5 safe tips for looking after your pet on a budget

While our little furry friends can bring immense joy to our lives, there’s no denying that you’ll soon find yourself forking out extra coin to keep them happy, safe and healthy.

From stocking up on bedding and factoring pet food into your weekly grocery shop, to keeping on top of vaccinations, grooming and dental care, there are a number of costs to account for. After all, even the best pet insurance providers won’t cover you for a number of treatments and vet expenses.

The following tips are designed to help keep costs down without compromising the health of your pet.

1. Groom your pet at home

As tempting as it may be to take your pet to a professional groomer, this isn’t a necessary expense. With a good quality brush, set of claw clippers, shampoo and conditioner, you can complete this routine yourself at home.

In addition to saving money, there are a number of benefits that come with self-grooming your pet on a regular basis: it allows for bonding time, ensures oils are distributed in the animal’s coat, decreases matting, increases skin health, and gives you the chance to monitor for any lumps or skin abnormalities you may otherwise miss.

2. Brush your pet’s teeth

Given dental hygiene is not often covered by pet insurance providers unless a routine care cover option is offered, you’ll want to stay on top of your pet’s mouth care. Brushing your pet’s teeth twice a day can help maintain their dental hygiene, which can subsequently prevent spreadable infections from occurring.

3. Limit your toy stash

Many pet-owners fall into the trap of buying an extra toy here or there, only to wind up with a plethora of plastic squeezy objects littering their home. Instead, try to cap your pet’s toy collection to between five and ten. Provide a few toys at a time to keep your pet busy, then rotate every fortnight to ensure constant stimulation by the presentation of ‘new’ toys. Your pet will know no different.

4. Don’t skimp on the quality of your pet food

One area you don’t want to be frugal with is food. Grains and other fillers are typically used to pack low-cost pet food, which aren’t easily digestible. As a result, your pet will be left unsatisfied and lacking nutrition, meaning they’ll be seeking more food and producing more waste for you to clean. In the long run, low-quality pet food can lead to potentially costly health problems down the track, such as diabetes and obesity.

5. Be smart when buying online

There is certainly a time and place for saving on pet products – things like dog beds, cat scratchers, bones, toys, treats and even bulk pet food can often be purchased from online discount stores without any major risks.

However, online veterinary pharmacies should be approached with caution. Many sources spruik either low-quality or knock-off medications, hence it’s much safer to visit a reputable store advised by your vet, where you can speak directly to a pharmacist to ensure you’re purchasing the right product.