UK consumers have certainly noticed the rise in prices of household goods and services, including basics such fuel and electricity through to milk and eggs.
The rise in prices is not limited to the above groups either. Pet owners have certainly noticed that the upkeep of having a pet has risen greatly in recent years, and even months.
According to Dogs Trust, the number of owners in conversations about giving up their dogs has risen to the highest levels since 2014. The charity received 4,370 inquiries alone in July, having doubled from the start of 2021.
The Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, Owen Sharp, told the BBC that the “economic crisis can and will lead to people having to give up their dogs because they simply can’t afford to look after them,” says Dogs Trust chief executive Owen Sharp.
As such, this article will outline five top tips that will help you to cut down on the costs of petcare.
- Pet food
The UK’s animal charity RSPCA found that 19% of pet owners were worried about being able to afford to feed their pets. In these instances, there are a number of ways you might be able to cut back the costs of food shopping for your pets.
This could include buying pet food in larger quantities which is typically more cost effective. Further, you could look for cheaper or supermarket own brands which can be much cheaper than the main brands on display in the pet food aisles. It is thus worth comparing the ingredients of premium pet food, and finding cheaper alternatives with equivalent nutritional value for your pets.
Furthermore, those with the time may be able to make some pet treats at home using fruit slices or frozen ice. It is important to ensure that you only make what is right for your pet, and to avoid feeding your pets with human food as they have very different and specific needs to humans.
- Pet health care and insurance
There is no NHS for pets in the UK so pet owners are advised to invest in pet insurance. While this may seem like an unnecessary monthly expense, it will prove to be much cheaper than using a loan to pay your vet or paying directly out of your pocket.
It is further important to invest a small amount in illness prevention such as vaccinations, flea and worm treatments, as well as neutering. This will additionally help to prevent any costly health problems from taking place.
As such, it is important to shop around for the right insurance policy and treatments for your pet to help save in instances of a medical emergency.
- Pet sitting
Deciding to take a trip away from home, or even work from the office daily, can be a costly expense when you have a pet that needs looking after and walking. Dog walkers and kennels can cost a great expense, and may not be suitable for all types of pets.
Instead, it may be worth asking a local neighbour, family member or friend if they are able to help you with looking after your pet and walking them. There are also apps available such as BorrowMyDoggy which connect pet owners with individuals keen to spend time with their animals for free.
This can be a great way to help you to save money when it comes to hours that you are unable to spend looking after your pet.
- Pet grooming
Keeping your pets clean and well-groomed is essential for their wellbeing.
There are a number of things that you can do that can help to stall the amount of times that you may need to take them to a groomer which can cost a lot of money. These include clipping their nails, regularly cleaning their teeth, gently cleaning around their eyes as well as frequently trimming their coats to help to remove any dirt, dandruff or dead hair.
Doing so can help to make costly grooming appointments a less frequent occurrence.
- Budgeting correctly
Many pet owners are actually unaware of how much they spend annually and if they look closely and how to budget, they can manage their pet costs more effectively.
Research reveals that 70% of pet owners are not actually aware of what they spend each year on their furry friends.
When funds are tight, it’s important to be aware of your finances and spending, so there aren’t too many surprises further down the line.
Pets can be unpredictable creatures and not every expense can be planned for, but with money set aside just in case, it will help to alleviate some of the initial panic.