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How to Save When Caring for Pets

By Cindy Livesey, Author/Frugal Living Expert: Living Rich With Coupons, Empowering Smart Shoppers to Live Rich. Found Editor:

Pet owners know pets are part of the family. You’d do anything for them. However, caring for pets can become quite expensive, though it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some great ways to save money on your furry and even non-furry friends:

Saving on Toys

While we love our pets and want to shower them with toys, there are ways we can save so it doesn’t break the bank.

1. Skip the Pet Store – Toys at the pet store are super expensive. Opt for tennis balls or even racquet balls you can get from a sporting goods store or big box store for so much less. Racquet balls are my dog’s favorite toy because they are so bouncy.

2. Buy Cheap Toys for Pets that Always Destroy Theirs – If your dog is a one-and-done type of chewer with toys, opt for less expensive toys at the dollar store. If it’s going to be destroyed, why not get it cheaper to begin with?

3. Make your Own Toys – Get creative here. There are so many things you can do with items around your house. For instance, place treats in a muffin tin and cover them with tennis balls. Or, re-stuff toys they already destroyed by stuffing them with an old T-shirt or other, smaller toys. You can even wrap treats in small rags and stuff them in an old toy or in a non-destructible, rubber toy.

Saving on Pet Supplies

1. Buy Used if Possible – Check garage sales, Facebook Marketplace and even thrift stores for things like crates, fish tanks, hamster cages, etc.

2. Skip the Fashion Aisle – While it’s adorable to dress your pet up in a cute costume, they can be expensive. Skip the fashion aisle at the pet store to avoid the temptation. Those costumes will most likely wind up in a pile in some closet, never to be used again.

3. Visit Dollar Stores – It’s amazing what you can find at dollar stores. They have collars, leashes, food bowls and more. Be sure to take a walk down the pet aisle the next time you visit the dollar store.

Saving on Pet Care

From grooming to vet trips, there are so many ways to save!

1. Brush Your Pet’s Teeth – Brushing their teeth a few times each week can keep your pet healthier overall and ultimately save you so much money in the long run.

2. Trim Your Pet’s Nails – There are so many great tools available that make this task much easier and safer. Investing in a good tool will save you a lot long-term.

3. Groom Your Pet – This may not be possible for all dogs, but if your dog requires a simple grooming, learn how to do it yourself. There are so many YouTube videos that show you how to do it.

Saving on Food

Food is probably the most expensive part of owning a pet, especially if you have a bigger dog that eats a ton. There are so many ways you can cut costs on your pet’s food.

1. Use Coupons and Price Match – Most of the big-name pet stores will price match with online competitors. Plus, you can even use competitor coupons at the same time. Pro Tip: Sign up for emails from an expensive pet store that gives out coupons once a month and use those coupons at the less expensive store. Plus, price match on top of that for even more savings. Check your local stores to be sure they allow the use of competitor coupons and price matching.

2. Save on Treats – A great way to save on treats is to use food rolls. These rolls are dense enough that you can slice them and chop them into treat size servings for your pet. Keep them in a container or bag in your fridge to prolong freshness.

One last point: If you are going on vacation or just taking a weekend trip, having someone watch your pet can get expensive. One way to save on pet sitting, other than relying on family, is to swap services with your friend. If your friends already have a pet, then it’s an easy swap. However, even if your friends don’t have a pet, you can swap services with them like painting a room in their home, power washing their fence, etc. in exchange of them watching your pet.

Saving on your pets is easier than you think. Just think a little outside the box.

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