I don't know about how this recession/economic slow down has effected all of you, but we are in a business that is tied to the housing industry. As you know housing has had a total melt down. We find our budget is very tight and are looking for ways to cut back expenses. So far I have cut back on what we eat,but haven't cut back on what we provide for the dogs. They still eat premium food and provided with necessary health care when needed, though I'm not as quick to run to the Vet when one of them throws up or needs an ear cleaning. I have been cutting coupons for cat food now and buying my dog's thyroid and pain meds from 1800 PetMeds which is way less expensive than buying them from the Vet's.
Have any of you been forced to cut back? Any good tips for people who may have to in the future? I know here in AZ dogs and cats are being dropped at shelters or being abandon by people who can't afford them or are loosing their homes. How far is anyone willing to cut back? I guess I'm lucky in the aspect that I don't have any children to figure into the equation.
I sympathize with you, as I am sure most everyone here can. A couple of suggestions that may or may not be useful...
Pet insurance...if you have pretty regular vet expenses and meds, maybe this could save you a little bit-depends on what you are already spending
Food-shop around-there are alot of good foods out there, and I have only recently discovered they aren't all that expensive. Example-I previously was feeding Science Diet (yeah, it is crap, I know, but I didnt know that then) paid $37 for a 25 pound bag. This would last Tim and Sophie about 3 weeks. I tried a few organic foods, but they got really pricey-then I did Maximmum Nutrition from WalMart, which is a good, not fabulous food-and that took two large bags a month-about $30. After much searching, I discovered a feed store in our area that actually carried a wide variety of different quality foods-and am now feeding Canidae-I pay $22 for a 20 lb bag-and it lasts an ENTIRE month, as they dont eat near as much of it. Obviously, costs vary depending on where you are, but if you do some checking, you might find a better deal on what you already feed, or a better or comparable food that costs less. I know some people get their food online at a discount-though I cant give any specific places to recommend, just that they are out there. maybe others know for sure.
As for cutting costs in general, not just pet related-coupons and Ebay. several coupon websites online let you orde specific coupons for what you use-it takes effort and planning, but I usually can save as much as $50 on a single grocery shopping trip. Ebay is where I get 75% of our other needs-clothes, shoes, toys, my bath & body works potions, books-even both of our vehicles! Before I buy retail, unless it is something I need RIGHT NOW, I check there first. Chances are, I can find it for WAY less.
Anyway, hope maybe some of these things can help you out. With gas and milk both over $3 a gallon, we are all in the same boat!
We all feel the pain, I to am lucky I don't have human childern to provide for. My husband has a daughter, but she lives with her grandparents in NY. My mom is doing a terrific job of spoiling her lol. I personally have not cut back anything for my canine childern. They eat better then we do I think. I have cut back on my breeding though. I want to make sure every puppy gets a good home with someone that can afford them. My husband drives an 18wheeler, so business is still pretty good for him. I am a dog groomer in a wealthy area, so business isn't to bad for me yet either. We just don't do alot of the things we did. We call all hope for things to get better soon.
I have to agree with moenmitz about the concept of pet insurance. Despite tough economic times, now is a time to take a hard look at purchasing a policy. Especially when you consider most pet owners care so much about their pets and would do nearly anything to help them.
When you consider the cost of a good pet insurance policy versus what it protects you from financially, it can be a huge benefit. It is important to read and understand the policy you are buying (as you would any insurance policy) to make sure the coverage you are purchasing is what you want.
The last thing you want is to find out, after you need it, is your pet insurance plan is deficient in coverage. Some pet plans cost less than most people spend on a cell phone or cable TV. When you think about what pet insurance can protect you from, the investment could be worth it.
pitpat, I know how you feel. My husband works for commercial construction and so far he is ok, but I don't know for how long. I am a full time student and can only work weekends at a assisted living. We still feed our dogs premium food but ourselves are shopping at Aldis(a discount grocery store) and living like paupers pretty much. We found a place that sells our dog food for a few bucks cheaper, i guess every penny counts.
It's hard to take care of your animals when you don't even have enough money to buy groceries. I was unemployed from Early Janurary until March 17. I was layed off the day before I closed on our house (hubby and me). That same week we found a stray dog with 9 of her pups. We already had one dog and 4 cats. Lets just say we had to really count our pennies. We ended up feeding our dogs the cheapest thing we could find until we could afford better. Happily I found employment and we switched all of our dogs to Diamond dog food. What a switch from Ol'roy.
hi PitPat. I know how you feel as well. My husband was laid off 2mos. ago and within the same week, my Aussie swallowed a plastic bottle cap that ended up costing me $700 in vet bills. If it wasn't for my mother helping us, I don't know what we would have done. So far, we have been VERY blessed as it took my husband only 3 weeks to start picking up freelance jobs, but we have cut back on a few things in our lives and our for our pets as well. We stopped doing daycamp every week and haven't bought toys/rawhides in awhile. The pets aren't really where we could cut the "fat" out of our spending, so we instead haven't been renting movies, buying new things, eating out as much- spent the tax return on bills and food for the pantry. It's different, but hasn't been bad yet. I am so grateful for the way our family and friends have rallied around us and for my husband's determination in finding free lance. It's scary but I believe we'll come out ok. You aren't alone though!!
Indifference turns clarity into denial. ~Quan Tracy Cherry