How to Save Money on Pet Costs in Canada
Saving money on pet costs can be a great way to keep household budgets manageable – especially as the costs of owning a pet can be significant and inflation is in the news a lot right now! As we’ve written before, the cost of cat and dog ownership in Canada can run into thousands per year. In fact, across a lifetime, the cost of owning a cat or dog can easily exceed $20,000, and some breeds can be much more.
With inflation and the soaring cost of living, many pet owners are worried about meeting the costs of caring for their pets. Planning for your pet’s needs can also mean saving money (a healthy and happy pet is almost always a cheaper pet) – so it’s great to think ahead.
Check out these tips for a happy, healthy pet that won’t overinflate your household budget.
Invest in pet insurance
This one might be an obvious place for us to start but unexpected veterinary costs can be the hardest thing for a pet parent in Canada to budget for – especially without pet insurance. An unexpected veterinary bill can cost thousands of dollars and the decisions involved can range from hard to heartbreaking.
We try to ask people two questions. Firstly, how much they would spend to help or save their pet in an emergency and secondly, where would the money come from? If it’s hard to answer these questions – then pet insurance is a well worth considering. Even if the answers comes easily, removing risks from household budgets can be wise, plus seeking treatment for your pet in an emergency without worrying about finances means people can focus on their pet at an important time.
Buy your pet’s food in bulk and don’t overfeed them
One great tip is to buy your pet’s food in bulk to save money on overall costs too. Please always consult with your veterinarian before making significant changes to your pet’s diet though.
Weight-related health problems, such as arthritis and diabetes, can be avoided by not overfeeding your pet. As well as being healthier for your pet, not overfeeding will also have a positive impact on your household budget!
Stay up to date with preventive care
Even though there are upfront costs, preventive care like vaccinations can avoid much larger future vet bills and can be important for keeping dogs and cats fit and healthy. Prevention is better than cure for many reasons. From fleas to ticks and heartworm, it's much less costly over the long term to prevent issues arising in the first place.
Make your own cat and dog toys
There are tons of fun toys that are possible to make yourself that your cat or dog will love. We published a previous blog detailing some great homemade cat toy options like wand toys and pom-poms but there are loads of ideas online. YouTube is a rich source of ideas especially – check out these great DIY snuffle mats and this selection of great sock toys too!
Play it safe with things like chocolate, raisins, many household plants, and other toxicities
We have also spoken about this one a little before on our blog, but some health incidents that your pet can experience are wholly avoidable. Chocolate is a big ‘no’ of course, but being diligent on things like the type of houseplants you have in your home can also avoid costly health issues. The most common pet toxins include insecticide, over-the-counter medications and many more. Check out this list on DVM360 for a fuller rundown.
Don’t neglect dental care
The costs for dental procedures can be expensive and neglecting your pet's routine dental care can mean that treatment costs can become higher. For both cats and dogs there are toothpastes and chew toys that are recommended for preventive dental health. Regular professional cleanings are also important, and your veterinarian can advise on the right cadence for these specialist cleanings and other preventive measures. By getting this right, and keeping your pet’s teeth healthier too, you can save yourself hundreds, even thousands, by avoiding emergency dental work.
Avoid unnecessary purchases like fancy collars or designer bedding
Bedding is important and so are collars – but investing in durability over fashion can mean replacements are needed less often. We promise you that your pet wants your love much more than fancy things. We also just learned that the most expensive dog collar in the world is $3.2m!
Daycare costs for dogs
Some animals can cope better than others when you leave the house. While cats can usually be left to their own devices, dogs need more attention. We would ideally suggest that dogs should only be left alone for half a working day. Care costs can become expensive though so working together with friends and family – and especially other friendly dog owners nearby – can mean you save money on care by collaborating with others while your dog (or cat) still has a great time. Join some local pet groups to build your network into a doggy daycare dream team where you all take it in turns to be responsible for each other’s pets.
So, you see there’s lots you can do to save on the costs associated with your pet. We think all these ideas are useful but perhaps unsurprisingly, we really believe in the ability of pet insurance to remove lots of financial risk associated with giving a dog or cat a happy, healthy life. Many of these tips could save you tens or hundreds of dollars but pet insurance can save your pet and save you thousands.
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