The past few weeks I’ve had a lot of people ask me how much I spend on pet care.
I get this question a lot and I’m going to be honest, most of the time I don’t want to say.
Yes, I dropped some cash on them the day I picked them up from the breeder but I also haven’t stopped dropping cash on them since that day.
There’s no such thing as a one time cost for a dog, it’s a lifetime cost and I don’t even think it’s fair to give someone an estimated cost of how much a dog can cost over their lifetime.
It all depends on the dog and the person who is providing for that dog.
It’s no secret that I spend a lot of money when it comes to my dogs but I’m not Richie Rich so there are ways that I try to save on pet care costs when it comes to how much cash actually gets dropped on them.
Here are 10 ways I try and save on pet care costs:
- Rebates. The heartworm prevention that we use offers a rebate program. It’s a available right on their website and the veterinarian office usually has available also but it can only be used when the product is purchased from a veterinary clinic, which is where I prefer to buy our heartworm prevention from.
- Buy 1 Get 1. Our veterinarian office also offers a buy 3 get 1 for free promo on certain flea prevention products. I can’t get this special through an online retailer. (and before you say that’s probably because it’s cheaper if you buy online, it’s really not, especially when you’re getting free product. Contrary to popular belief, veterinarians don’t make a killing off of selling products, there’s a very small mark up on flea and heartworm prevention. Go ahead and price it with the rebate or free product) There is also a coupon available on the products website to print off and take to your vet. So always be checking the website of the product you are using for specials and promotions.
- Frequent Buyer Programs. I buy our food from a place that offers a frequent buyer special. Buy 10 bags of food and get your 11th bag free. That’s huge seeing how fast we go through dog food around here. About 3-4 times a year I’m getting a free bag of food.
- Feed appropriately and healthy. Overfeeding your dog or cat is like throwing money away. Follow the daily calorie requirements for your pet and feed accordingly. The higher the quality of the food the less they need and the longer the bag lasts. My dogs get 4 cups of food a day per dog, plus other things. That’s 2 cups of food at each feeding and they are 150 pounds. It kills me when people who have a dog that is half the size of my guys size are feeding the same amount of food a day. Either they’re not paying attention to how much food their dog needs or they are feeding a food that has a lot of fillers in it so the dog needs to be fed a higher volume to reach the recommended calorie intake.
- Loyalty Programs. The place where I buy food also has a loyalty rewards program so whenever I make a purchase there I rack up points towards future purchases. I can’t use the points to get free food but I can use it for toys and other fun stuff So I’m getting free food a few times a year and other free products.
- Do it yourself. I’ve been spending a lot of money on dog treats and I really don’t need to be so I’m cutting back on store bought treats and making our own healthy treats. It’s cheaper and better for them. Absolutely, I still buy them some fun treats, but not nearly as much as I was.
- Grooming supplies. Sure there’s an initial cost to getting all the equipment that you need and there may be a slight learning curve depending on the breed that you have but doing all my grooming at home has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the past 7 years.
- Conversation. Believe it or not striking up a conversation with someone who is in the dog business can lead to tons of free product, especially when you give them a little shout out on social media or take the time to write an email. Most smaller companies really enjoy receiving positive feed back about their product and will sometimes offer a discount or sample for your efforts. Don’t expect it though and don’t do it just to get free product. I only do this with products that I honestly like and use. Be nice just to be nice and see what happens. Maybe there’s a coupon or something waiting for you.
- Pet Insurance. It might not sound good at first but one day you’ll be thanking your lucky stars that you got it and kept it. Accidents happen, dogs get injured and dogs get old. Pet insurance can help pay for that. We recommend pet health insurance from Embrace.
- Contests. There are so many great pet related giveaways out there and I’m not just talking about treats and toys. There’s pet care giveaways too. I’ve won some great ear cleaners, supplements and grooming supplies that have saved me tons of dough. Where can you find these contests? Blogs, websites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are where I find the most. Almost every pet related company is going to have a contest once in awhile so make sure that you’re following your favorite pet products on their social media sites so you have a heads up on their upcoming contests.
Of course, working in various areas of the pet industry also helps me save money and make great connections but that isn’t a viable option for everyone but it might be something to think of if you’re ever looking to make a career change.
So how about you? Any cost saving pet tips that you have to share?
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