Canine Cost of Living Crisis: These 7 tips could help owners of adorable dogs save over £1,000 a year
We’re all tightening our belts at the moment and a few simple doggy life hacks could help your bank balance without having any negative impact on your four-legged friend.
The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on pet owners – with the RSPCA recently announcing that they've seen a 24 per cent increase in pets ending up shelters due to rising bills.
And sadly this is likely to become more of a problem, with the price of energy bills increasing further from October.
To prevent Brits from giving away their pets, Andrea Knowles, the personal finance expert at vouchers.co.uk, has shared seven ways to save up to £1,097 on your pet per year.
Here are her top tips.
Change where you buy your pet food to save up to £40 per year
Whilst local stores, such as Tesco Express or Sainsbury’s Local can be convenient, research from Which? found that it costs an average of 9.5 per cent more to shop at local stores than it does to at bigger supermarkets. As pet owners spend a staggering £400 on pet food per year, switching to bigger supermarkets could save owners almost £40.
Groom your pet in-between sessions to save £129 per year
Professional grooming for your pet can be very expensive, costing an average of £43 per session. As the average dog needs four to six sessions per year, this can cost up to £258 per year.
To reduce this cost, you could reduce this cost by keeping on top of basic grooming tasks such as regular brushing or the occasional bath. There are even a ton of free YouTube videos that show you how to care for your specific breed’s coat. Carrying out these simple tasks will not only help you bond with your pet, but it will extend the time needed between professional grooming sessions. You could reduce the number of required sessions and price by half to £129.
Create a dog walking or pet-sitting club with your neighbours to save £705 per year
Paying for someone to walk your dog can be a costly expense, averaging £11.25 per walk, or £585 per year, should they get one a week. To get rid of this weekly expense, speak to your pet-owning friends and neighbours and see if they’d like to form a rotating dog walking service. You could also run a similar service for pet sitting, which is perfect for when you want to go on holiday. With the average boarding kennel costing £120 for a week – this takes the total yearly saving to £705, including the saving of pet-walking.
Buy your prescriptions online to save up to 50 per cent
Buying medicine for your pet can be expensive, but did you know that you can ask for the prescription and order what you need from a certified online pharmacy for a fraction of the cost? For example, petdrugsonline.co.uk claims to save pet owners up to 76 per cent on any pet care, and they have a rating of 4.9/5 according to Feefo.
Make sure you're not overfeeding your dog like 40 per cent of UK pet owners
An estimated 40 per cent of dogs in the UK are overweight so one way to help them lose weight whilst gaining you some pounds, is to weigh their food. To work out how much you should be feeding your dog, look at the body condition system to calculate whether your dog is too thin, too heavy, or ideal. You can then work out the right food portion from there.
Brush your dog’s teeth more often to save up to £223 per year
One of the most common reasons for tooth and gum disease in dogs is due to their owner’s not brushing their teeth correctly or often enough. In fact, the average cost of a dentist having to scale and polish a dog’s teeth is £233. With pet toothbrushes and toothpaste costing less than £10, it’s definitely worth getting into the habit of doing this yourself at home with many dentists sharing a step-by-step guide online.
Purchase pet insurance to save you money in the long run
Although purchasing pet insurance comes with a monthly (or annual) cost, enrolling your pet on a policy can help offset the costs of preventative care along with accidents and illnesses. However, make sure to obtain a policy as soon as you get a pet, as waiting until the pet is older increases their chances of needing a premium-priced policy, due to underlying health conditions.