3 Ways Pet Owners Can Get Ready for a Recession

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  • If the economy enters a recession, all aspects of your finances could be impacted.
  • Start thinking now about the kind of expenses you face as a pet owner.
  • It's worth stocking up on food and supplies when you get it at a discount, creating a vet care fund, and considering pet insurance.

Don't get caught off guard.

"Recession" seems to be the dirty word on everyone's lips these days, and some of the loudest voices are those of top economic authorities, so it's worth considering the possibility. We've all struggled with inflation this year, and despite aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in an attempt to make consumer borrowing more expensive, inflation hasn't come down as hoped. As we march forward into 2023, it's a good idea to consider all aspects of your financial life, and that includes the money you spend to take care of your pets.

I'm lucky to share my home with the three amazing cats I've adopted, and while they cost me money, they're worth it for all the love and joy they provide. I'm betting you love your pets just as much as I do, and as such, you should consider the potential impact on them if you lose your income due to a recession. Here are three things you can do to ensure you and your pets are in the best position possible to withstand an economic downturn.

1. Stock up on food and supplies on sale

There are a few excellent ways to save money on pet supplies. For example, Chewy offers free shipping over a certain dollar amount, allows for auto-deliveries of supplies you use often, and frequently puts different products on sale. Amazon is another great place to buy pet supplies, and you can also turn to your neighborhood pet supply store or one of the national chains that sell just about anything you might need for your pets.

In these uncertain times, it really pays to watch out for sales on the pet products you use often. Cat litter never goes bad, for example, so if I see that my preferred brand is on sale, I stock up. The same goes for cat food; it's very reassuring to have a reserve bag or two in my pantry.

2. Put aside money for vet care

This is a great time to pad your emergency fund as much as you can, both for your own needs as well as that of your pets. Many online high-yield savings accounts will allow account holders to create "buckets" within their accounts, to funnel money in for different costs and track how much you have saved in certain categories. I recommend creating a bucket for your veterinary care savings. If you're lucky, you won't have any extra expenses beyond what you normally pay for your pet's routine vet appointments and all that come with them (such as vaccines, flea treatments, and the like).

If you can afford to put aside more money to cover additional costs, that's all the better. But even having enough for a few routine vet visits for each pet (if you have more than one) can help give you peace of mind heading into an uncertain economic future. You might also consider shopping around with different vets if you know your pet will require an expensive non-emergency procedure or treatment soon.

3. Consider pet insurance

Finally, if you don't already have a pet insurance policy, now is a good time to consider signing up for one. While some policies offer routine care coverage, where pet insurance really shines is in reimbursing pet owners for unexpected veterinary costs. If your cat or dog gets sick or breaks a leg, pet insurance works by paying you back for a certain percentage of their medical costs, and some insurers will even pay your vet directly.

Since we don't know for sure if a recession is in the cards, don't panic about our economic future. But you'll sleep better at night knowing you've done all you can as a pet owner to be ready for anything the economy throws at you.

Our Research Expert

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