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5 ways to save money on pets

Posted 07 April 2016

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Owning a pet can turn into an expensive affair if you’re not careful. Here are 5 ways to save money on your pet’s care.

Did you know it was National Pet Month? Well, it is! So, what better time is there to share five great tips for saving money on looking after your pets? We’ll show you how taking care of your pets doesn’t have to cost the earth. Let’s get started: 

1. Rescue or foster an animal.

Giving an animal a safe and loving home is one of the most rewarding things you can do. If you want to get a pet but you’re worried about the price, fostering or rescuing an animal could be the way to go. You may still have to pay, or make a donation, but this is likely to be far less compared to buying from a pet from a private seller.

 

If you’re interested in adopting an animal, look online to find shelters in your area. The RSPCA is a good place to start. By adopting, you’ll be providing a great home for an animal that really needs it. 

 

Maybe you love animals but you can’t look after one full-time because your landlord won’t allow it or because you work away a lot. Fostering could be the answer to your pet problem and a cheaper solution. 

 

According to Refuge, a charity that supports victims of domestic violence, not wanting to leave a beloved pet is one of the reasons why people may feel they have to stay in an unhappy situation at home. You can register to foster one of these pets and, if you do, food and any vet’s bills are normally paid for by the charity, saving you a fair bit. You’ll be giving the animal’s owner peace of mind that their pet is being well cared for. If you fancy helping people and animals alike, have a look here for a list of charities that need your help. 

 

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2. Save on your pet food.

When you have a pet, your biggest expense day-to-day is going to be food. But there are ways you can cut down on this cost. 

 

You could switch to home brands rather than name brands - just like you could with your own food - which will definitely cost you less. When you buy branded pet food it is possible you’re paying for the name rather than the actual quality, so check the list of ingredients to see whether there’s a cheaper option that gives your pet the same nutrition. 

 

You could also save money by buying in bulk online. Websites like petplanet.co.uk and Petshop.co.uk often advertise sales and special offers, not just for food but for all your pet supplies. Whether you buy online or not, ordering in bulk should save you money in the long-run. 

 

 

3. Sign up for loyalty schemes.

The Pets at Home loyalty scheme alerts you when there are any special offers on and also gives you plenty of pet-ownership tips and care advice. 

 

When you sign up you get a 10% off code straightaway, and then another 10% voucher when you shop with them. If you were going to spend the money on your pet anyway this is definitely worth getting in on. 

 

If there’s a particular brand of food that your pet seems to love, why not see whether the manufacturer has a loyalty scheme or some sort of club-card where you can collect points? That way your animal friend is happy with what ends up in their bowl and you don’t pay full price. 

 

4. Shop about for insurance. 

We really would recommend that you get pet insurance, especially for dogs, cats, horses and rabbits. You never know when they’re going to be poorly or get injured and you don’t want to get hit with a vet’s bill that runs into the hundreds or thousands. 

 

Always make sure you shop around for the best deal in the same way as you would if you were looking for insurance for your car or home – have a look on Moneysupermarket and Compare the Market

 

It’s worth mentioning that some home insurance deals also cover public liability for pets – for instance, if Buddy the dog runs into the road and causes an accident. Make sure you check what you’re already covered for before you take out an insurance policy. 

 

5. Get a free pet-sitter. 

It’s great having a pet but it can get a bit tricky when you want to go on holiday. Those kennels and catteries can be quite expensive - but you obviously want to make sure that your pet is being looked after properly while you’re away. 

 

Of course, you can always ask around your family and friends to see whether anyone wants to watch Whiskers – but what if everyone’s tied up? Well, luckily there are loads of other animal lovers out there who might want to “borrow” your pet – and save you a packet! 

 

Borrow Pets is one such scheme and matches up owners and borrowers. You can create a profile either as your pet or as a borrower, search for other members and get chatting or arrange to meet before you hand your pet over. It really is a great idea as someone gets the fun of having a furry companion for a bit and you get a free pet-sitter. Best of all, it’s completely free to use! 

 

So there you have it; five great tips for saving money as a pet-owner. Pets can bring us so much joy and companionship, so it’s important that we take the very best care of them that we can. Why not have a look at National Pet Month’s top ten tips for responsible pet ownership? 

 

by Christine Walsh

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