With the cost of living crisis taking hold for many households, we are now all looking at ways to save money wherever we can. From energy to water bills, it is sometimes possible to shop around and find better deals that can reduce costs, giving us back a few extra pounds that can be utilised elsewhere.
But can we reduce the cost of keeping a pet? Over the course of a year, the money we spend on our pets can be incredibly high. Following your initial purchase spend, you will have had to pay for accessories, such as bedding, toys, then perhaps veterinary injections and check-ups. On top of this there will be a yearly spend towards other essentials, including food and insurance. For this month's blog we have put together a few money saving tips for dog owners, for our furry best friend who can sometimes make a hole in our wallets!
Nobody wants to cheat their dog out of a tasty meal, especially when a good diet is key to keeping them happy and healthy for longer. But let's face it, dog food can be expensive. So it is important to find a balance between the cost and the quality of what you are buying, ensuring that your pet is getting all of the essential nutrients that they need.
- Shop around each time you buy - many outlets will have offers and sales that change throughout the year
- Look into setting up a subscription for your dog food delivery, as this can sometimes knock pounds off what you are paying
- There is often nothing wrong with changing to a cheaper brand of dog food. As long as you gradually introduce them to it and it contains all of the essential ingredients your dog needs, this can be a real money saver
- Buying in bulk can often save you money - take advantage of 2 for 1 offers for example and keep the extra bag safely tucked away until you need it
Keeping up with vaccinations, worming treatments and flea products are just a few of the regular vet bills that you might be paying for your dog. There are also extra visits that you might be making, for upset tummies, neutering, for swallowing foreign objects…the list is endless.
- Vets can vary quite a lot in what they charge, so it’s best to shop around for one that’s affordable to you
- Check if they have any health plan schemes where you can pay monthly towards flea and tick treatments, as well as where you can receive regular check-ups as part of the package
- Try to keep your dog as healthy as you can, in order to avoid going to the vet if you can
- If you can avoid using your vet out of hours then this can save you a big extra charge on your bill. If your dog is very ill however, don’t delay, just ask if your vet can accept instalments on the charge
- Brush your dog's teeth! Oral treatments are usually expensive and not always included with your pet insurance
When we get our first pet, we often make the mistake of thinking that pet insurance is a bit of a waste of time and that if we look after our dog properly, they will never receive costly vet bills that will need paying through insurance. However, once we get that first big bill for something that we are unable to predict, we realise that a small monthly payment to an insurance company isn’t such a bad idea after all.
- When shopping for pet insurance for your dog, be sure to take advantage of any new customer offers, which may involve adding a code at check-out
- Think about the type of cover that you will need, as there will be different levels to choose from that will vary in cost, from lifetime cover to time limited cover
- Have all of your pets under one policy with the same company, as this is more effective
- If you can afford a higher excess, this will bring the cost of the overall cover down. Just remember that the excess will usually need to be paid as soon as treatment begins, so make sure that it is affordable
- Having your dog microchipped and fully vaccinated can sometimes mean your policy cost is lower
Depending on the breed of dog you have, their coat can be expensive in maintenance. The best way to look after dog fur is to hire a dog groomer, but the cost of this can vary greatly, especially if you have let their fur grow a little out of control. The way to combat this is to try and groom your dog as much as you can yourself.
- Brush your dog a couple of times a week
- Bath them regularly
- Use appropriate shampoos that will suit your dog’s coat
- Trim the hair around the eyes and face carefully
- Invest in a quality trimmer so that you can clip their hair - the cost of the appliance will be equal to just one professional groom