Approximately 45% of UK households own at least one pet. In total there are thought to be more than 13 million dogs and cats in the UK. The average dog costs around £833 per year, and the average cats round £675. Pets don’t come cheap so they are a real financial commitment. Here are 10 tips to help you save money on your cat and dog.
Buy Better Quality Food
Premium quality pet food will cost you more money initially. However the return on investment is well worth it. Ensuring that your cat or dog is eating the right food will improve his overall health. This in turn will mean less trips to the vet, and will therefore cost you far less in the long run.
The optimal diet for dogs consists mainly of raw meat with a few vegetables. This is what dogs eat in the wild so it’s what they should eat at home too. Cats should eat a diet of 100% raw meat or poultry. Be sure to buy raw food from a reputable retailer so you know that it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients.
Make your own Treats
Dogs and cats love treats, but they tend to get expensive. It’s a good idea to make treats yourself at home. Not only will you save money but you will also know exactly what is in them. You can supplement your pets diet with the right vitamins and minerals by making your own treats, and it’s fun to do as well.
Join Loyalty and Rewards Programs
If you regularly buy your pet food from the same place then it is a good idea to join a loyalty or rewards program. Doing so will ensure that you save money every time you buy food for your dog or cat. Over the course of a year the savings will add up.
Find a Reputable Vet
When it comes to finding the right vet for your pet, be sure to shop around. Just because there is a vet near to your home it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good one. Look for online reviews and talk to local people with pets. You can then find out where the best veterinary practices. If anything ever happens to your beloved pet you will be pleased to know that they are in the safest hands.
Insure your Pet
Insurance and saving money seldom come hand in hand. But when it comes to your pet in many cases it pays to insure him. A vet bill for something as minor as a fracture easily cost hundreds of pounds. Anything that requires surgery can often cost in excess of £1,000. Then there is the medicine and antibiotics afterwards. Insurance is relatively cheap if you do it from day one. If you ever need to make a claim you will be glad you took out a policy.
Shop around for Pet Insurance
When choosing pet insurance make sure you get the correct level of cover. Typically there are two types – annual and lifetime. Annual will cover a condition for a year, whereas lifetime will cover it for life. Conditions such as epilepsy tend to require lifelong medication so it may be worth paying a few extra pounds a year for lifetime cover.
Ensure your Pet gets Exercise
Like us, our pets tend to get lazy if we let them. Ensure they do not by giving them regular exercise. If you have a dog then walk them regularly. For cats, ensure that they are let outside every day. If you have an indoor cat then it needs to have equipment for exercise and entertainment. Ensuring your pets are well exercised will reduce the chances of ill health and give them a much happier life.
Groom your Pets Regularly
Grooming your dog or cat regularly will not only keep them looking their best but it will also strengthen the bond between you. In addition to this, regularly having contact with your pet will mean that you spot any abnormalities in good time. This can be the difference between life and death if you happen to discover any health complications or potential problems. The breed of your dog or cat will depend on the grooming that he needs.
Buy Cheap Pet Toys
The pet toy industry is a big one. Consequently some toys cost a small fortune. A cat will be more than happy with a cardboard box, a ball of string or a feather on a stick. Dogs will chew large sticks for hours. Puppy toys are unnecessarily expensive so consider buying children’s soft toys instead. Remember that no toy can substitute regular playtime with a caring owner.
Don’t Pay for Boarding
The chances are you already know someone who will willingly look after your pet when you’re away. This will save you money on pricey boarding kennels and catteries. By leaving your pet with someone you know and trust it also gives you peace of mind. More importantly your pet will be less stressed if he can remain in his own familiar environment while you’re away.
Owning a pet is one of the best returns on investment in terms of the happiness it can buy. Just by following the above advice you can save hundreds of pounds every year, making owning a pet even more of a joy.