January 16, 2018

The Top Tips In 2011 For Lower Pet Ownership Costs!

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It can’t be denied that Britain is a country of animal lovers, just look at the stats, a weekly spend of £93.6 million on pets. Over its lifetime, a dog will cost an average of £9,000 while a cat will set you back around £7,200.

Ever heard of the phrase “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas”, well this applies to all animals. Many people buy pets without fully understanding the cost of keeping it. With veterinarian costs continually on the increase and the staggering amount involved in keeping pets, the level of abandoned animals has soared. Between 23rd and 27th December 2010, the RSPCA investigated 329 reports of abandoned pets. However, there are various ways you can cut the cost of your pet care during these tough economic times. Here are just a few examples.

Insure your pet: It is estimated that 300,000 cats and dogs are put down every year just because their owners are unable to afford the medical and veterinarian fees. Reports show that during the period of 2003 to 2008, a huge 1.6 million people had to put down at least one pet due to the significant rises in vet costs. If you’re looking for a way to minimise the amount you spend on your pets medical and veterinary fees, then considering pet insurance should be your first point of call.

Just by obtaining pet insurance, you can ensure that your pet is fully protected should they fall ill or be injured (and, let’s be honest, this is quite likely to happen at some point during their lifetime). Pet cover can start at as little as a few pounds every month and is widely available. As you would when getting life insurance quotes, shopping around and talking to an expert will help you get the best policy. This is worth seriously considering as it could save you hundreds or thousands of pounds in vet and medical bills.

Pet sitting could save you big money: Perhaps one of the most costly aspects of owning a pet is by leaving them in boarding kennels, or similar, when you go away for an extended period. Boarding kennels can charge an extraordinary amount, generally around £8 to £10 per night! This could set you back hundreds of pounds if you are going away for a significant period of time, or even just a fortnight!

A cheaper alternative is to consider a pet-sitting service. This is a fast growing trend between animal lovers who don’t want to pay over the odds for the care of their pet whilst they are away. The idea is for the pet sitter to regularly visit your home to feed, walk, change the cats litter and to generally care for the pet. This is a fantastic option for households with more than one pet, as most pet-sitters charge per visit, rather than per animal. You may even have a close friend, family member or neighbour who is willing to pet-sit for you whilst you are away. This will cost you a lot less than any boarding kennels or even a professional pet-sitter.

Have fun making your own toys: Animals usually aren’t fussy when it comes to their toys, treats and play things. You could spend over the odds on a high gadget toy, only for your pet to prefer your old pair of slippers! So, instead of forking out, how about you give them a pair of your old socks, or an old jumper perhaps? These types of fabrics are ideal as they are easy to wash and don’t rip or fray easily, limiting the amount of mess made. Animals tend to like brightly coloured objects too, or those that make a noise; an old rubber duck could give your pet hours of fun, or any unused children’s toys. Make sure there are no sharp bits or bits that can break off and be a choking hazard.

Don’t over feed your pets: One of the easiest ways to save yourself a fortune in pet care is to make sure you do not over feed your pet. A 2008 survey by Sainsbury’s Finance found that 43 per cent of animals were a bit on the porky side, according to the vets who examined them. Almost half (47 per cent) of all dogs were too fat, with more than a quarter of them (26 per cent) considered obese. The survey also found that 19 per cent of cats were obese.

You’d be surprised at how many medical conditions are related to a pet being a bit porky. Sainsbury’s pet insurance manager Neal Devine highlights how “people often think they are being kind to their pet by giving it treats, but being overweight can influence and worsen many medical conditions in pets, such as osteoarthritis and respiratory disorders”. So to reduce your vet bills, reduce the amount of food you give your animal to the normal amount.

When it comes to feeding it’s quality, quality, quality: Actually buying cheaper pet food to cut back on costs can prove to be a false economy. The better the food the more filling it will be for the pet, not only that it is more likely to be more balanced and nutritious than the cheap stuff. If balanced and nutritious is what you’re going for than dried pet food is in general the more healthy option than wet food or meat tins. All this to help your animals have a great life. Insurance advice for pets and animals is often available from most high street insurers.

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