The cost of owning a pet has risen 25% since 2010, reaching £7.16bn last year as pet pampering has become ever more prevalent (Totally Money, 2016). But it would actually seem that 12% of pet owners actually thought their pet would only cost them £500 for their entire lifetime (PDSA Paw Report, 2016). Research is key before taking home your very own pet as it is essential to know how much your pet could potentially cost you and how much time they would take to ensure that this is something you could manage. It was found that 5.2 million pet owners never did any research before bringing their pet home (PDSA Paw Report, 2016). So with the rise in costs, it may be time to start thinking about how you can reduce those costs and make your pet money friendly.

Getting Your Pet

You may not have a pet yet, but you’re thinking into the future, so now could be the time to start thinking about what you can realistically afford. The cost of pets can easily build up without you realising as there is so much to buy; the pet cost, food, toys, grooming, health care and pet sitters the list goes on. But, where you may have a pet in mind such as a dog you may find that realistically you can’t afford the time or money so a small furry may be a better option, you can use our pet selector to look into some potential options. It may even be worth looking into fostering or adopting a furry friend.

Health Check

Your pet’s health can be a costly factor, so it’s extremely important to understand your pet and their needs.

  1. Playtime

Now, not all pets like to play with you quite like a dog or cat but by keeping your pet’s active and entertained with plenty of toys and movement can potentially prevent your pet from developing problems or illness.

  1. Basic Grooming

You may feel like you need to go to the vets or groomers for your pets basic grooming such as clipping nails, brushing their teeth, wash and groom. However, by learning the basics and sticking to this regularly you can avoid any hefty bills that could be provided by the vets or groomers.  

  1. Keep Your Pets Out Of Trouble

It is important where applicable to leash your pets in dangerous situations such as next to busy roads or around other pets.  It could also be making sure your enclosures or pet runs are secure so that your pets cannot escape and other animals such as foxes cannot get in to attack your pets.

  1. Understand Your Pets

By understanding your pet’s behaviour, you can gage when the right time to take your pets to the vets is. The cost of these unnecessary trips to the vets can soon build up. Monitor behaviour where you can to save your costs.

  1. Get Your Pets Vaccinated

Where necessary, get your pets vaccinated and keep up with any additional boosters they may require to avoid picking up unnecessary illness.

Get Savvy

  1. Pet Discounts

Research where you can bag yourself a great pet bargain, by signing up for Pets at Home VIP Club you can find great discounts, coupons and freebies.

  1. Vet Schemes

Vets often offer specific schemes that you can choose to use or ignore. It may be worth looking into what your pet may need over the course of the year for scheduled treatment and see if there are any schemes available which can save you money and spread the cost. For example bringing home a puppy can come at a great initial cost, puppies require 2 vaccinations, kennel cough injection, amongst regular health checks to get them used to the vets and treatments for flea and worms. By looking at schemes and talking to your vet you may find that they run a scheme that includes all this for a monthly fee which could save you in the long run and offer lots of freebies.

  1. Emergency Fund

You may pay regularly for health checks at your registered vets, and even pay for pet insurance but sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as we hope and we end up with a hefty bill to make things right. This can be quite daunting when you don’t expect it, so if you can why not try saving a little bit each week to put to one side just for if anything was to happen, if not you’ve got yourself a little bit of a saving.

  1. Barter Your Services

You may find yourself paying for costs such as pet sitters for during the day or even when you’re on holiday and this can soon add up. Rather than going to companies to help think about family, friends or neighbours who may be able to assist and then barter your services. You may find that by getting help from those you know means that rather than paying them, you could pay them in services such as cleaning, preparing their tea etc.

Food and Toys

Dependant on your pet the monthly cost of food and toys can soon add up, but some may think the best way to go is go cheap. However, by going cheap on food this could potentially actually cause health problems to your pet which in the long run could build up more vet bills. When it comes to food you need to be smart, don’t sacrifice the nutrients for the cost, look at where you can get the right food for a lower cost whether it be supermarket brands that have the same ingredients, looking out for deals and then stockpiling if you have the space, storing correctly to make sure you keep the food fresh. You could even go as far as making your own treats for your pet to make sure they have variety but for cheap. This also goes for toys, pets can easily get through their treats in less than a month so it may be best to shop around for your toys to ensure you aren’t burning the pounds or why not try get creative and make your own.

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