8 Ways to Save on Pet Expenses

Americans spent nearly $48 Billion dollars on their pets in 2010 according to the American Pet Products Association. That’s a LOT of cash! In an effort to promote frugal living through all aspects of your life, I have compiled a list of ways to keep your furry creatures happy and healthy without burning a hole in your pocket.

1.       Buy less food – More than 50% of American dogs and cats are overweight.  Instead of feeding your cat expensive tuna three times a day, feed your cat twice a day, and only give him or her yummy tuna fish for dinner, and stick to dry food in the morning.

2.       Get pet insurance – Vet bills can be just as costly as human medical expenses.  If you get pet insurance, it will cost your $30 – $40 a month and will cover a lot of future expenses, leaving more money in your pocket in the long run.  Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) is a trustworthy pet insurance that will provide a free quote on health insurance depending on the specific type of pet, breed, age, weight, etc.

3.       Incorporate coupons – You use coupons on the food that YOU eat, right?  Make sure to search online and in newspapers for coupons and sales on pet food, toys and other pet essentials as well.

4.       Strategically buy pet toys – Toys for pets can cost $ 8 – $15 per toy and if that toy only lasts for a month or so, that could cost you up to $180 a year! When buying pet toys, check to see if they have a warranty or estimated life expectancy.  By doing a little research or talking with an employee at a pet store, you can figure out what toy is worth your money.

5. Make your own toys – If you want to be extra frugal and not buy toys at all, you can make your own!  Bring out the crafty side of your personality and create braided fleece tug toys for your cat or dog.  You can use a worn out dish towel, bath towel or old shirt, cut it up and French braid it.  If you really want to get into this project, you can color dye each piece different colors!  Check out the picture to the left for a great example of how they can come out!

6. Groom your pets on your own – Instead of paying a pet parlor, dedicate a day to giving your dog a haircut, bath, and even clip his nails.  You can easily purchase a inexpensive book on how to groom your pet – or with a simple internet connection, watch some YouTube tutorials and read tips online and in no time, you’ll see how easy it is.   This tip alone will save your hundreds of dollars a year in pet expenses!

7. Adopt your animal – Instead of paying $600 for a dog, check out your local pound or humane society and adopt an animal for FREE!  The animals are already spaded, clean with all their vaccinations, which relieves you from a big medical bill.  Also, by getting a pet this way, you are giving a lucky animal a loving new home & family!

8. Shop for pet clothes at the end of the season. Pet clothes are JUST like human clothes, they go on sale at the end of the season. Stock up for next winter at the end of January. Shop around and compare costs for the best possible deals.