Having a pet, especially as we get older, can be truly life changing. Not only are there countless health benefits, there’s the emotional bond as well. Pets can cheer us up when we’re down, comfort us when we’re lonely, and motivate us to be more active.
With benefits like these, the pros of having a pet often outweigh the cons – including the expenses involved. Besides, many of us animal lovers would sooner be broke than part with our beloved companions.
Still, even the bare necessities like food and vet visits can put a strain on tight budgets. The idea of unpredictable costs in the event of an illness or injury can be downright financially frightening.
Our animals don’t have to be financial liabilities though. There are ways to help negate some of the associated costs.
Seek Out Senior Discounts
Senior discounts are everywhere, not just at restaurants and stores. That’s why we always suggest asking about what discounts may be available to you.
Many veterinarians have senior discounts, as do a lot of pet grooming services. Even your local pet food and supplies store may have a senior discount. It never, ever hurts to ask.
Look for Coupons and Rebates
When it comes to pet products, it’s often not incredibly difficult to find coupons or rebates. From food and treats to cat litter and other supplies, you’ll find all sorts of deals if you look hard enough, especially online.
Check the websites and social media accounts for your preferred brands to see what they may offer. Additionally, check with your local retailers as well. Petco, for instance, frequently sends out coupons. (Look for their calendar when it goes on sale, too – the back is chock full of freebies!)
Join the Loyalty Programs
Most pet stores have loyalty programs that could save you a ton of money over time. Some of the big stores even offer special deals (and even free giveaways) for folks enrolled in their rewards programs.
Many independent stores also have frequent buyer deals for certain brands, too. (For instance, after every tenth bag, our local pet food store gives us a free bag of dog food.)
Setting up recurring deliveries is another good way to save on food and supplies. Chewy, Amazon, Petco, and several other online retailers all offer discounts when you subscribe to automatic deliveries. Plus, you won’t have to worry about having to run out and pick up food. It gets delivered right to your door.
Find a Low-Cost Clinic
If your pet is in need of veterinary care and you’re short on funds, try calling a local veterinary school. Often, you’ll find they have low-cost clinics that may offer a discount for pet owners with low or limited incomes.
Utilize Financial Assistance Programs.
Sometimes it’s inevitable, pet care costs can become an overwhelming burden, especially if your pet gets sick. However, there are programs designed to help.
First, try calling your local SPCA to see if they can offer some direction. They may be able to help you find assistance with in-home care programs as well as discounted or free veterinary care.
The Humane Society has also compiled a list of organizations that can help pet owners in need of financial assistance.
Depending on your pet’s needs, these resources can be a huge help.