By Rachel Lacey


Our four-legged friends are expensive at the best of times. But for many people, the cost-of -living crisis is making it even harder to keep our pets well fed and healthy. According to the online pet marketplace Pets4Homes, nearly a fifth of owners are already falling into debt to pay for their pets’ care, with the situation only expected to get worse before things improve.

But your pet doesn’t have to feel the brunt of rising prices. By making small changes and planning a bit more, it’s possible to save money without affecting your furry family members’ health and wellbeing.


1. Get a better deal on pet insurance

Figures from the ABI suggest that the average pet insurance premium is £271 a year, but it’s important not to scrimp on pet insurance because vets bills can quickly rack up if your pet is ill or has an accident. And, if they need expensive treatments, insurance can help to resolve difficult decisions about whether or not to proceed.

You can, however, save money by shopping around and only buying the level of cover you need. Agreeing to pay a higher excess can also bring down your costs, as can multi-pet policies from the likes of ManyPets if you have more than one pet. Be careful about switching policies if you have an older pet or one with health problems.


2. Grooming solutions

New dog owners often under-estimate the cost of grooming, especially for longer-haired breeds that need some TLC every six weeks or so.

The average cost of dog grooming in the UK is £43, but prices can range from £20 to £90 or even more for some breeds, based on research by NimbleFins. There are ways to save though, like looking out for training academies where trainees can hone their skills on your dog while potentially cutting your bill in half. Another trick is to research DIY grooming tools and techniques on sites like Christies Direct and YouTube. You can either learn to do it completely yourself or try and master the basics to stretch out the time between professional appointments. A good example is brushing long haired and double coated dogs regularly to avoid matted hair.


3. Flea and worm treatments

Prevention is everything when it comes to keeping your cat or dog free from parasites. But rather than buying expensive treatments via your vet, you can often save a lot of money by buying them from pet shops instead.

Low-cost subscription services mean the treatments are posted to you each month, meaning you’re less likely to forget too. Pets at Home for example, has a monthly tailored flea, tick and worm treatment from £4, delivered to your door for free. If you do need to make the gaps between treatment bigger, it’s worth noting that Citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary will all naturally repel fleas.


4. Bringing down food costs

Whatever pet food your four-legged friend likes to eat, there are usually savings to be made by buying in bulk. While you will need to pay a bit more upfront, retailers like Pets & Friends have bulk bargains that will save you money in the long run. Savoo often has a 25% exclusive discount for Pooch & Mutt, so it’s a good idea to see which promotions are available first.

Rather than adding it to your weekly shop, you can also try shopping around for the best deals. Sites like or can help you find the supermarkets with the lowest prices for the pet food you normally buy. It might mean an extra trip to the shops but if you can stockpile you only need to do it once in a while. The same rules apply to batch cooking if you prepare a fresh pet diet at home, with some good recipes available from the home cooking experts at Damn Delicious.


5. Team up with other pet owners and help each other out

Pet sitting when you go away can be expensive, as can hiring someone to walk the dog when you’re out all day. But by teaming up with other pet owners nearby you don’t have to pay for these services. Ask a fellow dog owner to walk your dog, or a cat lover to feed your cat while you’re away and return the favour next time they need a bit of help. BorrowMyDoggy is a useful tool to find local people that would love to spend some quality time with your furry friend for free

You can also take it one step further with a bigger pet sitting pool, increasing the number of people who can benefit from the group approach. Building a network of like minded owners can cut down on pet care costs, with daycare for dogs in particular being very costly. According to Admiral Insurance, the average cost of daycare services is a whopping £3,456 a year, so it really pays to look for alternatives in your local area.

If you do need to spend money on daycare or house sitting, sites like Rover are useful in finding cheap options in your area. Better still, you can get a year of free TrustedHousesitters membership with a ManyPets insurance policy.


Freelance personal financial journalist Rachel Lacey has written some other articles about how you can save money at the moment. You’ll also find plenty more articles written exclusively for the Savoo cost of living guide.