Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dragging economy affecting our pets

The economic slowdown (or actually I would say by now it's way more than that) are now even trickling down to our pets. Not a day goes buy when we don't read about pets left in abondened foreclosure homes and humane society shelters are crying the blues about their shelters filling up too quickly without having sufficient demand for the now homeless animals. For example, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer a local animal control officer in Campbell County has this year already been called five times to save cats and dogs from homes where the residents can't afford to keep their pets anymore because they are going through a home foreclosure. Officer Baker takes the pets to the county-run animal shelter. Most of the cases have involved cat or dog owners seeking help with finding a home for their animals, she said.
And as surveyed by the Dog Channel, pet "Owners to Cut Dog Luxuries in Financial Hardship".
The survey finds most dog owners would cut back on luxuries such as toys, clothes, and professional grooming. However, "Even in a recession or financial hardship, pet owners are more likely to curtail their monthly expenses (electronics, entertainment, clothing, groceries, household goods) than on care or supplies for their pets, according to a national survey conducted by public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard International Communications. Pet owners did say that they would cut back on pet luxuries if faced with financial constraints, such as toys, pet fashion, professional pet care such as day care and walkers, professional grooming and name brand pet food.
I sure hope they were totally wrong with the last mentioned cut back. Remember, though it seems sometimes as if such products are more expensive than others, you get what you pay for: Highest quality ingredients for a happy, healthy pet, which in turn will thank you with overall better health and lower vet bills.
How can you save on pet supplies? Here are some ideas: Think big, buy bulk rather than small units. For instance the price for dry food typically goes down drastically when purchased in the largest bag available. Example: Dry Dog Formula. When purchased in a small 5 lbs bag, price per pound is $1.70. If you order the 30 lbs bag, the price goes down to $1.22/lbs, that's almost 30% less.Remember that cheap isn't always the least expensive route. Most of the times cheap food requires increased feeding. There go your savings. High quality foods may seem more expensive but typically when looking at "how much to feed daily" numbers, they are not.Plan ahead: Don't wait 'til it's too late and you're out of food now requiring expedited delivery. Expedited and air delivery rates are up to 10-fold of ground shipping. Place your orders on automatic scheduled shipping, the store will remember that you need the food and make sure you have it in time at the lowest shipping rate available.Combine smaller orders into bigger ones. Based on UPS published retail rates it costs $6.13 to ship a package of 1lbs to our neighbor across the street. If shipping 5 lbs, the rate is $6.78, only 65 cents (+11%) more for 4 more pounds (+400%), or 1 pound shipped for $6.13 vs. a 5 pounds at a rate of $1.36/lbs.Raw food Tip 1: Buy freeze dried instead of frozen. You get exactly the same food at a fraction of weight resulting in shipping cost far less than the heavy frozen. For example a 25 lbs. case of frozen patties weighs freeze dried only 11 lbs not accounting the extra 5 lbs in ice packs and special packaging required for the frozen food. Plus, the special and expensive packaging is reflected in its price, i.e. approximately. $0.80/lbs+.Raw food Tip 2: Similar to "Think big" from above, when buying frozen utilize large quantity offers. You buy two cases for the packaging cost of one and fractionate shipping cost.Consider alternative solutions such as for example food mixes, dehydrated foods, which too are heavy items but the bags are longer lasting, or for example Wysong's UnCanny TNT processed canned food, where a 13 oz "can" only weighs 2 oz. or the See Spot Live Longer Homemade Dinner Mix (1.2oz/meal). In addition, these alternative foods most likely are way healthier than their old fashioned counter parts. Always shop for specials, which are offered all year round and sometimes let you save serious percentages on a particular product.Take advantage of promotional rebates and coupons or loyalty rewarding frequent buyer programs. Manufacturer rebates and promotions are additional ways to pick up a Dollar here and there.So regardless of the economy, you still can make sure your pet gets all the healthy nutrition it needs without you going broke. (Note: All savings tips apply to figures obtained at LizzysHealthyPetFood.com)


Gen said...

People who need help should also check out "Feeding Pets of the Homeless" they have a list of organziations that give pet food to those in need. www.petsofhomeless.org

The Pet Food Examiner said...

Great idea, I just hope the right people, i.e. those in need are getting your suggestion. Though, I am doubtful that they spend much time on the net. I would say the organization's idea requires a lot of leg work off the Internet. Right now we are tapped out with all resources, but I will look into this some more at a later point and see if we can come up with ideas to help.