Caring for your furry friend on a budget

Pets are important members of the family, providing companionship and joy for people of all ages, alongside quiet support through difficult times.

The 2022 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report revealed that 84 per cent of owners say that their furry family members have a positive impact on their mental health.

However, 40 per cent of owners also find caring for furry friends expensive, and with everyday prices soaring, the cost of caring for them is only set to increase.

PDSA Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, said: “When you welcome a pet into the family, there are necessary costs you can’t avoid, such as high-quality food, regular health care, insurance, and unexpected vet bills. Yet, while these things may be unavoidable, there are ways to keep your pet care costs down.”

Learn to groom your pet at home
Grooming costs soon add up, so learning how to do this yourself can reduce your spending, while also allowing you to enjoy extra time with your furry best friend.

Aim to brush your pet every day, to prevent fur becoming matted and help you spot any skin problems before they develop into anything more serious – something that can potentially lead to bigger vet bills.

Research the appropriate tools for your pet’s fur type before getting started and go slowly if they aren’t used to being brushed – you may want to ask someone to hold your pet while you do this to help them feel safe.

If your pet’s coat type needs clipping, then you could consider doing this yourself once they are used to being brushed and handled.

Pet hair clippers are available in pet shops and online – follow manufacturer’s instructions and watch some online professional grooming videos before attempting this.

Cats and rabbits especially have delicate skin that can easily tear, so an experienced pet groomer or vet will be best to help you to clip off any knots or mats.

Buy in bulk
Pet food is typically more cost-effective when bought in larger quantities.

Shopping around is a good way to bag a bargain.

If you are considering switching to a cheaper food, make sure you choose a food labelled complete – a nutritionally balanced diet is vital in supporting pets’ overall health, helping to avoid potentially costly vet bills in the long term.

Use toys tactically
Toys can provide endless hours of fun for our pets, but they don’t need lots to play with. Rotating the contents of their toy box is a great way to keep them fresh and exciting.

Multifunctional toys, such as bouncy, robust chew toys are great to keep your pet entertained on a budget.

Choose hollow ones that can be filled with healthy treats and then hidden in the garden for curious paws to find, as well as being used for games such as chase or fetch to keep them active.


Picture: Cat being groomed. Pixabay / alektas

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