Here in the Six Dollar household, we have two rescue dogs, 2 cats and for the next few weeks…seven puppies. Needless to say, pet care costs can easily creep up on us if we’re not careful. Between feeding our two dogs, two different foods (they each have nutritional issues from the neglect and abuse they suffered before we found them), two cats who are…well, cats and as such as sometimes picky and seven hungry puppy mouths that we’ve had to supplement feeding on because Momma couldn’t keep up, our costs could easily creep up to several hundreds of dollars each month. The issue is that my budget just won’t allow that so we’ve had to look for ways to save that we might not otherwise have needed to look for.
Your pets really only need 4 things to be healthy and happy. Food, water, good health and love. If I have to tell you to love your pets? Please don’t own them. If you aren’t aware that animals, especially dogs, need human love and interaction, you probably aren’t ready to be a pet owner. Sorry if that’s kind of harsh, but sometimes the truth hurts. The other 3 items are the areas where you’ll want to save. Food, water and good health. As much as I’d like to tell you that there are ways to save on a pet’s water, there really isn’t. That leaves us with food and good health. Those two items, we CAN save on! Yay!
3 Ways to Save on Pet Care
While you could coupon for things that your pets need (and yes, you should), I am not one who will tell you to only rely on coupons for the food and other supplies that your pet will need. In fact, I think coupons should be a small part of your savings strategy (and yes, that goes for any area of your life). Instead, to save on pet food, you can do things like learning how to make homemade pet food, learning what items can be fed in a raw food diet and using places like Amazon Pantry to help you save. If you’re not familiar, Amazon Pantry offers discounts to Prime members and yes, these discounts alone can make becoming an Amazon Prime member worth it by themselves. One of the better ways to use Amazon Pantry though is by using Amazon gift cards to pay for what you’re buying. Of course any time that you don’t have to pay cash for a basic need is a good time. I have gotten 36lb bags of dog food for as little as $11.00 by using Prime Pantry in conjunction with Amazon’s e-coupons.
If you don’t want to buy your pet supplies online, make sure to watch the sales but also keep an eye on your local dollar stores. It can be easy to forget, but the vast majority of them do sell pet food and other supplies at a fraction of what the big box stores will charge you.
For pet supplies like bedding, leashes and that sort of thing, get creative! An old sweater stuffed and sewn can easily become a pet bed better than you’ll find at any pet store. Spare clothes line or old leather belts can easily become a quality leash when fashioned together. Pinterest is full of DIY Pet supplies so make that the first place you search. I realize that saving just a few dollars might not be high on your priority list, but remember that a few dollars saved will always lead to more dollars saved.
One of my favorite DIY pet projects that I’ve seen was a homemade cat tree a friend of ours made. He used reclaimed wood that he got for free and since he had the nails and screws already, he was out of pocket absolutely nothing more than a few hours.
Finally, make sure that you keep up with their vet care. Yes, you’re spending money to do so, but you will spend much more if they end up in poor health and you have to have them treated then. Secondly, essential oils can help you keep them healthy outside of vet visits. I personally am not brand loyal when it comes to my essential oils, but for my pets I either use Young Living, Mountain Rose or NOW Foods. From DIY Flea and Tick Treatments to just general health, there are quite a few oils that are pet safe and have a lot of benefits for your pets. I don’t know about you, but I would rather rub my pet down with an essential oil than I would have to give them chemical medicines or treatments that are really expensive. Commercial flea treatments can run you upwards of fifty dollars each when you can make something that will work just as well (and in some cases better) at home for a fraction of that cost.
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