How to keep costs down of owning a pet
A new pet may be super-cute and loveable - but the cost of owning it can soon add up, from food and toys to vets bills and insurance.
Abigail Yearley, a spokeswoman at TopCashback.co.uk, says: "Whether you're considering getting a pet, or have a long-standing member of the household, it's worth taking a step back and looking at your spending, to see if there are ways you could cut costs."
Here are her tips:
1. Do your research
If you're thinking of getting a pet, do your research and don't pick one that will cost a fortune to buy and to care for. Pedigree animals may have a bigger up-front cost and some animals may be pricey in medical bills if they're prone to bad health. There are many animals looking for a good home, and a rescue pet may cost less to buy, so looking into adoption may be the best option to lower initial costs.
2. Make a pet budget
Just like you may have your own household budget, make one for your pet. Include food, grooming, insurance and any other costs. Any spare money left over at the end of the month can go into an emergency pot, so you're not left unable to pay for any surprise vet bills.
3. Cut the cost of pet insurance
Shop around and make the most of comparison websites. Make sure you choose an option that caters for your needs.
4. Buy own-label food
It's important to figure out what your pet needs and ensure the brand you buy offers that, but you may find that cutting out expensive branded food massively impacts your bank balance and makes no difference to your pet. Try swapping them for own-brand pet foods.
5. Buy food in bulk
Buying pet food in bulk can work out cheaper. Work out the cost per gram, as you may find that bigger bags of food can work out to less. And if you spot your pet's favourite brand on offer, buy while it's discounted.
6. Don't be afraid to ask for demonstrations or help
Make sure you get a demonstration from your vet or groomer first, but simple tasks, like brushing or nail clipping, can be done at home. And once you pay out for the equipment, it's free.