Pet expert’s top 10 tips to cut dog ownership costs in half

Owners could save up to 25 percent on pet food per year if they were to feed their dog the correct amount while understanding their nutritional needs, according to the celebrity vet.

And when it comes to exercise, the more walks you take them on, the healthier they will be – resulting in less trips to the vets, meaning fewer bills to pay.

Other advice includes investing in technology like wearable pet devices, designed to nip worrisome symptoms in the bud – potentially saving owners up to £10,000 in unforeseen vet bills.

It comes after research, commissioned by Wisdom Panel in partnership with Whistle Health – the health tracking smart device for your pet – revealed the average dog owner will fork out a staggering £1,648 per year.

The poll of 2,000 adults with a canine found half are worried about how they will be able to afford their pet as they prepare for another challenging financial year.

Unexpected vet bills (62 percent), insurance (35 percent), and food (30 percent) are among the biggest concerns.

More than a third (35 percent) have been forced to change how they care for their pet, with 36 percent resorting to lower quality food.

ITV’s This Morning vet, Dr Scott Miller, said: “Vet bills can be hugely expensive, but there are many ways pet owners can keep these costs down – from the more obvious changes, such as food quantity and exercise, to keeping track of their health.

“The likes of track and test technology, including pet DNA kits and wearable pet devices, can get dog owners on the front foot by identifying common breed-related health risks early on, whilst tracking a dog’s behaviour for clues about ongoing issues.

“A simple wearable device will spot habits like excessive drinking – which could point to kidney disease and, if left untreated, could cost thousands to treat.

“Likewise, itching and scratching could indicate issues such as an allergy which, if caught early, would save the pet owner considerable money down the road.

“With frightening numbers of dogs being abandoned due to the rising cost of living, being proactive about pet care gets owners back in control and saves money.”

According to the OnePoll study, costs have risen by £77.40 for the average dog owner within the last 12 months.

Food (76 percent), vet bills (53 percent), and insurance (44 percent) are cited as the top things noticeably more expensive.

When it comes to veterinary care, 70 percent reckon it is “too expensive”, with nearly a fifth (19 percent) being caught out by it within the last six months.

It was revealed four in ten didn’t have the correct policy to cover the emergency care they needed – and a shocking 36 percent simply didn’t have any pet insurance.

Georgina Richardson, head of Wisdom Panel UK, said: “It’s a sign of the times that dog owners are concerned about the rising cost of living and what it means for pet care.

“The science packed into a simple DNA test allows your dog to speak for itself, so you can get to know them better and head off expensive vet bills at the pass.”

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