dog mom on computer and petting dog

Four Tips for Budget Savvy Pet Parents

Maggie Marton | September 16, 2018

Raise of hands, pet parents: Who here thinks their pet deserves to live a happy, healthy life?

Trick question, right? All hands are up!

How about this: Raise your hand if you sometimes wish that happy, healthy life could cost just a smidge less?

All hands again!

We all would love to save a little money. As loving, savvy, and, yes, sometimes picky pet parents, we know it’s not worth sacrificing quality care to save a few bucks. But the good news is you don’t have to!

You can spoil your babies as much as ever without breaking the bank. Here are four tips for budget-savvy pet parents to take excellent care of their pets while cutting costs:

Only Open What You Need.

To save money, you have to know what you really, truly need… the trick is to use up all the stuff you already have and then, going forward, only buy items when you need them. First, go through all your pet’s supplies in all the places you stash their stuff (don’t forget to check your car!). You’ll be surprised to find partially-used treat bags or poop bags stashed all over or an extra box of unopened litter in the coat closet. Be sure to use up that stuff before you buy anything else--then going forward only buy what you actually need and be sure not to open too many of anything at the same time. This way items won’t get lost and the food and treats won’t get stale waiting to be eaten!  

Shop around.

You can buy your pet’s food, treats, and toys a lot of places. Compare retailers’ best prices--online and in store--and sign up for mailing lists to get coupons. Ask if your fave store would price match a lower offer spotted elsewhere. Plus, most manufacturers offer coupons on their social media pages or via email subscriptions. If you only ever buy one brand of cat litter, for example, get on that brand’s list to gain access to those deals.

Mani-pedi at home.

Instead of dropping $12 to $20 on a nail trim, learn how to DIY. Get a sharp trimmer and watch some YouTube videos of nail trims. Cutting the quick seems super scary, and it looks bad, but a groomer once told me, “No dog ever died from a cut quick.” Get a styptic powder as a backup plan, and you got this! Need a little motivation? Let’s say you spend $12 every other week on nail trims. In a year, you’ll save a whopping $312!

Budget-savvy tip: Bank that $312. Whatever money you calculate that you’re saving, stash it in an emergency fund so that if your pet ever winds up with an accident or illness, you’ll have cash at the ready to at least offset the unexpected expense if not cover it entirely.

Switch pharmacies.

If your pet takes daily medication, or if they experience an illness, ask your vet if the medication is available at your local human pharmacy. It’s often significantly cheaper there, and most pharmacies offer perks like gas points or store coupons that you can’t get from your vet.

Ultimately, taking the best care of your pet doesn’t mean splurges on fancy collars or five-star-restaurant quality treats. It means providing your pet with healthy food, a loving home, and quality veterinary care--all of which you can achieve at a lower cost with these four methods!