Keeping a pet is one of the best ways to make your life at home happier. It doesn’t matter what animal you keep as a companion, as long as you’re willing to fully invest your time, money, and emotions! However, pet care can be expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing because you have to buy food, supplements, vaccinations, and grooming supplies in addition to luxuries such as toys and clothing! That’s why we created the Dealhack Pet Owner Savings Guide, to provide animal lovers with the most useful information on how to save money on the essential needs of their pets.
This guide covers the best ways to cut down on the cost of pet food, veterinary care, animal medicine, and other supplies. You can save this guide on your phone or computer so you can access it anytime even without Internet access. Learn as much as you can so you’ll know the most cost-efficient methods of keeping your pet healthy and happy!
Pet Food Savings
Buy pet food from discount stores. Never underestimate the cost of pet food, especially when you order online or purchase at pet specialty stores. It’s more cost-efficient to buy pet food from discount stores such as Walmart, Target, and Sam’s Club, among others. Online orders also include shipping fees, which add more to the total cost. So unless there’s a really huge online sale or you have access to some coupons, it’s better to drive over to your nearest discount store or hypermarket to buy food for your pet.
Choose generic brands. Don’t be enticed by advertisements and big-name brands because they usually charge more than generic brands that might even have the same nutritional value, sometimes maybe even more. That’s why you should be smart in choosing which ones to buy. Read the label, compare the ingredients, and choose one that’s costs less without compromising its quality!
Check for coupons. It’s never a bad idea to search online for coupons for discounts or even free items. Petco and PetSmart frequently give away plenty of coupon codes that can be used for online orders. If you want to save more time, download the Dealhack browser extension so coupons will automatically show up in your search results whenever you browse at Google for pet food discounts.
Purchase in bulk sizes. Once you figure out the brand of dry food that your pet loves to eat, consider buying a 40-lb bag instead of a 10-lb bag so you can save money in the long run. Depending on the size of your pet, the freshness of the food, and the amount of food it eats, you can spend less on pet food when you buy in bulk and repackage or refrigerate it until it lasts for the next month or so.
Sign up for customer loyalty rewards programs. Plenty of stores and retailers offer rewards programs or have special days when certain items will be on sale for a hefty discount. Also take note that many businesses offer regular discounts to veterans, first responders, teachers, seniors, and other groups. Just make sure to bring a valid ID or other documents that help you qualify for a discount!
Research on supplements. Giving your pet nutritional supplements can either be beneficial or just a waste of money, depending on your pet’s diet and physical condition. Don’t let advertisements influence your decision! Do your research, use your common sense, and consult a trusted veterinarian. Websites like 1-800-PetMeds and PetCareRX offer coupon discounts for pet vitamins and supplements.
Avoid overfeeding your pet. Understandably, we love our pets so much that we spoil them with food and treats, but they are prone to health problems just like us! Overfeeding your pet can lead to obesity, which can cause chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes and arthritis.
Learn how to make home-cooked pet food. Consult with your veterinarian on the ideal diet for your pet. You can actually save money on pet food when you supplement your pet’s diet with healthy homemade meals. Instead of spending money on expensive treats, use fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, melons, berries, and broccoli. Make dehydrated treats by drying small slices of meat in the oven. If you eat grain cereal or oatmeal in the morning, your pet dog might also enjoy it so try giving them a bowl now and then. As long as you take the time to do research, you can learn plenty of healthy pet meal suggestions online or from other pet owners.
Pet Supply Savings
The best prices are found online. While pet food is generally cheaper when you buy at physical stores, you can save more money on pet medicines and health-related products when you order online. Instead of relying on advertisements, you must always read the ingredients in case they might contain components that are not safe for your pet. You should also take note of the manufacturer’s country of origin to make sure the brand is legal and not a knock-off or a duplicate. Visit Dealhack for coupons and special offers from online pet supply stores.
Spend wisely and creatively on pet supplies. Do you think it’s worth buying that $8.99 chew toy when you can buy three tennis balls for a dollar instead? Pet owners who are smart shoppers know that pet-specific products are more expensive than the generic item. Some dogs even ignore their new tug toy because they prefer gnawing on an old sock or shirt. What’s important is that you spend time, not money, with your pets if you want them to become happier.
Find used pet supplies for bargain prices. Used pet supplies are not always safe, but they’re cheaper. Visit local yard sales and thrift stores for items that you can still clean and reuse. Your nearest dollar store might have the same stainless steel bowl that costs $25 in other shops. The potential savings here can definitely justify the time it takes to stop and look. You also can search online at stores such as Chewy, or local sellers found in OfferUp and Facebook pages because items are usually sold for less than their original price.
Veterinary Care Savings
Prevention is always better than cure. A healthy pet with no complications means that you won’t need to schedule frequent visits to the veterinarian. So make sure that your pet receives the proper vaccinations, exercise, and vaccinations to reduce the risk of illness. Sure, food and vaccines may not be cheap, but medicines are way more expensive.
Price shop for a veterinary practice. Ask your friends who also have pets because they might have some recommendations for you. Before you decide whom to entrust your pet’s care with, ask friends for recommendations especially the ones that are long-time pet owners. Whatever method you choose to find an animal care provider, make sure that he or she has a good pet-side manner and offers reasonable service fees. Make sure the provider has a good pet-side manner and reasonable fees. PetSmart and Banfield Pet Hospital have partnered to offer a free pet examination to new clients.
Price shop for prescriptions. It’s always a good idea to ask for recommendations from your trusted veterinarian or your friends who are also pet owners. If you are a member of organizations such as AAA or AARP, you can also check their website for exclusive savings on pet medicine and insurance. Shopping for pet medicine online is the best way to save money. Some examples of reliable retailers are Allivet, 1-800-PetMeds, PetCareRX, and 1-800-PetSupplies.
Do your research on vaccinations. Always ask your preferred veterinarian for guidance, but it’s also important for you to know which pet vaccines come in extended formulations so that they don’t need to be administered annually. Based on the AAHA guidelines for feline and canine vaccinations, some vaccines such as Distemper and Parvo can be administered every 3-5 years. This kind of information goes a long way in helping you plan and budget the vaccination expenses of your pet.
Consider applying for pet health insurance. Unless you can afford to pay up-front on the medical needs of your pet, you can save more money in the long run if you sign up for an insurance plan. Petplan does not charge you any sign-up fees, and even offers free online veterinarian visits to its subscribers. Petmate is also a good choice because of their low monthly fees, wide-coverage, and exclusive perks. Whatever insurance provider you choose, make sure that they cover chronic diseases and specific illnesses that are common to your pet’s breed.
Veterinary schools can provide significant savings. You’re lucky if your local pet clinic is operated by a veterinary college because you most likely can get quality care at discounted prices there. Students of veterinary medicine are always professional and responsible during hands-on practice, so you don’t have to worry about the mismanagement of your pet’s medical needs. If you need more reliable advice, your local animal rescue shelter or humane society most probably keeps a list of the best animal clinics in your area.
Pet Services and Acquisition
Adopt a pet. It’s way more expensive to purchase a pet from a breeder rather than adopting a pet from an animal rescue shelter. Most adoptable animals are already trained and can easily adjust to a new family. And if you’re looking for a purebred animal, there are usually plenty of them at your local rescue shelter.
If you decide to adopt a pet, make sure to choose an animal rescue shelter that is reputable. A good rescue organization knows the temperament of their animals, and they keep a record of any chronic medical conditions that need to be addressed. They also make sure that the pets are spayed or neutered, and also updated on their vaccinations. Adopting from these rescue groups can save you a lot of money in the long run, because the pets they take care of are usually healthier.
Learn to bathe and groom your pet. If you put in the effort to fulfill your pet’s hygiene needs, you can save money for professional services while strengthening the bond with your pet at the same time. There are plenty of educational materials available to help you get started. Even if you take your pet to a groomer, you can stretch out the time between visits by regularly bathing and brushing your pet’s coat in-between.
Pet-proof your house to reduce the risk of damage and injury. If you have a pet, especially a puppy or a kitten, treat them as if they are a toddler. That means you must use childproof latches, keep trash cans covered, keep the toilet lid closed, secure all poisons and possible choking hazards, and so on. This is especially important when you leave your pet to wander anywhere indoors when no one is at home. Make sure that they are not able to reach any breakable items, footwear, pillows, laptop and phone chargers, other items that your pet might end up chewing. Doing so will keep both your pet and your valuables safe.
Do Your Own Training. Pet stores and local organizations will train your pet for you, but they’ll also charge a hefty fee. By training your own, you’ll strengthen your relationship with the pet and save money to boot. It’s easy to find books and videos to lead you through the training sequences. An in-between option is for you and your pet to attend training classes together.
Start Saving on Pet Care Now
Taking care of a pet is generally expensive, but if you follow the tips in this guide then you can at least minimize the amount of money that you need to invest in pet food, supplies, and medicine. Always remember to do your research and spend your money wisely because there are plenty of ways to keep your pet healthy and happy without breaking the bank!