How to Survive the Cost of Pet Living Crisis
The Cost of Living Crisis needn't mean a Cost of Pet Living Crisis
Over the past 18 months or so, we've all seen rampant inflation (caused by the Ukraine War, Covid, etc) trigger massive increases in the cost of everyday living.
Pet food, supplies and vet bills have not escaped similar price hikes. Last year, pet products rose 16.1% with veterinary and other pet services increased 13.1% according to ONS data.
Of course, over time we've started to see inflation pressures ease and some prices and bills have noticeably come down.
However rather than sit and wait for the cost of living to ease off over the course of 2024, there are several active things you can do NOW to reduce your pet bills.
Reduce Vet Bills
Lately, we've been very fearful about our Cockapoo needing a visit to the vets. It's not just because Wilbur deliberately speeds up his walk whenever pass the vets, but also now because of the astronomical fees they charge for what feels like short routine visits.
We recently did a comparison with a couple of other local vets and did find some differences in standard fees.
For instance, our vet was charging us £20 to renew a flea treatment prescription every 3 months (even though we buy elsewhere online). This feels a bit rich considering the flea prescription doesn't change once they are adult dogs.
The new vet practice we transferred only charges once a year for the prescription renewal and so we can bank the saving. You might wanna go one better and try a free month of Itch flea treatment.
Potential Saving: £60 per year
Save on Pet Insurance
Even though you might think most pet insurance is pretty much the same, doing a quarterly comparison is always worth it.
This is because depending on the type of pet (breed, age, medical history) and how much any particular pet insurance company needs your business you might get lucky and get offered a more competitive deal.
You can also get freebies such as 24/7 Vet Calls and discounted pet rewards. See our list to compare the best pet insurance deals here.
Lastly, it's vital to remember to go back to your current pet insurer to see if they can beat this deal. Pet Insurance advisers are often bonused if they geniunely think you might leave and the retention team can offer you special deals not advertised elsewhere.
Potential Saving: £50-100 per year
Protect Pet Health
I have to be honest we were a bit naive as to the range of preventative treaments and aids that are available for cats and dogs.
Inpaticular some breeds have known health issues which can over time (if ignored) can develop and mean nasty vet bills involving constant medication or urgent treatment.
Please check out the range of options from gut health, anxious behaviour to itchy skin, to find out how you can improve your pets health and wellbeing.
Potential Saving: Hard to calculate due to individual circumstances
Pet Food for cats and dogs
Attempting to save money on pet food supplies can be a double-edged sword becacuse cats and dogs can be fussy and it can be tricky to encourage your dog to migrate onto a better value food (and cheapest is almost never always best when it comes to pet food).
Pet experts and nutrionists always recommend any change in diet should be a gradual process so your pets stomach gets used to the new food over a period of 2-3 weeks.
You might not realise that there of many free and discounted pet food trials you can register for before committing long-term to any new pet food. Many of our members choose tails.com who (at the time of writing) offer 2 weeks free dog food.
We also supplement our dogs diet with left-over vegetables rather than putting them in the food bin. For instance, Wilbur the cockapoo goes crazy for brocoli stems (which our kids refuse to eat) - Who knew???
Potential Saving: £50-60 per year
Pet Equipment and supplies
Of course, you reguarly have to buy essential extra's like dog poo bags, leads, costs and all manner of pet essentials.
The best advice is to time your purchases when there are sales on or if you can use pet discount voucher codes to get money off. Often the promo codes can even be used if you are already a customer, so it's always worth a try.
Potential Saving: £60-75 per year (or c.5% of spend with promo codes)
In the current inflationary environment, which as mentioned, is improving, but who knows who long it will take and things aren't getting much cheaper in the next year or so. Our advice is to please do something for yourself now to ensure you are saving the most money possible in 2024.
Looking after a pet shouldn't give you money worries so with these savings it will help you enjoy all the benefits a pet offers.
TOTAL Potential Saving - £220-295 per year (it all adds up!)
Fun Pet Fact: Did you know that the origin of the phrase, 'It's raining cats and dogs' is possibly explained by the drainage systems on buildings in 17th-century Europe, which were poor and may have disgorged their contents, including the corpses of any animals that had accumulated in them, during heavy showers.
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