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Keeping a Pet During the Recession

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 20 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Pet Insurance Food Family Recession Dog

Taking on a pet at any time is a responsibility that should not be undertaken without careful thought and planning. When you think that some pets can be with you for more than fifteen years you need to think where you expect your lives to lead in the years to come and how you intend your pet to be part of your plans.

With the country being in a recession and many people facing job cuts and redundancy every penny has to be accounted for. A pet is an extra expense for the household so every penny that can be saved on owning and maintaining a pet is a bonus.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can be very expensive and when faced with a reduced income in the family you may be tempted to cancel the monthly direct debit payments. Think carefully about doing this as veterinary bills can very awfully expensive – running into thousands in some instances – and you would not like to have to consider euthanizing your pet just because you cannot pay a bill.

Some pet owners find that by putting the money usually spent on the direct debit payment to one side they will have a little nest egg if an emergency arises. Fine, if the pet is not taken ill or has an accident before your nest egg has built up sufficiently. Take a few hours out to research cheaper pet insurance. Many of the main supermarkets have financial departments and you can find brochures on pet insurance at the check outs. Go online and Google pet insurance and see what pops up.

You only need a basic cover for veterinary needs so look for a no frills policy. Speak to the company that are covering your pet at present. They may be able to change your policy to a cheaper version or give you a discount for being a good customer. Finally, speak to the companies who cover your home, health and vehicle insurance as you may find that you can get a better deal by having all your insurance cover with one provider.


What brand of food do you feed to your pets? Where do you purchase your pet food? Take out your calculator and work out how much your pet’s food costs each month – it will most likely frighten you. This is an area where you can most definitely make a saving. First, look at buying larger cans or packets than the single portion sizes.

Next check the same brands out in other shops and stores. Special offers are always doing the rounds of major supermarkets and feed will always be cheaper in one of the stores. Next, group together with other pet owning friends and buy in bulk from the food supplier or from a wholesale warehouse. One of your family or friends is bound to have a trade card.

Cheaper Food

We are all being told by money experts to trade down when we shop. In other words buy a cheaper brand as quite often there is no difference in the quality of the food. Try this with your pet’s food. If you are unsure cut the label from your current brand and take it with you to the shops and compare the ingredients.

There is likely to be no difference. When you have the oven on to cook a family meal make your own dog biscuits from store cupboard ingredients such as cheaper brand flour, oats, stock cubes, eggs and garlic. Cheap vegetables can bulk up dog food and table scraps, as long as they are not hot and spicy, can be added to the dog’s bowl.


For dog owners who walk their pet each day it is beneficial to both pet and owners and doesn’t cost a penny. It has long been known that owning a pet can also lower stress related health problems.

With a little planning it is possible to keep a pet during the recession without breaking the bank.

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