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Pet Debt: Ways to Save on Animal Expenses

We’re a nation of soft-hearted pet lovers, but that affection comes at a price. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a goldfish or a greyhound, over the course of a lifetime our animals will cost us hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to care for. Here’s a few ways to try and ease that pet debt.

Be a superhero!

Instead of going for a posh and pricey pedigree, consider rescuing a pet from an animal shelter. Not only are they cheaper up front, with most centres just requesting a donation, they tend to cost less over a lifetime as mongrels especially suffer from fewer genetic health disorders.

Buy in bulk

Pet food, litter, and bedding is so much cheaper if bought in large quantities. Dried pet food has a much longer shelf life so it’s worth stocking-up when it’s on special offer. If you shop online, most suppliers will offer good discounts and free delivery for bigger orders. Keep an eye out for special offers and freebies too.

Toy story

Most new pet owners make the mistake of buying pricey toys, only to watch in horror as they’re chewed and clawed to bits in seconds. Check out your local charity shop for second-hand kids’ toys, balls and Frisbees. These will adhere to safety regulations but just make sure they’re not small enough for your animal to choke on. Which leads nicely into …

Pet insurance

Never consider saving money by not getting adequate pet insurance – Snowy would never forgive you. But, shop around as you’ll be amazed at the difference in the price of very similar policies. Read the small print. Some cheaper policies will only cover an illness for 12 months.

Box clever

Make sure you have all the right jabs. Keeping up-to-date with vaccinations is one of the most important requirements of owning a pet. Although they can seem a little pricey, chances are they’ll save you money – and misery – in the long-term, preventing the transferral of infections.

Be loyal

Not just to your furry, hairy or scaly friend but to loyalty schemes too. Lots of pet shops offer great incentives to signing up such as 10%-off welcome vouchers, exclusive offers, promotional events and discount codes.


Pet owners tend to be a friendly bunch and are not only keen to offer advice but a helping hand as well. If you’re stuck for someone to pet-sit or pet-walk, it’s worth asking for support on the understanding you’ll return the favour when needed. If you can extend this to holiday-care, you’ll save a small fortune in kennel fees. If you’ve no-one local, check online for similar services.

One final thing – if your pet becomes ill or is involved in an accident and you have no way of caring for it, contact the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). They’ll usually help fund treatment if you prove you can’t afford to pay and have no insurance.