dog looking up at owner holding bowl of food

5 tips to save money on pets

author: Fiona Peake

By Fiona Peake

As a nation of animal lovers, it comes as no surprise that there are an estimated 17.4 million households with pets in the UK, 3.2 million of which were gained during the pandemic alone.

But fast forward to 2022, and the current cost of living crisis has everyone struggling to get by with their everyday outgoings, and that includes the amount it costs to take care of our beloved pets. In June, the RSPCA reported that 68% of pet owners had found the cost of looking after their pets had increased, with 19% struggling to feed their pets.

As the number of people feeling forced to give their animals up increases, we’re looking at ways that you can keep pet costs down, without having to make that difficult decision. 

Bulk buy pet food 

Any pet owner will tell you that along with vet bills, food ranks top when it comes to the most expensive aspects of owning an animal. Of course, the amount it costs you to feed your pet can vary dramatically based on the type of animal, and how big it is, but as a rule, we pay out big money to keep our furry friends well fed. 

Whilst an obvious solution will be to swap your pet's food out for a more affordable version, we also know that this isn’t always possible. But one way you can still cut costs without upsetting their routine is to bulk buy your pet food. Buying in larger quantities (and storing it properly to ensure it stays fresh) can help you save money over time, and most pet shops sell and deliver in bulk! 

Groom them at home 

If you’ve got a dog, then you’ll know how important it is to keep them well groomed. From keeping their nails trimmed to having a silky glossy coat, our dogs demand a certain level of pampering, which can be more or less demanding depending on the breed. 

Although the odd trip to the groomers is unlikely to set you back tonnes, if your dog requires regular grooming, then it could pay to do it yourself from home. All good pet stores will sell quality grooming equipment, including nail clippers, brushes and scissors, and you can check in with your groomer or vet to find the best way to keep your pet clean and tidy yourself. 

Save pet sitters for when you need them 

Whether it’s a dog walker, pet sitters or furry day care, we can spend hundreds of pounds a month on other people taking care of our pets – but is it always needed? Whilst most pet owners will rely on one of these services at some point, if juggling your day-to-day schedule around could end up saving you big money, isn’t it worth considering?  

Getting up a bit earlier to take your dog out for a walk or popping downstairs during a shift of working from home to spend time with your pets can all be great ways to give them the attention they need, without paying a fortune. But, if you’re due to be out of the house for a while, why not ask a friend, neighbour, or member of the family to pop in as the first port of call? You could even offer to do the same for them and their pet in return! 

Get your pet prescriptions online 

Did you know that you can get your pet’s prescription online, and save yourself some considerable cash in the process? There are few things as bad (or as expensive) as your pet getting sick, and vet medication is usually costly, but few pet owners know that they can request a prescription from their vet instead of getting the medication from them, and this will almost always work out much cheaper. 

Your vet will be able to advise you on the best most reputable places to buy online, so make sure you ask for their advice before making a purchase. 

Shop around for pet insurance 

A sick pet can be stressful, upsetting and extremely expensive, which is why pet insurance is so important – but finding one that doesn’t break the bank can be tricky. When choosing the right insurance for your pet, you need to consider things like their age, breed and any underlying health issues. But most insurers offer different price plans, so finding the one that offers the most benefits at the best price is important, and shopping through comparison sites can help you find better deals. 

Finding it difficult to make ends meet? You may be entitled to cost of living payments.  

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

dog looking up at owner holding bowl of food dog looking up at owner holding bowl of food