Money-Saving Tips for Pet Owners

Money-Saving Tips for Pet Owners

Whether you’ve been a pet owner for ages or you’re a first time pet parent, it’s no surprise that the expenses can really add up. A recent survey revealed that nearly one in four American pet owners have found themselves in debt caring for their furry friend. Being aware of pet-related spending habits is crucial for financial health, but can leave many families wondering how to make pet care budget-friendly.

From DIY toys and treats to seeking out discounted veterinary care and training, we have rounded up simple tips to help pet owners save money. By thinking ahead and being creative, you won’t have to strain your budget to take the very best care of your companion.

1) Tap into YouTube for Training

If you think your pet needs some polish but training isn’t in the budget, consider turning to YouTube. You’ll find excellent training videos from reputable trainers teaching everything from basic manners to agility and tricks. You may also check Facebook for a dog training group where you can get training tips and answers to your toughest questions. (Disclaimer: Dogs that display aggression or are fear reactive should be evaluated by a professional trainer or behaviorist.)

2) Shop Around for Quality Pet Food

So many pet owners unknowingly overpay for their pet’s food; they walk into the store, pick what they were told was best by their veterinarian and call it a day. To save some serious cash and cut down on your spending on pet food, do some comparison shopping and always ask if there are coupons, sales, or in-store specials available.

3) Buy in Bulk and Store Properly

If you buy pet food and other products in bulk, you’re doing your wallet a huge favor. The only caveat is that improper storage could cause things to spoil more quickly or deplete nutrients (costing you more in the end), so be mindful and transfer open pet food to an airtight container and store in a cool location away from direct sunlight.

4) DIY Toys and Treats

Show your creative side and use simple household items like old t-shirts, towels, and toilet paper rolls to make fun interactive pet toys. You can also DIY your own homemade treats and skip on the expensive gourmet treats with the cringe-worthy price tag. There are tons of free recipes and DIYs online that you can experiment with. If you’re interested but don’t know where to start, check out some of our past blogs for DIY treats and toys

5) Invest in High-Quality “Big Ticket” Items

While this may not seem like a money-saving tip at first, it may still be helpful in the long run. Being on a budget doesn’t just mean saving money—it means spending your money wisely. When it comes to buying pet products, it’s crucial to invest in high-quality “big ticket” items (i.e crates, beds, leashes/collars, etc.), to ensure they last and can be used by your pet for a long time. If you skimp on quality, you’re likely to end up disappointed – and maybe even paying twice for the same item.

6) Find Affordable Boarding and Grooming Options

Finding a trustworthy place to board your pet that also has affordable prices can be a struggle. Thankfully, with some research and shopping around, you can find care that fits your needs. You may be priced out on boarding, but a trusted family member or friend might be a great option for pet sitting while you’re away. As for grooming, ask friends who they use — or better yet, invest in quality grooming tools and turn to the internet to learn how to do it yourself.

7) Strategically Plan your Pet’s Vaccination Schedule

Did you know you could save money if you’re smart about how you stay updated on your pet’s vaccination schedule? Depending on your area, there could be mobile veterinary clinics or in-store pop-up clinics. These types of clinics often provide vaccines and other veterinary services at a decreased cost. You can also do an internet search to learn whether there is a low-cost veterinary clinic in your area that is a good resource for affordable vaccinations and check-ups. 

8) Don’t Overpay for Pet Medication

There are plenty of resources and websites that can help you save on your pet’s medication. Sites like 1-800-PetMeds or Chewy Rx offer great price points, coupons, and rebates. Also, there may be locally owned pet shops or regular pharmacies in your area that carry the medication you need for your pet at a lower cost. Invest the extra time in researching these options to reap the rewards.

9) Make a Savings Account

Although pet insurance is often recommended if you want to save money, it’s not the only way to prepare for veterinary expenses. You can make your own safety net by creating a savings account for your pet. Similar to a college fund for a child, you can open a savings account and set aside funds every month to save for future veterinary expenses. The idea is that by the time you need to pay an emergency vet bill, you’ll have more than enough saved to cover the cost.

Your Pets are our Priority!

At the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), our number one priority is to promote the health and wellbeing of your pets. That is why we created the NASC Audit Program and the Quality Seal, which helps you identify animal health and nutritional supplements that come from responsible suppliers committed to producing the highest quality, most consistent products available. Visit our website to learn more and to see a list of NASC members that have earned the Quality Seal.