Taking care of pets can be a mightily expensive business. As the cost of living crisis bites, people are looking for ways to cut back on costs without impacting the quality of life for their beloved pooches.
According to the PDSA, the average cost of caring for a medium-sized dog is a whopping £27,000 throughout its lifetime. It is considerably less for a cat, but it’s still a massive £12,000.
A personal finance expert from vouchers.co.uk is sharing money-saving tips in time for National Pet Month in April 2022. Top tips from Andrea Knowles include brushing your pets’ teeth to save up to £223 per year and checking your pets portion sizes.
Here is the full list of money-saving tips that may save £1,200 on your pet.
Eight simple ways to save money on your pet
Swap your local for a supermarket when buying pet food to save up to £40 per year
Local convenience stores might make life easier for you, however it can also be more costly. Which? research found that it costs an average of 9.5 per cent more to shop at local stores than at bigger supermarkets.
Pet food prices can cost up to £400 a year. Therefore a potential saving of almost £40 is significant if you swap your local corner shop for a supermarket.
Groom your pet in between sessions to save £129 per year
Grooming by professionals is generally going to cost more in comparison to a DIY route. One grooming session costs around £43 per session, with the average dog needing around six sessions each year.
This can cost up to £258 per year, which you can put straight back into your pocket by doing these simple things. Keep on top of basic grooming tasks such as regular brushing or the occasional bath.
If you have a special breed such as an Afghan hound and you’re unsure how to groom its lustrous locks, watch free YouTube how-to videos. This way, you could reduce the number of required sessions and price by half to £129.
Not only will you save money by extending the time needed between professional grooming sessions, you will also bond with your pet and have a healthier, more loving relationship.
Create a dog-walking or pet-sitting club with your neighbors and save £705 per year
Paying for a dog-walking service can be expensive, costing around £11.25 per walk or £585 per year, should the walk be a weekly occurrence. To claw back this amount, have a chat with pet-owning neighbours, friends and family to ask if you can set up your own rotating dog-walking service.
Forward-planning for vacation, you could also run a pet-sitting service, totally eliminating boarding kennel costs of around £120 a week. This takes the total yearly saving to £705, including the saving of pet-walking.
Buy your prescriptions online to save 50 per cent
Taking care of poorly pooches needn’t be costly. You can ask for the prescription and order what you need from a certified online pharmacy for a fraction of the cost. For example petdrugsonline.co.uk claim to save you up to 76% on any pet care and they have a rating of 4.9/5 according to Feefo too.
Take your dog to charity-run training classes to save £115
You might have your heart set on training your dog however this can be an expensive outgoing. The average cost of a private group dog-training class is £45 per session, so a four-week course would set you back £180.
However many local charities such as the Dog’s Trust, run cheaper four-week courses for just £65. This would be a saving of £115.
Check your pets portion sizes
Adults are guilty of over-eating too, so don’t feel bad about implementing portion control when you serve pets their food. An estimated 40 per cent of dogs in the UK are overweight so one way to have them lose weight is to weigh their food.
To work out how much you should be feeding your dog, look at the body condition system to calculate whether your dog is too thin, too heavy, or ideal. You can then work out the right food portion from there.
Brush up on your dog’s dental hygiene and save up to £223 per year
One of the most common reasons of tooth issues and gum disease in dogs is due to their owner’s not brushing their dog’s teeth correctly, or often enough. The average cost of a dentist having to scale and polish a dog’s teeth is £233.
You can pick up toothbrushes and toothpaste costing less than a tenner. Simply follow the free guides shared by dentists online to give your dogs an inexpensive at-home tooth refresh.
Think of the bigger picture and buy pet insurance to save you money in the long run
Although purchasing pet insurance comes with a monthly or annual cost, enrolling your pet on a policy can help offset the costs of preventative care along with accidents and illnesses. Get a policy as soon as you get a pet, as waiting until the pet is older increases their chances of needing a premium-priced policy, due to underlying health conditions.