13 Tips To Saving Money On Pet Care and Expenses

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Saving Money on pet care

This past September we were itching to have a furry companion again.  The kids had never experienced a puppy since our previous pets were part of our family before the kids came along.  Hence our new addition (pictured above) Pepper.  

Update: Since originally writing this we have also adopted a new kitten.  Pepper and sable are having so much fun together.

Pepper sable

It’s important to be prepared for a new addition to your family.  There are costs involved, but I’m determined to minimize those costs and reap the benefits of having a pet with lots of unconditional love. Even when they chew up your shrubs! :)  Saving money on pet care can be done.

13 Ways to Save Money on Pet Care

  1. Join Pet Supply reward programs.  Many Pet stores have reward programs and you can get coupons, sales and promotions sent to your inbox.   Before heading out to the store, clip or print coupons for pet supplies you need.  To maximize your savings, try stocking up on items when they are on sale and you have coupons.
  2. Keep your pet up to date on shots and general veterinarian care.  If you skip a visit to save a few dollars, your pet could be susceptible to illness, costing you more in the long run.
  3. Try to find a low cost veterinarian in your city.  Some of the shelters offer low cost services on a walk-in basis, but keep in mind that there maybe a long wait. The Jacksonville Humane Society Animal Hospital offers reduced fees for services.   If you know what services or vaccinations you need for your pet, call around for pricing.  You can also search the Humane Society Registry for low cost spay/neuter facilities in your zip code area.  If you are an elementary school teacher or staff member in Duval, Clay, Nassau or St. John’s county, visit St. Francis Animal Hospital to pick up a FREE Teacher’s Pet Passport coupon book. (must show proof)
  4. Ask your veterinarian for human prescriptions.  Our dog recently had to be put on antibiotics and we got a prescription that is on the Publix free list.  Obviously this may not always be available, but it never hurts to ask.
  5. Adopt from a shelter and save a life.  In my city, there are many shelters that are considered no kill shelters and offer adoption fees at reduced rates.  Animals over 3 years old are free, so ask if you have something similar at your shelter.  They may also have events where you can name your own adoption fee based on your budget.  Recently they had an event for military and first responders to adopt for free, or wear your Pawjamas, and adopt for free.  Pepper (photo above) was adopted from The Jacksonville Humane Society in September of 2012.  She just turned 1 in July (Photo on right).  We couldn’t imagine our lives without her.
  6. Research the food you are buying your pet, and ask your veterinarian for recommendations. While expensive foods may drain your budget, cheap food can too.  If there are lots of additives in the less expensive brands, it can cause your pet to eat more of it to be full.  While medium priced foods can be just as nutritional without sacrificing your pets health.  We also discovered our puppy has an allergy to chicken, costing us several veterinary bills in itching side effects, until we figured it out.  We are paying for more expensive fish based foods now, but much less in veterinary bills.  Check the bulk pricing of foods and buy if it’s cheaper.  You can always split with a family member if it’s too much at one time.
  7. Budget for your pets need and have an emergency pet fund.  You never know when your pet will need medical care and it helps to have a fund already set up for it.  Be sure to include any boarding or pet care you might need if your family goes on vacation.
  8. Shop thrift stores for supplies.  Just as you would your family, shop the local thrift stores for pet dishes, cat condos and more.
  9. Groom your pet as a family.  We’ve been washing our new puppy since day one.  It’s a good thing to teach the kids how to do.  Buy a nail trimming kit and ask your veterinarian to give you a lesson.  Clip them yourself in the future (if you are brave enough).
  10. Do your best to keep your pet healthy.  Make sure they have plenty of fresh water throughout the day.  Take them for walks and make exercise a family activity.  An overweight pet can experience health problems leading to more veterinary bills.
  11. Trade servies while on Vacation.  Someone has to take care of your pet while you’re on vacation.  Whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit or the family fishes.  If you have a family or neighbors with pets, discuss trading services and helping each other out when either of you go out of town.  Be sure your pet ‘likes’ the neighbor first, or it could be a problem.
  12. Get your pet microchipped.  Most adoption facilities require all pets to be microchipped before being adopted.  The cost is usually added into the adoption fee.  We simply had to register the microchip when we adopted pepper.  If your pet goes missing, it’s a good way for a pet to find it’s way back to you. And avoid any family heartbreak.
  13. Pet Insurance. If you are the type of person who will do anything for your pet, including spending thousands of dollars for treatments, you may want to look into Pet Insurance.  I recommend speaking to your local Veterinarian for their advice and options.

Amazon.com At a Glance_ KMSavings


Amazon.com At a Glance_ KMSavings-1


If you do not have pets, consider helping out a family member or neighbor when you get pet freebies with your coupons.  I also highly recommend donating items to your local Animal Shelter.

What money saving tips do you have for your family pet?


  1. diane says

    Hi Karen-
    Adorable new puppy, I know your family will enjoy him! I have a quick question-I attended your class a month or so ago & am just starting to get the hang of this. I read on your site that you were ending your matchups for family reasons which I completely understand. Do you have any suggestions about other sites to check out matchups on? I know your previous posts said you would give us some ideas. I am especially finding it difficult to find a site with Winn Dixie matchups. Thanks for all you do!

  2. says

    Fabulous tips! I learned the hard way to make dental care a part of our dog’s routine – she had to have 8 teeth pulled when she was 8 (to the tune of $500+)… Now we try to brush regularly and keep up on professional cleanings every few years.

  3. Lisa says

    WalMart charged me $9.54 for the same prescription – Clavamox – that the veterinarian charged $55.00 for.! They had to order it and had it in less than a day.

  4. Penelope says

    Try grinding dogs nails instead of trimming, it gets them far smoother and shorter, lasts longer, and there is far less risk of quicking them (hitting the blood supply/ nerve) A $20 walmart handheld dremel works great, and will last quite a while.

    Also, having dew claws (the toe farther up on the leg) removed during a spay/neuter or teeth cleaning can save on vet bills from ingrown nails (dogs cant wear these down from walking) or ripped/torn dew claws from outdoors activity.

    If you bathe your pup at home, don’t forget to clean the ears after the bath (or weekly for dogs with long hairy ears that are prone to infection like spaniels), and ask your vet about anal gland expression for little dogs (before you bathe!) as little dogs can get full or impacted anal glands. (more vet bills!)

    Also after outdoor activities, check skin, ears, nose and between toes for burrs and especially foxtails, which can work their way into the skin and cause damage and infection.

  5. Burgundy_Damsel says

    Be careful with the micro-chipping – do your homework first. For some breeds, particularly smaller ones, mircochipping has proven to seriously increase their risk of early cancer! Make sure you do your homework and ensure your particular pet/breed is not one of the ones at higher risk before going for this option.

  6. says

    A great resource in Jacksonville, is No More Homeless Pets. They are cheaper than any local vet I’ve found for vaccinations and the like. We just started using them for our new kitten.

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