MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR PET OWNERS
“Love your pet without breaking the bank. Save on pet care with these tips.”
As a pet lover, you love your pet like a family member. And like a family member, keeping your pet(s) happy, healthy, well-groomed and well-fed is a top priority for you. However, the costs associated with your pet’s well-being can add up.
Today, many avenues exist to ease the strain on your budget. Did you know, for example, that you can save in the following areas?
- Pet healthcare
- Pet food and treats
- Pet medication
THE VALUE OF PET INSURANCE
According to an American Pet Product Association survey, pet owners spent an average of $248 for routine vet visits for their dog and $219 for their cat. On a larger scale, annual care for a cat is estimated at $670 and a large dog’s first year of care, which often includes vaccinations and spay or neuter surgery, will cost about $1,843.
Now, let’s take a look at a few other pet facts:
- Almost 40 percent of dogs and cats will become ill or injured at some point in their lives (AVMA)
- 1 out of 4 dogs will die of cancer (Morris Animal Foundation)
- Pet owners pay up to $4,000 for emergency pet care (VP of ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital)
- Surgical costs for dogs average $550 per year (Consumer Reports)
The facts don’t lie. You can end up with a few thousand dollars in medical bills over the course of a year if your furry friend is in an accident, gets sick, or requires surgery or other advanced procedures.
Most people don’t factor in pet care costs when planning their annual budget. If you’re among them, ask yourself these four questions to determine if pet insurance is a wise option for you:
- Are you concerned about the cost of serious emergencies?
- Can you spare $1 a day to have your pet insured?
- Do you want access to licensed veterinarians in your area?
- Do you want to minimize the stress of caring for a sick pet?
Cost-effective pet insurance can provide the coverage you need to manage healthcare expenses for your furry friend. With most pet insurance plans, the cost of treatment, emergency room visits, blood work and surgery are covered. This means your furry friend will get the treatment they need right when they need it.
IS PET INSURANCE WORTH IT?
After reading the pet health facts above, you may have already determined that pet insurance is, in fact, a wise bet.
If you’re still on the fence, consider Bella and Max’s stories below.
Some pet insurance coverage plans do not have limits on claims and, likewise, many plans cover pre-existing conditions. One such plan provided by the No. 1 customer-rated pet insurer for 2015, 2016 and 2017 includes nearly every conceivable health need of your pet:
- Hereditary Conditions
- Congenital Conditions
- Chronic Conditions
- Diagnostic Treatment
- X-Rays, Blood Tests, Ultrasounds
- Prescription Medications
- Emergency Care
- Speciality Care
- Alternative Treatment
Learn more about Healthy Paws pet insurance here.
SAVE ON PET FOOD
Face it. Monthly pet food costs add up. But, there are plenty of opportunities to save – and save big. Use these tips to save on pet food every time you shop:
Check Inside and On the Box
Manufacturers frequently stick coupons in and on pet food packages, so be sure to give the packaging a once over before you check out at the store and again before you toss the empty container.
New pet food products come out all the time. They are often accompanied by "try me free" offers. If your pet isn't picky, this may be a great way to feed your pet for free.
NOTE: Most vets recommend introducing new food into your pet’s diet gradually. Abrupt changes in diet can disrupt your pet’s stomach.
Set Up a Delivery Subscription
Schedule regular deliveries of items that you use all the time, and many stores will give you an extra discount on those items. Stores with subscription programs:
If you buy the same pet food and shop at the same pet stores over and over, you can be rewarded for your loyalty by signing up for all of the rewards programs that are available to you.
Pet Food Coupons
- The coupon inserts in your Sunday paper are a good source for pet food coupons (sometimes even freebies).
- If you want to max out your coupon savings, add printable coupons to the mix. You'll find them on many of the pet food manufacturer sites.
- Social Media Tip: "Like" all the big pet food brands on Facebook to gain access to exclusive coupon offers.
Buy in Bulk
Big bags of pet food are heavy and awkward, but they usually cost less per pound than smaller bags. Compare unit prices and haul home the best deal.
Ask your Vet for Coupons and Samples
Get in the habit of asking your vet for coupons and food samples whenever you're in the office.
MORE WAYS TO SAVE: GROOMING & MEDICATIONS
If you’re a dog owner or longhaired cat owner, chances are your grooming bills put a bit of a dent in your budget. Grooming costs add up over time but these two tips might help you conserve funds.
- Groom your pet yourself. If you opt for this route, bear in mind most groomers provide valuable services you might not realize including clearing ears, getting rid of parasites, searching for foxtails or other irritants and trimming toe nails.
- This is another no-brainer: Something as simple as regular brushing of your pet’s coat can avoid matting. Anyone that has experienced a matted pet coat knows all to well the pain of trying to brush it out as well as the cost to have it done by a professional groomer.
Like humans, many pets require ongoing medication. If you’re not already aware, there are many resources for pet med discounts and savings including, but not limited to the following:
- 1-800-PetMeds offers an instant 15 percent off coupon when you visit their website.
- PetCareRx offers discounts and free shipping every day on orders of $48 or more.
Websites like 1-800-PetMeds and PetCareRx also offer online savings codes promoted on their website or easily located with a quick Internet search.
Keeping your dog, cat or other furry friend in good health is one of your top priorities, but so too is your budget. Fortunately, by implementing small changes, you can strike a balance between a happy, healthy pet and a happy, healthy budget.