human food that may cause toxicity.
Dry foods have longer shelf life dates so are a perfect way to instantly reduce costs by shopping these offers in even larger bulk.
There is a great free food app called olio with more than 6 million users which puts local users in touch with others to swap food items including pet food. Likewise, if you have spare food then don’t waste it and advertise it, pet owners will be delighted to share it with others.
2 The Vet Bill
Vet bills have soared in the past few years generally due to better medical practices, the use of refined imaging, and life-saving techniques. If you have taken out insurance in the hope that vet bills will be financially covered, then don’t stop your pet’s routine preventative flea treatments, cleaning their teeth, washing, and grooming. Insurance companies won’t fork out on claims made if they think you have shown signs of failing to care for your pet should you need to make a claim and preventative care can help save money over the lifetime of your pet, especially as they age when most pets like humans need more medical care.
If you are struggling with costs, talk to your local veterinary surgeon as to how they can help you cope. Perhaps, they can make arrangements to spread the costs for you and your pet or advise of possible cheaper care solutions.
Veterinary charges do range according to areas in the UK and it could be wise to seek a second opinion from another veterinary practice. There are some not-for-profit animal charities that may be able to assist such as Animal Trust.
No one wants to see owners having to give up their pets because they can no longer afford to keep them.
Pet Insurance bills
Insurance is not cheap and most policies in place taken out by owners are for breeds. As pets age, just like humans, they tend to need more veterinary help.
Each animal is an individual and it’s particularly difficult to recommend individual insurance companies for pets. When it is coming up to renewal shop around for quotes, not leaving it until the last minute, and then compare with your current company. Talk to your insurance company, as no insurer wants to lose a good customer with a good pet care history, and, in particular, with no claims made.
Look especially for competitive companies offering online 24/7 veterinary help included in the price. This can cut down unnecessary costly visits to vet surgeries, and give you peace of mind where you can often buy pharmaceuticals that will work out cheaper and restore health.
There are times of the year such as Christmas when you may find yearly premiums quoted slightly higher than, say, January, usually due to the very busy Christmas veterinary charges that can be incurred putting up veterinary costs. Try and avoid quotes!
Like many pet households, you may be looking at extra ways of cutting back your expenditure, read on…
Save money recycle your old towels for your pet
Save money recycle your old pillows and towels for your pet
Save money recycle your old duvets for your pet
3 Pet Accessories
There are certain legal requirements when keeping pets in the UK, not just that owners must feed them and keep them healthy, but requirements which state that dog owners must wear a collar with an ID tag and be put on a dog lead when out walking in most built-up areas. Owners must ensure their dog has been micro-chipped and details kept up to date as well as keeping their pets well fed, safe, and healthy. These pet services and accessories have to be purchased.
Various registered pet microchip firms may be a cheaper solution to use than your veterinary practice so look around for quotes from reputable pet microchipping companies if your dog (and if you require other pets) are not already chipped.
Lots of sturdy cheaper dog collars, leads, and ID tag deals are available online including sites such as eBay, if hard pressed for cash, try charity shops that may have dog second-hand collars and lead. Timpsons, the nationwide shoe-repair shop chain, provide a reasonably priced engraved ID tag. Google for your nearest branch.
More Pet Cost-Saving Ideas
4 Buy or Knit Your Dog A Woolly Jumper or Coat
With the problems of high energy costs hitting the UK, the first and most obvious tip is to naturally use less energy by turning down the heating thermostat and trying to use less gas and electricity to heat the home, during the winter when its peak demand. This is fine for most pets as it is for humans, however, if you have a sick, aging, or short-haired pet they may need to be kept warmer than most other pets. Just as humans put on another jumper when it’s cold, there’s no reason why especially smaller dogs can’t wear some of the gorgeous knttted and crochet sweater designs now available from good pet stores including Joules and Country Attire, Pets At Home, Jollyes and more.
Image Wool and the gang
Make sure the knitted jumper is made of a quality thick warm fabric and can be washed easily. Likewise, quilted dog coats will offer warmth to short-haired breeds during cold weather, and need to be well made, robust, and easily washable. Check the feedback left by customers before purchasing.
Candle-lit evenings may become evening more popular at home this winter (should there be powercuts) so get prepared with pet-friendly candles.
5 Recycle Duvets Towels and Pillows For Pets
Use old unwanted duvets for dogs and cats and let them be warm and cosy cuddling up in them (as long as your dog isn’t a chewer!). Move them near to radiators so they can feel the warmth and let them snuggle up when it’s cold outside. If you have old unwanted pillows and cushions, then these can work for smaller dogs and cats to curl up on placed in warm areas around the home.
Cut down a suitable size card box and fill it with an old pillow if you cannot afford a pet bed today. This works for small dogs that aren’t chewers and cats. Wicker baskets can also be used with a comfortable soft bouncy cushion pillow base.
Keep old duvets, sleeping bags, and pillows as ‘fillers’ for dog bed inner cushions if the cushion has lost a lot of bounce due to the constant strain of your dog jumping in and out of their bed every day. It can save £££sss in not having to buy a new inner cushion pad.
6 Shop Pet Sales For Your Winter Needs
Pets generally need more accessories to keep themselves warm during the winter months than extra accessories during the summer months. Dog raincoats and warm quilted dog jackets can be reduced heavily during the summer months in stores, so ideal to buy, getting prepared for colder weather. They may not be the high fashion colours of the season but you’ll save many pounds.
7 Use ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ deals
Spread the cost over several weeks for higher-priced items that may need to be replaced such as cat climbing frames or rabbit runs by using BNPL cards. Don’t get into debt, avoid using BNPL if you really can’t afford to pay the sums back over the set timescale. Wait and shop in sales to purchase these items at even lower prices.
Climbing frames are particularly good for indoor cats to help them keep healthy and active. Old boxes are a perfect alternative and cheap way to let cats scratch and sharpen their claws in the short term until one can afford a climbing frame. Choose a smaller style if you can’t afford a larger, higher frame until later.
8 Buy Second-hand Pet Accessories
Look on all the usual second-hand online sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Gumtree for second-hand dogs, cats, rabbits, and pet items.
9 Free Pet Food
You’ve already cancelled the posh premium subscription food services and monthly pet treat boxes so don’t make the mistake of switching brands, buying in bulk, to save money only to find that your pet doesn’t like your choice of new pet food and isn’t eating!
Try before you switch your pet to new food brands. Many subscription and premium food services offer free samples and trial packs of foods at a much-reduced cost.
10 Rent Pet Accessories
Some savvy owners now rent out the use of their pet’s cages and carriers for just a few pounds saving pet owners the expense if they are travelling and need dog and cat carriers and cages for a short period of time, whilst making some much-needed money back from the hire fees. Make sure your equipment is rented out clean and in good order. Look for local adverts online.
11 Dog Walking Pet Sitting and Pet Hotel Services
There are many dog walkers, pet sitting, and pet hotel services available, which all can eat into your monthly financial budgets if you are busy at work and need support. You are probably very aware of these costs already.
Working from home has helped enormously since the pandemic for millions of pet owners helping to reduce costs, not having to rely on mid-day dog walking services, and where more and more owners are pairing up with friends that can pet-sit each other’s dogs (or pets) when one owner has to go into the office all day, attending events and conferences, or have important online sessions to attend, where one doesn’t want to be disturbed by your pooch barking in the middle of a presentation or cat walking in front of your screen!
Ask your pet-owning friends if they would like to join up and remember to return the favour!
12 Pet Gift Vouchers
If you bought pet hampers last year and are buying gifts for birthdays and Christmas for friends, gift vouchers from your local supermarket or pet store can be a perfect solution this year allowing friends and family to choose and pay for essential items that they need for their pet.
13 Free Pet Travel
Check before you book but most trains in the UK offer free pet travel with certain rules applying, as do short journey ferries. Buses, unfortunately, can charge and other transport modes. However, since the pandemic, there is a move by companies to consider pet travel, for example, Manchester Metro trialing free pet travel over the coming season.
In some cases, with the increases in petrol costs, it can work out cheaper to take a discounted train ride, generally out of peak hours with your pet than to drive your car, fly, or travel by bus in the UK. Check ahead carefully the pet restrictions in place when making costly travel plans. Read the small print of travel companies as there may be certain conditions attached to free travel with your pet.
14 Professional Pet Modelling
Professional Pet Modelling isn’t just confined to the best and most expensive breeds but exotic pets and pets with an attitude are highly sought after for numerous TV adverts, films, commercials, magazine features, theatre work, and online social media advertising.
There are several reputable professional pet modelling agencies that provide professional services to numerous top brands in the UK and ensure they follow veterinary codes of practice.
There are no set pet modelling pay scales but the work can be lucrative to those owners who are mobile, and happy to start early in the morning, to spend all day at shoots with their pets where they have been trained to be calm and obedient, and camera friendly.
Do you research and prepare your pet well, teaching the basics at home so your pet is relaxed and enjoys the modelling session, and is recalled for more work, whilst receiving excellent reviews building a portfolio.