Are you paying too much for pet supplies? Our pets are family members and we want the best for them. Pet supply companies know this and they come up with every pet product you can imagine. Most of them are marketed as “essential” to your pet’s health, happiness, or general wellness. This is often untrue but is one reason why they rake in over 110 billion dollars annually in pet supply purchases.
Buying your pet quality food, treats, and other supplies is great, but you may be buying products that are either over-priced or are not necessary for your pet’s well-being. Your friends at Union Lake Pet Services want to expose some of the common over-priced products to save you some cash. You may be surprised that you’re paying too much for pet supplies.
Are You Paying Too Much for These Pet Supplies?
There are several new gadgets, toys, services, and food items that come out every year. Here are some pet items you can cut out of the budget or at least look for better options.
- Cheap Treats – Cheap treats are usually cheap for a reason. They are cheaper than higher quality treats because they are filled with preservatives, dyes, and fillers that can cause harm to your pet. Save your money and opt for giving your pet fewer treats but choose those that have real, identifiable ingredients.
- GPS Tags – These location devices are generally high-priced ($125 and up) and promise to keep tabs on your pet’s whereabouts. Unfortunately, they promote that it’s safe for pets to be outdoors alone. Your pet should definitely have a microchip, which ensures their safety should they ever escape. But GPS tags for pets sidestep the necessity of keeping cats and dogs indoors (for safety and health). For those dogs who like to stay outdoors much of the day, make sure you have a secure fence and check on them while they are out.
- Multiple Toys – It’s natural to pick up extra toys for our bestie, especially when there are so many options. From cute stuffed toys to tug ropes, Frisbees to challenging puzzles, the array of pet toys is endless. Unfortunately, most dogs and cats have favorite toys and those they never touch. Stick to toys that inspire your pet to play and exercise and avoid the extras.
- Dietary Supplements – Being cost conscious relies on shopping around for needed supplements for your pet. Many pets, though, don’t really benefit from over the counter supplements and miracle cure formulas. Some supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine are beneficial. They are scientifically proven to enhance mobility in pets with arthritis and joint conditions. But there are many vitamins and supplements that you can avoid and save your money. Ask your veterinarian first about possible supplements for your best friend.
- Pet Clothing – Pet clothes and costumes are beyond adorable, aren’t they? We love to see our pets dressed up in dresses, hats, and other apparel, but sadly most pets do not feel the same way. Clothing can be restrictive and uncomfortable for our pets, despite how much owners spend each year on pet clothing. If your furry is the sort who loves clothes and hams it up for those Instagram photo ops, you may be getting your money’s worth. If not, stick to the wearable items that are necessary for safety, like winter coats, rain gear, and booties.
- Gourmet and Boutique Items – In the age of pet mansions and jeweled pet collars, it is apparent that people want their four-leggeds to enjoy luxury. There are thousands of high-end pet boutiques that sell food, treats, clothing, apparel, and pet supplies with brand names that allude to extravagance. Obviously, our pets don’t care about gourmet labels or brand names. They just want our love, care, and attention. Save yourself some money.
If you’ve looked for ways to cut pet care costs, consider some of these extra purchases. Yes, it is a great thing to give our pets rewards and provide them with the quality pet supplies they need, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Scout out the best deals on quality food and treats, and focus on those pet toys and items that your pet enjoys most. You can also save on grooming supplies by making your own homemade shampoo and following DIY recipes for fresh from the oven pet treats.
Other Ways to Avoid Paying Too Much for Pet Supplies
If you’re paying too much for pet supplies, these ideas can help you stretch your pet care dollar.
Buy Online – Buy basic food and supplies online. Subscribe to realize savings up to 15%. And some online sites include free shipping with recurring subscriptions.
Compare Prices – Use a price comparison tool to compare various online sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Also take advantage of coupons and/or one of the many online tools that look for any coupons during checkout (Honey, Piggy and Rakuten are a few).
Buy in Bulk – Buy some items in bulk from Costco, Sam’s Club or Petco.
Go Secondhand – Join your local Buy Nothing group or Freecycle Network. NextDoor lists free items. Your neighbors are often passing on things like crates or kitty litter box setups. Your local yard sale group on Facebook, Facebook Marketplace, or a local thrift store are other places to find a great deal on secondhand necessities.
Discount and Feed Stores – Discount retail stores like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or Marshalls are a few of the places you can find better prices on pet toys and basics like bowls and beds. If you have feed stores in your area, they are also usually a price-friendly place to buy pet supplies.
DIY – Make your own dog bed or doggie sweater. Bake your own pet treats. Make simple toys at home (see ideas online). Find things that you can easily make yourself. There are times when you need a professional groomer, but you can learn to clean your pet’s ears or trim their nails at home.
Your team at ULPS is available to answer any questions you have about cost-effective pet supplies and where you can save and where it makes sense to spend. When in doubt, please contact us. We look forward to seeing you and your pet this summer!