The state of the current economy is hitting millions of families across the UK from every background. The effects of pay cuts, job losses, difficulty getting loans and the rising cost of living are taking their toll on the majority of people in one way or another. It is important to reduce the stress and pressure of your financial situation by finding savings wherever possible, and that includes pet care. Few people would be able to make the heart-wrenching decision to give up their pet because of tight finances, but before this ever has to cross your mind there are things that can be done to avoid it.
One of the most costly aspects of owning a pet is the vet fees, which can sometimes seem to be almost extortionate. However it is very important that you do not put off taking your pet for routine visits or necessary treatment. If you notice something wrong with your pet such as a urine infection, eye infection or strange behaviour and just hope it will get better you will end up paying for it in the end. As illnesses develop they require more serious attention, such as higher doses of medication and even surgery which is very expensive, whereas if you take your pet to the vet immediately it will probably be a simple case of antibiotics. Routine appointments for vaccinations are also essential because although they are another expense, it is far more sensible and cost-effective to have your pet vaccinated than to have him develop one of the diseases. There are certain things that you can do for your pet at home, such as nail clipping, grooming and clearing dog's anal glands. If you learn how to do these safely and correctly then this will save you money.
When looking for products such as beds, toys, bowls, cages etc. then look on websites like ebay for second hand bargains. Make sure that you research the product first so that you know you are getting a good deal and when you receive it wash and disinfect it thoroughly. For free items you should sign up to freecycle which allows people to give away their old items for free.
Boarding kennel/cattery fees are just another holiday expense we can ill-afford at the moment. Depending on the number of animals and how long the holiday is, they can easily run well into the hundreds of pounds. There are quite a few alternatives to boarding kennels which are cheaper but also much more enjoyable for your pet. If you have a neighbour or family member willing to look after your pet then you can be sure your animal will be well looked after for free or a minimal fee. If you own a dog then another option is to holiday in the UK and take your dog with you. Holiday cottages normally charge £20 per dog per holiday which is very reasonable. If you want to make further savings then go on a camping holiday, not only are pitches very reasonable for you but dogs are often completely free!
Whatever type of pet you own you should not be tempted to buy cheaper mass produced food. You may notice how much cheaper supermarket value pet food is but there is a reason that this food is so cheap, and that is that it is poor quality. Feeding your pet good quality food will pay dividends in the future because your animal will have better long-term health. A way to get around the high prices of quality pet food is to buy in bulk. Often your vets or pet superstores will sell huge bags of pet food with excellent savings. It certainly pays well to be prepared and by buying in bulk you could potentially save hundreds of pounds each year by avoiding paying through the nose at your local shop when you suddenly found you've run out of pet food. Prices in local shops can be found to be as much as double compared to bulk bought food. If you find there are leftovers from a family meal then give this to your pet instead of it's usual pet food (although never give your pet food that may contain bones). You could also try trawling the web for freebies and coupons related to pet care. Many brands and pet companies will give away free samples or money off coupons to get you to try their products. There are websites dedicated to coupons, freebies and competitions worth looking at.
If you own a dog then this is the perfect free way to exercise! Gym memberships cost hundreds of pounds per year and are completely unnecessary when you can exercise for free in so many ways. Take your dog for a long walk every evening or if you have a fit dog then start taking him jogging. This will benefit both your dog's health and your health.
When trying to save money on anything it is important to be determined, diligent and controlled. If you have a plan then you must stick to it to the letter, because often it takes many months to see real savings. A pet is an integral part of the family but saving money on pet care does not mean neglecting your pet, in fact many of these tips will only improve your animal's life.