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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Pets cost money, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, our pets do not only live on air and our unconditional love. You should bear this fact in mind if you are planning to adopt a pet. How much does a dog/cat cost? There are certain things you can’t afford to skimp on. However, there are ways to keep an eye on the running costs or to reduce them. Here you will find saving tips for pets. 

Where savings are pointless.

It would be obvious to want to save on things that affect the daily living needs of dogs and cats, such as food. In the meantime, there is a huge range of food to choose from. From high-quality food brands, which are correspondingly more expensive, to less high-quality food, which is comparatively much cheaper.  

Now you might think that it is logical to simply switch to a cheaper food, but this is the crux of the matter. Saving on the quality of food (and snacks) can have a negative effect on the health of your beloved four-legged friend.

Important: Expensive food does not automatically have to be of the right quality and meet the dog’s needs. You can find out what makes a good food in the following article: Quality Food.

The negative effects of low-quality ready-made food on health have been documented and scientifically proven in many places. This means that pets get sick faster and more often. The health problems require veterinary treatment, which in turn can cost an enormous amount of money.

In general, it makes no sense to save on quality. On the contrary, it is usually much more lucrative to invest once in a high-quality product that will last a long time than to go for the somewhat cheaper alternative that quickly breaks down and has to be replaced. 

Saving tips for pets: 

1. Homemade treats

We have now realised that it is pointless to save money on food. But what about treats? They cost a lot of money in the long run. There is definitely potential for saving money here. 

How about picking up the wooden spoon and making treats for your pet yourself? This not only has the advantage that the treats are cheaper, but you can also be 100 % sure which ingredients have been used. 

There are now books on the subject and baking utensils (such as baking pans) that make it easy to bake these little snacks. Your darling and your wallet would certainly be delighted. Here are some biscuit recipes.

2. Taking out pet health insurance

Unfortunately, dogs and cats are not immune to injuries and illnesses. A visit to a veterinary clinic or similar is sometimes unavoidable. Not a cheap affair, as most pet owners know. It is especially expensive when your pet needs certain treatments/surgeries or has to take medication for a long time. This can take on enormous proportions.  

Here, a pet health insurance can cushion the high costs of an illness/injury. There are different models, with or without a deductible, with or without cost coverage for annual vaccinations, etc. The amount of the insurance premium depends on the type of animal, the size, the age and the general state of health. Accordingly, it is recommended to insure the animal when it is very young and healthy.

Liability insurance for pets cushions the costs of any damage (to life and property) to third parties. 

Good to know: If you have household insurance, check with your insurance company whether your dog is automatically covered. However, this only applies to liability insurance; health insurance usually has to be taken out separately. 

3. Priority for animal shelters

Adopt don’t shop! This is the slogan many animal shelters use to advertise for their charges. Adopting a dog or cat from a shelter has so many advantages and costs much less than buying a pedigree animal from a breeder.  

Attention: Watch out when buying a pet! Animals from the so called puppy mafia or dubious sources may save you money when you buy them, but these animals are usually very sick and/or have behavioural problems, which will cost you a lot of money for vets and trainers. 

4. Homemade toys

If you have ever looked for toys and accessories for your pet, you know how much money you can spend on them. 

One way to save money is to make your own toys for dogs and cats. There are no limits to your imagination and you can also save a lot of “waste”.  Who knows it? The cat has more fun with the box than with the expensively purchased contents?

You can find ideas for a homemade toy in the following article: Self-made dogtoys/cattoys.

5. Use promotions

Often there are promotions on food, toys, etc. Likewise, many online shops offer discounts on the first order or when you sign up for their newsletter. Quantity discounts can also help you save money, as sets are often cheaper than individual items. 

6. Caring for your pets yourself

Pets need regular personal hygiene. This includes grooming, trimming their claws, cleaning their ears, teeth and much more. Infps for caring dogs/cats.

Of course, it is also obvious to visit a reputable dog salon that will take care of the above mentioned tasks and make your pet beautiful from head to toe. 

If you, as the owner, take care of all these things, you will understandably save a lot of money.

A positive side effect: The human-animal relationship is strengthened. With the right exercise, you also save your pet a lot of stress and he can even enjoy the home care.  

7. Save on dog tax

As a rule, you have to pay annual dog tax in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; keeping cats is free of charge. However, there are also reasons for exemption or reduction. It is definitely worthwhile to do some research, maybe you have a chance to get a reduction of the tax obligation?  

For example, in Austria and Germany you do not have to pay dog tax for assistance dogs. If you have a low income, this circumstance will also be taken into account. The list of possible reasons for a fee exemption or reduction is of course longer, check with the respective magistrate. 

8. Reduce pet sitter expenses

Finding a reputable and reliable pet sitter is worth its weight in gold, but it is also quite expensive in the long run. This raises the question of whether you could possibly save money here too. 

Of course, there is potential for savings here too. Some people might advise you not to use such services, but for many dog and cat owners it is simply not possible for a variety of reasons. 

You may find someone in your circle of friends or acquaintances who is willing to do it for free (or much cheaper) from time to time. There may also be people in your neighbourhood who would be happy to keep you company or give you a job. 

Another way to save money on pet sitting is to include your pet in your next holiday planning. There are so many wonderful options for a holiday with your dog. You can also plan a holiday together with (some) cats.

9. Act in time – reduce veterinary costs

Is your pet ill or do you notice something about his behaviour? Then it’s better to talk to an expert quickly. Waiting too long or even trying to treat your pet yourself can cost a lot more money because your pet’s condition will get worse and you will have to pay more for the treatment. In addition, it is not fair to your pet to let it suffer in order to possibly save money. 

Certified pet trainers can also help with day-to-day problems before a behaviour creeps in that is not so easy to get rid of later. 

10.  Keep an eye on your costs

You can save invoices in your TOBALIE pet profile. This gives you an overview of your expenses and you can immediately see where savings could be made.



Keeping dogs and cats costs money. Fortunately, there are a few things you can keep in mind as an owner of a four-legged friend in order to keep an eye on current expenses or to reduce them with the savings tips for pets. However, you should never save money on the health of your pet.