The Humane Society of the United States reports that pet ownership in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Americans are also spending more than ever on their pets: $55.7 billion in 2013.
Sure, you like to give everything your all – and that includes pet ownership. But giving your pets the best doesn’t have to mean spending the most. Here are five ways to save money while taking excellent care of your “furry friend.”
1) Consider pet insurance. You never know when, or if, your pet will have an accident, injury or illness, and need surgery or emergency medical care. This type of situation can easily move beyond what a typical household can afford. There are now more pet insurance options than ever, and often just one incident will make years of pet insurance payments well worth it. You can compare carriers at petinsurancereview.com.
2) Practice prevention. Getting your pet vaccinated can help prevent common diseases. You can save on vaccinations by checking for vaccination clinics in your area. Often your local shelter can be a good source of information on area vaccination clinics. Also, check with your vet about what vaccinations your pet needs to avoid over or under vaccinating. Spaying and neutering your pet also comes with many health benefits. Your local shelter can be a good source of information on finding low cost spay and neuter services, or try Spay USA’s “Locate a Clinic” tool.
3) Choose food wisely. The most expensive food isn’t always the best, and feeding a low-quality food can cost you in the long run in terms of the health of your pet. Sites such as PetFoodRatings.org, DogFoodScoop.com and DogFoodAnalysis.com can help you compare brands and ingredients. In addition to choosing food, make sure your pet gets daily exercise. Make sure to check with your doctor and your pet’s veterinarian before starting a new routine.
4) Use coupons. As with other items you purchase, you can increase savings by watching for sales and using coupons. There are even sites devoted to pet coupons, such as MyPetSavings.com, and Coupaw.com for special deals, and many regular coupon sites have pet sections. Joining your pet store’s rewards program will also bring discount offers. When there is a sale or coupon, stock up on items you’ll use (keeping in mind expiration dates).
5) Do it yourself. Pinterest is full of do-it-yourself creations that will save big. From raised pet feeders, to pet clothes, to pet toys and everything in between. In addition, you can find recipes for making your own pet treats online.
The benefits of pets far outweigh the expense, and with these tips you can stick to your budget while still spoiling your favorite family pets.