15 Unconventional Ways to Save Money on Your Pet Expenses

We all love our pets. For many of us, our pets are members of our family and live side by side with the rest of our loved ones.

Still, they can be expensive to take care of and keep healthy. With visits to the veterinarian and other expenses, we can spend a fortune on our fur babies.

If you want to save money on your pets, consider these alternatives to basic pet care expenses.

1. Make Your Own Toys

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Making your own pet toys can be one of the easiest ways to save money on pet expenses. Sewing a pocket of catnip into a small fabric pillow or using old towels as a rope for tug-of-war are great examples of DIY pet toys.

You can also refurbish older toys that your dog might have already destroyed with a simple sewing machine. As with store-bought toys, make sure you avoid small pieces that can cause choking hazards.

2. Groom at Home

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Certain breeds of dogs might need a professional groomer, but others can avoid grooming fees by at-home care.

Basic grooming services, like baths, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and fur trimming, can be done with basic equipment bought at your local pet store. This might even help anxious pets who are nervous about going to the groomer or the vet by getting their pampering done at home, where they feel safe.

3. Buy in Bulk

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Much like purchasing other daily items, buying products in bulk will save a lot of money in the long run. Most dog and cat treats have an extended expiration date, meaning they can be stored in your pantry or garage for months.

If you come across a great deal, buy multiple bags of food and store them. You will save a lot of money and avoid so many trips to the pet store.

4. Brush Their Teeth

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Just like your own teeth, caring for your pup or kitty’s teeth can save you money on future dental costs. Vets agree that pet owners neglect their pets’ teeth, which can result in problems when they get older, including removal.

Keeping up with dental treats and occasionally brushing can keep your dog or cat’s smile pristine and keep you away from the vet dentist for as long as possible.

5. Make Your Own Treats

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If you own a pet, you know pet treats can cost a pretty penny. Not only do they have a high price tag, but they seem to disappear faster than you can keep them in stock.

That being said, there are a million recipes online, so pet owners can start making their own treats. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll have the comfort of knowing the ingredients you are feeding your pet.

6. Make Your Own Pet Furniture

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Pet furniture like dog houses, cat trees, scratching posts, and agility courses can come pre-assembled at your local pet store for a high price. Or, with some basic carpentry skills, it can be built at home for a fraction of the cost.

If you look online, you can find plans for simple do-it-yourself pet projects. If you own the tools, have the time, and are up for a fun project, consider making your own pet furniture.

7. Do Home Training

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Training your pet can be one of the most stressful times of both you and your pet’s life. Every pet owner can admit there are times when they want to scream and just give up. Professional pet trainers can cost a fortune for face-to-face training. Luckily, there are many online resources and training guides that can help you through the process.

With a little patience, you can use these online resources and train your pet for much less than live classes.

8. Join a Pet-Sitting Club

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This is a fantastic idea for pet owners to interact with other animal lovers. The basic idea is that you join a group of responsible pet owners, build relationships, and provide pet-sitting services for those who need them.

You no longer have to pay high dollars to leave your pet in a noisy, cold animal shelter, where it might be scared or anxious. Instead, it can stay with a familiar friend where it feels at home.

9. Join Loyalty Programs

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Like you would join a rewards program at your local grocery or department store, pet stores have the same programs. These programs can help you save money in the future by racking up points shopping at one location.

In addition to building loyalty points, you are most likely alerted to upcoming sales and discounted items. Certain programs might include a monthly bag of treats or a cheap toy.

10. Ask for a Veterinary Wellness Payment Plan

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A wellness plan can save you money by offering a membership plan to your veterinarian. These plans act like umbrella coverage plans, where you can take your pet to the clinic a certain number of times during the month for a flat rate. This helps if you have a month of issues followed by a year of zero medical needs.

Ask your personal vet if they offer such services. They might cost more monthly, but they can save you money if your pet needs medical assistance.

11. Ask for Generic Medication

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Like humans, animals can take generic medication that produces the same results as costly name brands. Many vets will prescribe the costly option, but don’t be afraid to ask for generic brands. You are not a bad pet owner for choosing a cheaper option for your pet’s medical needs.

Don’t let your vet shame you into spending more than you need to. For discounted medicine, you can reference sites like Chewy Pet Pharmacy, PetMeds, or PetCareRX.

12. Avoid Fashion Items

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If you love to dress up your pets, stop buying expensive name-brand clothing. I never knew there was a big-name brand for pet accessories. Still, when you browse sites like Amazon, you can find pet clothing for as little as $10 for a dog vest.

Animals don’t understand fashion. There’s no dog in the dog park that will make fun of your dog for not wearing Versace or Dior. If you want to dress up your dog, buy something from a local shop or search online for cheap options.

13. Buy Clumping Litter

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Kitty litter can be one of the most significant expenses when it comes to owning a cat. Try to avoid expensive litters made from exotic ingredients.

If you want some control over litter, don’t spend your money on litter with scents like lavender or morning mists. Clumping litter with a touch of charcoal is less expensive and gets the job done.

14. Know Your Pet

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Most responsible pet owners know their pets and can tell when their routine is off. Vets suggest that owners research online and investigate whether their specific pet or breed may be susceptible to any particular diseases or other risks.

This will inform them about any possible medical needs in the future and possible ways to prevent them.

15. Look For Coupons

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Yes, in 2024, coupons are still a thing. Look for discounted coupons in your local paper or on websites like Coupons.com. There are also websites that continually offer discounts on products, like Wag.com and Dog.com.

Keep an eye on these sites for some amazing money-saving opportunities.

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