According to a recent APPA Pet Owners Survey, 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet and we will collectively spend an estimated $47.7 billion on our pets this year. Paying for all the expenses that come with owning a pet - from food to veterinary care to grooming - is enough to strain anyone's budget.
Through raising our own four-legged friends, MMI pet owners have found a few unique ways to make pet ownership more affordable. Without further adieu, meet our pets and read a tip from each owner about how we’re saving on the cost of pet ownership.
Alexis' Frugal Pet Tip: Make your own toys
Cats have great imaginations when it comes to play time, so you don't have to spend a lot of time or money to make a toy they'll love. Paper crumpled into a ball, ping pong balls, and empty cardboard boxes are all fun for cats. If you’re the crafty type, sewing toys from recycled fabric (like an old towel or t-shirt) and stuffing with cat nip is another inexpensive idea.
Kim's Frugal Pet Tip: Choose the right food
When the price of pet food started going up, Kim did a lot of research on whether or not it was worth it to trade down her dog's food. The cheapest pet food may contain unhealthy fillers, resulting in more trips to the vet over the pet's lifetime. The highest quality pet food available, however, is also a poor choice if you cannot afford it. The right choice is the food that balances your budget and the health of your pet. For more tips, read Kim’s suggestions on how to choose the best dog food you can afford.
Merlin and Warlock
Paul's Frugal Pet Tip: Keep cats indoors
While veterinary checkups are always recommended, you can avoid unnecessary trips to the vet and extend the life of your pets by keeping them in a safe environment. Paul keeps his cats, Merlin and Warlock, indoors to protect them against communicable diseases (such as FeLV, feline leukemia), cars, and predators.
Chris' Frugal Pet Tip: Groom at home
Grooming your dog at home can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Plus, you can save a lot of money by not taking your dog to a professional groomer. By creating his own dog grooming toolkit and grooming his golden retriever, Mackenzie, at home once a month, Chris estimates that he saves $623 per year on the cost of grooming. How have you saved on the costs of pet ownership? If you have any frugal pet tips to share, we’d love to hear them!