How to cut down on pet care costs as cost of living continues to rise – North Norfolk News
With the cost of living continuing to rise, multiple bills and expenses are increasing including vet and pet care bills for pet owners.
A recent survey by Dog’s Trust has revealed that almost half of dog owners (48%) will now find it difficult to provide their dog with everything they need compared to before the cost of living crisis.
New insights from vet telemedicine provider Joii Pet Care show a concerning rise in owners waiting to see a vet until the last minute.
Animal Friends Pet Insurance offers teamed up with its partner Joii to reveal how telemedicine can help relieve strain on traditional pet practices through online support and to share some tips on how to cut the costs of pet care.
How to reduce the cost of pet care
Dr . Samantha Webster has shared some tips to help pet owners reduce the costs of their pet’s care.
Take preventative measures
Webster advises taking preventative measures, she said: “Preventative care and treatment may have an upfront cost, but it can save you a lot in the long run. Make sure your pet gets access to regular exercise and keep up to date with vaccinations as well as regular prevention for fleas, ticks and worms. ”
Pick your food carefully
Pet owners can reduce costs by buying in bulk, for example , a large bag of food can cost less per day than buying smaller bags more often.
Dr . Samantha Webster added: “The most important thing is to ensure your pet has a balanced diet that meets all of their nutritional needs. ”
DIY pet care
Pet owners could save money by cutting back on some services such as grooming by doing it by themselves.
Brushing and bathing your dog regularly at home can help you cut down the costs you might spend taking your pet to the groomer.
If you pay for someone to look after your pet, it might be worth creating a pet-sitting group with your neighbours to help you cut down on the need to hire professionals.
The same goes for dog walking – if you’re able to get out and walk your dog rather than paying someone else to do it, you could save money and benefit from extra exercise too.
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Buy prescription medicines online
Webster explains that medication doesn’t have to be bought at a vet practice, she said: “Vet practices don’t usually buy in bulk so the medications they sell can sometimes be more expensive than the ones you find online. Ask your vet for a written prescription if you think you can get your medications cheaper from an accredited online retailer. Your vet will charge you for this service so keep that in mind. ”
Brush your pet’s teeth
“One of the most common problems seen every day in veterinary practice is dental and gum disease, ” Dr . Samantha Webster said.
Pet owners who don’t brush their pet’s teeth could end up paying for them to be properly cleaned down under the gum line plus they’ll need to pay for an anaesthetic with the process potentially being costly.
She explains how to avoid needing to pay for this process: “Help avoid them altogether by frequently brushing your pet’s teeth. There are a range of products on the market to make this process more enjoyable, from meaty flavoured toothpastes to finger brushes. ”
Dr . Samantha Webster, Director of Clinical Services at Joii, comments: “There’s a real risk to the health and welfare of animals in the UK right now. We’ve been seeing this at Joii in the last few months, as dog parents have had to choose between veterinary care or their other essentials, such as heating bills and food.
“We’ve also noticed family pet parents leaving problems for longer in the hope that they will solve themselves. Sometimes this can happen, but the longer a problem is left untreated the harder and more costly it can be to fix. I’d always advise speaking to a veterinary professional as soon as you can when you notice a problem with your pet, the quicker we catch it the quicker we can likely fix it. ”
Dr . Michaela Cragg, Senior Veterinary Officer at Joii, adds: “We are seeing higher numbers of creatures coming through to our telemedicine calls that are not appropriate to be handled remotely and should be seen in person as an emergency, despite in app warnings advising owners to make appointments with their in-person vet.
“This speaks volumes of the desperation some people are under to find a cheaper alternative. Some people are usually phoning us in tears because they cannot afford the Out Of Hours vet fees and are desperate for us to either treat their pets remotely or at least manage them until they can get into their vets during normal hours. It’s heartbreaking. ”
What health issues can online vet services help with?
- Tummy problems
- Skin problems
- Poison enquiries
- Behaviour and training
- Diet and nutrition
Patricia Gardiner, CMO at Animal Friends, comments: “Pets are a huge part of the family which is why at Pet Friends, we offer our dog and cat customers free access to Joii 365 days of the year. Providing a service and a support that can give pet parents some assurance of what their own pet needs when they need it is so important.
“Traditional veterinarian practices across the country are under huge pressure and strain, particularly since the COVID pandemic, and online veterinary care can help alleviate some of the stress on this under-resourced and overworked profession. Other than in crisis situations, if you are ever worried about the health of your pet but concerned about costs, we urge you to use an online vet service, it could make all the difference. ”
Your money matters
Your Money Matters is a campaign launched by us and our sister titles across Newsquest to help you overcome the surge in the cost of living. This year has seen a whole host of household price increases — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing your family hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.
We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost-of-living crisis is having on our readers.
The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial effect of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all feel the pinch.
Through our newspaper, we want to do what we can to help make your cash go further because we know your money matters.