- Money Mentor
How Pet Owners Can Cope with Rising Cost of Living
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Outside of the everyday cost of living, pet owners should be prepared to face additional financial constraints with rising inflation expected to also affect the costs of pet goods and services.
Here are some tips to help pet owners save some money without sacrificing their pet's quality of life.
Start buying pet food in bulk
While it won't lead to significant savings, buying pet food in bulk can help you save a few pounds. There are many pet stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, where you can buy pet food in bulk.
National retailers like Pets at Home, for example, have a section on their website where you can browse bulk pet food promotions.
In addition to the bulk discount, you might be able to save a bit extra by subscribing to regular shipping. Amazon, for example, offers discounts of up to 15% if you subscribe to repeat deliveries. This includes the shipping of many popular pet food brands including Pedigree and Lily's Kitchen.
Make your own pet treats
Pet food and treats are something you shouldn't cheap out on if you want your pet to live a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, high-quality pet treats do come at a price and could be something that many pet owners aren't able to afford regularly in current circumstances.
The good news is that you can make your own DIY pet treats at an affordable price! It doesn't have to be anything extravagant. Baked sweet potato, for example, is cheap, easy to make, and great for dogs as long as it's given in moderation.
On a hot summer day, something like frozen watermelon pieces (without the seeds and rind) would also be something dogs and cats would very much appreciate. You can check out this list if you want to learn more about what "human" foods are safe for dogs to eat.
Reach out to dog-walking communities
You might face situations, whether that's for work or personal reasons, when you need to leave your dog alone for an extended period of time. Profession dog sitting services, however, can be costly especially if you use them regularly.
That's where services like BorrowMyDoggy can come to the rescue. Through this website, you might be able to find trusted dog lovers who are simply looking to "borrow" some time with your dog. This is a much more affordable option than regular dog sitters.
Check out grocery delivery services
This tip primarily applies to the pet owners who live in major cities. There is currently a hot battle going on among the many grocery delivery start-ups in the UK.
Take advantage of this competition as the grocery startups are giving away great promotions every month. Getir, for example, offers a decent discount for first-time customers. These "virtual" stores typically have general pet supplies in stock.
Reach out to pet food banks
Those under severe financial constraints might be able to get free distributions of pet food by reaching out to the local food banks. Supply is generally limited if the food bank doesn't specifically cater for pets. It's best you call ahead to check what supply is available.
Some pet food brands may also give out free pet food samples. Lily's Kitchen, for example, will send over some samples (both wet and dry food) if you give their customer service line a call. All you need to cover is the shipping cost.
Discounted spay and neuter treatment
Surgical procedures like spay and neutering doesn't come cheap. Fortunately, there are charities that may be able to offer discounts or vouchers for these procedures regardless of your financial situation because there is a broader benefit to this procedure and keeping the stray pet population in check.
Finding one near you should be fairly straightforward. Just search up "spay and neuter clinics" on Google and you should have a list of clinics that can do the procedure for an affordable price.
Build your own pet toy
Stop wasting money buying the latest gadgets and shiny objects that appear in the pet toy section. Cat owners, for example, are all too familiar with a cat's love for cardboard boxes. You can make your own pet toys with second-hand material which you most likely have at home.
For example, one simple DIY dog toy is a t-shirt rope. Find a secondhand shirt you no longer need, cut it into long pieces, then tie them up as knots. You now have a DIY rope you can play tug of war with your dog!
For cats, they will enjoy something as simple as empty toilet rolls. Pop a few of your cat's favorite treats inside the toilet roll then fold the edges. See if your cat can figure out how to "unlock" the treats from the DIY puzzle toy.