How to fight the soaring price of pet products

Everyone loves their pets, especially when many people are adding a furry family member during the pandemic.

But unfortunately, “pet parenting” is becoming more and more expensive, even as other prices are falling.

Stevie Miller loves her Australian Shepherd, Jasper, but says food and other expenses are getting expensive.

“It’s a bit higher,” she said, “but I’m willing to pay a little more for the good food.”

However, other families are finding that their pets are a heavy drain on their budgets.

Daryl Meyerrenke owns a pet supply store, Family Pet Center, and hears weekly from families struggling to afford $50 bags of groceries.

But he says beware of cheap food that can mostly be filler. It’s less healthy for your dog and will take longer to fill up.

“You can buy the cheapest food out there,” he said, “but your dog might eat 50 percent more of it.”

Meyerrenke says many people these days look at the price of a large bag of dog food and get sticker shock.

You then buy a smaller bag.

But he says you need to focus on price per serving, and in this case a bigger bag makes a lot more sense.

If you keep a large bag sealed, it will last a long time. “It has a shelf life of one year,” he said.

Most families report higher pet care prices

A survey by pet care website Rover found that 90 percent of pet owners expect costs to increase this year.

While prices for electronics, clothing and toys fall this fall, pet products are up 12.6 percent year-on-year, more than the consumer price index.

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When it comes to spending, pet owners still think of their pets as family.

Rover trend expert Kate Jaffe says in the survey: “98 percent of them told us that their dog brings them comfort during these difficult economic times.”

She says pet owners looking to save should try a discount store instead of large pet chains or grocery stores.

“It also allows them to save on everyday essentials like toys or treats,” she said.

Meyerrenke, meanwhile, suggests you speak to a manager at your favorite pet store and ask about loyalty discounts or discounts for buying in bulk from them.

If you absolutely cannot afford animal feed, e.g. B. following a job loss or family emergency, contact local animal shelters and veterinary services, who may be able to put you in contact with a pet food bank.

The Humane Society has a list of programs that can help you find free or discounted pet food.

And if you’re considering adding another pet to the family, says Kate Jeffe, know the upfront costs, which include purchase/adoption fees, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering.

  • A dog can cost anywhere from $900 to nearly $4,500, depending on the breed.
  • A cat can cost $700 to $3,000.

Stevie Miller is mindful of expenses but refuses to go cheap when it comes to Jasper’s food and care.

“I’m willing to pay more for that,” she said.

So talk to your pet shop and veterinarian, shop around at major specialty stores, and don’t forget to compare online.

That way you don’t waste your money.

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