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Affordable Pet Care For Happy and Healthy Pets - Tips For Making Your Money Last

Long haired dog with tan colored fur having ear brushed

Did you know that there are more homes with pets than there are those with children in America? The 2023 numbers are in: 2 out of 3 or over 85 million of U.S. households have dogs, cats and other pets while only 50 million have children! The breakdown provided by the American Pet Product Association has the split being 46.5 million cat owners and 65.1 million dog parents - which clearly indicates that quite a number of people have more than one pet. 

As a pet parent yourself, you may perhaps understand why so many homes make room for pets in their life; having a furry pal or a few can bring you a multitude of benefits from improving your well-being, lowering stress, and reducing anxiety (not to mention having someone fetch your slippers or wake you up in the morning 😀). But even with the amazing benefits, the truth is that the costs associated with caring for a dog or cat can be tremendously high.

Recent statistics indicate that an average single pet household may be spending an average of $1,533 a year with 40% of that amount going to food and treats and 35.7% being spent on medical and veterinary care.

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6 Ways to Make Pet Care More Affordable

Although a majority of pet parents are more than willing to spend for the well being of their pet, not everyone plans ahead for these types of expenses. When welcoming a new furry family member, many pet parents budget only for the basics like food and vet visits but overlook other expenses such as pet-sitting, day-care facilities, boarding services and insurance. With many sharing financial challenges lately as costs rise on everything from food to fuel to basic needs, we know life may be unpredictable and not to underestimate the importance of saving money for the harder times. Unpredictable pet care costs sometimes come up and it’s important to plan for these moments as well. One cannot put a price tag on their love for their pets. However, the reality remains that caring for a pet does carry a financial cost that will impact your household budget. In this blog, you’ll discover tips on how to manage your pet care budget without compromising your pet’s health and happiness.

1. Control Veterinary Expenses

The average American spends $139 per month on their pets, with 24% being allocated to Veterinary care. In 2019, pet owners shelled out a total of 36.9 billion on healthcare.

While it’s important to ensure your pet’s life is always in the hands of a good vet, especially if you are able to find a holistic veterinarian, it’s wise to choose your vet carefully and manage costs. offers highly effective remedies for many different conditions, and the bottles have 400 pills in each bottle which works out to only about $0.25 per day, being much less expensive than a prescription. Plus they are all natural, non-addictive and won't cause liver or kidney damage like many prescriptions

Some vets will urge you to buy specialty foods or medicines from them, which may be more expensive than the ones you can find in the store. Always ensure you keep in mind what is most cost-effective for you: when a prescription medication is unavoidable, consider asking for the prescription so you can order it online, or maybe get a generic brand that is just as good.

2. Prevention is Key

Affordable pet health care begins with preventive pet care. One of the best ways to protect your pet’s health is through prevention. Being aware of the most common risks to your pet’s safety and health, using natural pet supplements, feeding your pet good healthy food, pet proofing your home and yard, and giving them lots of love and exercise is a great way to prevent illness and injury.

Some of our customer’s favorite products for prevention of more serious problems or maintaining good health are our Immunity Boost for Dogs or Cats, Oral Care for Dogs and Cats, and our Walk Easy.

As with all things you need to take the time to make the wisest decisions for your pet’s health. Some holistic vets are now discovering that not all vaccinations being prescribed are necessary if your pet already has immunity against that particular illness, and therefore does not need another vaccine.

You can check to see if your pet has the right amount of immunity to protect them by having your vet do a titer test. There are four canine and feline main diseases for which a positive titer test is an indication that the animal has protective immunity: distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats and does not need to be re-vaccinated.

The main thing to remember is that by doing the right things upfront to prevent illness will not only reduce costs down the road but will also keep your treasured furry family member with you longer. Read our blog, "Simple Steps To A Happier and Healthier Dog in one Month" for more ways to help your pet be at their best!

3. Make Quality Food (not Brand Name) the Focus

It’s okay to ditch the brands sometimes. Many believe that the most expensive pet food brands are best for our cats and dogs. It’s wise to not rely blindly on the marketing message of these brands. Do your homework and find out what is really in the pet food you buy. After all, what matters most is that the right ingredients are in your pets' food.

There are inexpensive brands that provide kibble and wet foods that can adequately meet your pets nutritional needs - you just need to do some research.

If you love spending time in the kitchen, you can even make food costs more affordable by searching the internet for some healthy recipes. Try them and see which one your pet loves best. DIY recipes can be a real money saver! Here are some home-made pet food recipes you can try:

We have also saved some great recipes for DIY dog treats and home-made cat treats on Pinterest. Check out these easy and tasty ideas. Happy cooking!

4. Don't Go Overboard on Toys and Accessories

It's estimated that dog parents spent $75 per year on dog toys and cat parents spend $50 per year for toys for their cats. While toys are essential for their overall happiness and mental stimulation, pets are not going to care about the brand. They would be just as happy spending their time chasing you and the stick you found in your backyard or even a simple laser. Read more on our blog for how to choose the best dog toys. 

Although it’s worthwhile to spoil your pet with extra love and treat them like a family member, you can do this in a way that doesn’t place a burden on your budget; for example, limit how much you spend to clothe and dress them. Your pet is naturally born with all the clothing it needs to protect them, unless there are extreme weather conditions. D.I.Y toys and clothes made from items around your home are always a great option.

Treats are fabulous tools for training and rewarding your pets, however, how many Dog and Cat Treats are Too Many? 

With just a little bit of creativity, you can create anything from toss-able toys to challenging puzzles. Barkpost shares some innovative fun ideas for DIY dog toys. For your sweet feline, provides you with irresistibly easy DIY options. Not only will these toys not cost you an arm and a leg, but your fur baby will get as much pleasure from it as it smells of you - their favorite human. So go ahead - have fun creating!

5. Groom Your Own Pet

Americans spend a lot of money grooming their pets; this is especially true for dog owners. However, in these challenging times, more people are looking for economic alternatives to expensive doggy spas and cat groomers. Thankfully, the internet has a lot of information on how to clean, wash and groom your dog and cat. All you have to do is Google it! Secondly, there are tons of grooming videos on YouTube with free lessons. Here are two videos that can get you on board:

So, with just a few clicks, you will have all that you need and more. Additionally, you can also engage with pet groups on Facebook and Instagram and post your queries. People are always happy to pass on their expert advice.

6. Take Advantage of the Sharing Economy

While it may be tempting to get all new things for your new puppy or buy them the best there is, sometimes it is just as good, and certainly more economical to share things with other pet owners. Just start talking to your fellow pet parents in the park and you will not only get good tips and ideas but you'll also be able to create some innovative ways to share costs. Here are some you can consider:

Do a Pet Toy Exchange


Most dogs and cats have more toys than they can play with in a lifetime, so rather than getting a new box of toys delivered every month, consider doing a toy exchange in your neighborhood. Just be sure to clean and sanitize the toys and then your pet won't get bored playing with a brand new ball, mouse or puzzle.


Form a Pet-Sitting or Walking Club

Going away for a holiday or a business trip? Don't have time to walk your dog? Rather than leaving your pet at an expensive kennel or paying for a dog walker, why not ask some of the pet parents in the neighborhood that your pet is already familiar with to see if they will walk or pet sit your dog or cat for you. That way your fur baby can spend some time with a friend and not be so lonely while you are gone. Then when you are back, consider returning the favor (just make sure your pets get along). Quality care for your furry family member is key, check out our tips for choosing a pet sitter

(Side note: Safety is extremely important to us here a, and sadly, there are those with harmful intentions who target pet sitters. Learn more HERE.)

Trade Specialties

Too nervous to groom your pet at home but you are a great carpenter? Why not find a local groomer in your area that can do the job. Then offer to build something for them in exchange. Bartering is something that has been going on for centuries and there is no reason it can't work now. If you are new to the area or don't know anyone that has pets yet, consider joining a local pet meetup or connect with other pet parents through one of the popular pet apps on your phone. Get creative and you'll be able to come up with lots of ways to get your pet what you need.

Have a Great Idea? We Would Love to Know!

Of course this is not all! If you are a seasoned pet parent, you might have your own solutions for affordable pet care that you follow regularly; we’d love to hear your ideas too - you can write to us or share on social media. If you are a new pet parent and would like to receive more such useful tips and articles on other topics just sign up for our newsletter below!

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