Keeping your pet happy on a budget.

Keeping your pets happy on a budget. Image: Pixabay

Expert reveals: Affordable pet care hacks you need to know

Pet ownership: Pure love, but pricey! Here’s how to save without sacrificing your furry friend’s well-being.

Keeping your pet happy on a budget.

Keeping your pets happy on a budget. Image: Pixabay

Owning a pet brings immense joy and companionship, but it also comes with significant costs. From food and grooming to veterinary care, the expenses can quickly add up. However, it’s essential to save money without compromising your pet’s well-being. 

Jason Higgs, the Senior Deals Strategist at Bountii, shares four specific tips to help pet owners manage their expenses while ensuring their furry friends remain healthy and happy.

1. Buy Pet Food in Bulk

One of the most straightforward ways to save money on pet care is by purchasing pet food in bulk. 

High-quality pet food can be expensive, but buying larger quantities often comes with significant discounts. Large pet food bags are generally cheaper per unit compared to smaller packages, and you can store the excess in airtight containers to keep it fresh for longer periods. 

Find a reliable pet food brand that your pet enjoys and suits their dietary needs, and look for bulk buying options online or at wholesale stores. 

A pet owner can spend around $50 (R898.80) a month on small bags of premium dog food. By switching to bulk purchases, they could reduce their monthly expenditure to $35 (R629.26), saving $180 (R3, 236.20) annually. Potential savings can be up to 30% per month on pet food costs, depending on the brand and quantity.

2. Regular Home Grooming

Professional grooming services can be costly, especially for pets with high-maintenance coats. 

Learning to groom your pet at home can save substantial amounts over time. Basic grooming tasks such as brushing, bathing, and nail trimming can be done at home with the right tools and a little practice. 

Invest in a quality grooming kit that includes brushes, clippers, nail trimmers, and pet-friendly shampoo, and watch tutorials or ask your veterinarian for tips on proper grooming techniques. 

A pet owner might spend $80 (R1,438.48) every two months on professional grooming. If they purchased a $30 (R539.43) grooming kit, they could start grooming their cat at home, saving payments of up to $480 (R8,630.86) to pet groomers each year. Potential savings can be up to $20 (R359.47) per month on grooming services.

3. Preventative Veterinary Care

Preventative care can help avoid more costly treatments down the line. 

Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and dental care can catch potential health issues early. Routine veterinary visits help maintain your pet’s health and can prevent serious illnesses that require expensive treatments. 

Schedule regular vet visits and stay up-to-date with vaccinations and dental cleanings, and consider wellness plans offered by many veterinary clinics that include preventative care at a reduced cost. 

You can sign up for a wellness plan that includes bi-annual check-ups, vaccinations, and dental care for $200 (R3,594.69) a year, helping avoid a $500 (R8,986.72) bill for an emergency dental procedure later. Potential savings can be hundreds of dollars by avoiding emergency treatments.

4. DIY Pet Toys and Accessories

Pets need toys and accessories, but these can be costly when purchased frequently. 

Creating your own toys and accessories can be both fun and economical. Use household items or inexpensive materials to make engaging toys and accessories for your pets. 

Look up DIY pet toy tutorials online, as common items like old t-shirts, tennis balls, and cardboard can be transformed into entertaining toys. 

Pet owners might spend roughly $10 (R179.68) a month on toys. By making their own from old clothes and household items, they could cut their spending to $2 (R35.94) a month, saving $96 (R1,725.56) annually. 

Jason says, “With a little creativity and effort, pet owners can significantly reduce their expenses. The key is to focus on preventative care and find cost-effective alternatives for everyday pet needs. By doing so, you can enjoy the companionship of your pet without the financial strain.”