Did you know that the lifetime cost of owning a dog is $15,000? And cats are not much cheaper, at $11,000. That is a considerable amount of money, but that number is not set in stone. There are a bunch of ways to spend less without putting your pet's well being in jeopardy. A bit of savvy comparison shopping when buying petcare supplies can yield substantial savings.
How to Save on Food
There are plenty of gourmet options for pet food nowadays, and a lot of people are starting to become more conscious of what they are feeding their pet. All of that is great, but it is also an opportunity for some pet food manufacturers to squeeze extra dollars out of you. You should always give your pet a well-balanced, nutritious diet. You just don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to do so.
A good first step for saving on food is understanding exactly what goes into making quality pet food. Once you have that figured out, it becomes a matter of comparing prices. Make sure to check a number of different retailers, as certain brands may be more or less expensive at another store.
How to pay less for Litter
Cat litter is one absolute necessity on which you can spend a lot or a little. Clumping or non-clumping, all natural or with crystals that absorb smells — there are so many choices! Before you start looking at prices, figure out what type of litter your cat will actually use. Those crystals don’t do much good if your cat is going to go in the hallway.
Once you find an option that works, consider what it is you want — is odor control important if the litter box is in the basement? How important is it to you that your cat litter is all-natural?
Once you have your type picked out, go around to pet stores, supermarkets, and mega-marts in your area and see how their prices match up to those online.
How to Find Toys for cheap
Another area where you can spend a ton of money is on toys for your pet. If you are so inclined, you can pick up various battery operated, automatic toys that are sure to keep your pet engaged for hours — for a price. There are tons of different toy options, and like anything else, the most important thing is whether your pet will use it; saving $10 on a toy your dog won’t touch is still a waste of money.
Next consider how long the toy will last. Sure, the hard rubber toys are a little more expensive than plushies, but if the plushie is going to get torn to shreds within an hour, it might be worth investing in a toy that will challenge your pet’s ability to destroy. Again, the final step is to look everywhere! A little bit of browsing could end up saving you a few dollars.
If all the toys seem too expensive, look around your house. There are tons of homemade pet toys that can be crafted out of things you probably just have laying around.
How to Find Treats on sale
Every pet deserves a treat now and then, so having a bag of treats in the cupboard is a must for any pet parent. And just like with pet food, the push for healthier options has yielded dozens of types of pet treats. What that means for you is that you have a lot to consider. There are treats that clean teeth, treats that keep them calm, treats for joint pain, all natural treats, organic treats, and many more options.
Then make sure you're getting what you paid for. Take a look at the ingredients.
Finally, if you are so inclined, you can also cook up some delicious pet treats yourself! Take a look at our recipes and start saving even more money.
More On Pet Savings
11 Ways to Save Money on Pets
7 Money-Saving Steps to Having a 'Green' Pet
Your Pet Budget; Managing Your Pet Care Needs
Understanding The Lifetime Cost of a Cat