Prices are rising for everything from food to utilities, and pet products certainly aren’t immune. With food, bills, treats and toys, looking after your animal companions isn’t cheap.
If you’re concerned about the rising cost of caring for your pets, there are still ways you can save so the animals in your life won’t miss out.
How to save money on pet products
Choose dry pet food over wet pet food
Dry dog food and cat food are significantly cheaper than canned and fresh varieties but still contain all the essential nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy. If they find dry food boring, you can always mix in a little wet food, pet-friendly human foods or table scraps, such as meat and vegetables.
Buy in bulk
Buying pet products in bulk can be significantly cheaper than buying smaller quantities, although you have to shell out more in one go. Pet food offers one of the clearest examples of this. It isn’t uncommon to pay around $2 a pound for a large 20- to 30-pound bag of dry dog food and $4-$5 a pound for the same food in a smaller 5- to 10-pound bag.
However, there’s more that you can save on besides pet food. Look for bulk deals on a range of pet products, including shampoo, flea treatments and toys.
Make your own treats
Pet treats can be expensive, especially when you choose premium brands. An easy way to save money is by making your own pet treats at home. You can make them using simple ingredients, such as flour, oil and herbs, which you probably already have at home.
You can also simply use human foods as treats. Some dogs love chomping on raw carrots, which is an affordable alternative to bully sticks and similar chews. Instead of buying costly high-value treats for training, many pets go wild for chopped-up cheese or meat.
Choose durable products
Admittedly, you’ll have a larger outlay when you buy them, but choosing durable products over flimsier alternatives will save you money in the long run. For instance, your dog might rip a $5 plush toy to shreds in a day, but a more durable $15 version could last them 3 months. So, think about value rather than the initial cost of an item if you have the budget to do so.
Get creative with toys
You might always buy your pet the best toys you can find, but often they’re perfectly content to play with whatever’s around. Cats, particularly, are happy to bat around a ball of foil, pounce on a piece of string that you move around for them or play in a paper bag. Dogs are a little harder to please, but they’ll readily play tug with an old sock or chase cheap tennis balls rather than dedicated dog balls.
Consider purchases carefully
Before you buy something for your pet, consider whether they need it. If you’re considering buying your cat a new bed, for instance, but they’re happy to snooze on the windowsill or the arm of the couch, you may want to reconsider. That doesn’t mean you should never buy anything for your pet but think about new purchases for 24 hours before buying them if they’re nonessential.
Shop around for pet meds
You can often get better prices on pet medication than is initially offered by your pet’s veterinarian. First, ask if there’s a cheaper generic alternative. Veterinary professionals will usually offer name-brand meds as standard. If you can’t get cheaper medication this way, ask for a prescription so you can buy it elsewhere. Some websites, such as Chewy, sell cheap prescription pet medication, as do some pharmacies.
Don’t skip preventative care
While it can be tough when you’re on a tight budget, don’t skimp on products for preventative care, such as flea and worm treatments or dental care products. It may save you money in the short term, but you’ll likely find yourself with a huge vet bill down the line.
Best bargain pet products
Taste of the Wild Dry Ancient Stream Dog Food
Considering the quality of the ingredients, this dog food is highly affordable, pound for pound, when you opt for the largest bag size.
Sold by Amazon
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Cat Food
This reasonably priced dry cat food costs approximately $0.50 less per pound if you buy the 14-pound bag rather than the 3-pound one.
Sold by Amazon
Wilson Sporting Goods Youth Tennis Balls
If you have a dog who likes to play fetch, these balls cost significantly less each compared to most balls designed for dogs.
Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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