How to Deal with Petflation

| Christy Caplan CVT

Pet care costs are on the rise. Here are 5 ways to save money & ensure your pet's health and happiness are still a priority, despite rising vet, food, and toy costs.


Pets are known for bringing love and comfort to their human families, but during challenging economic times, rising pet-care costs are taking a bit of the fun out of pet ownership. According to a Rover survey, “71% of dog parents claim they’ve noticed increasing pet-related costs due to inflation.” Another 73% are concerned about how much these costs will continue to rise.

With inflation impacting prices across the country, pet owners can expect to spend more on all kinds of pet products and services – from food, treats, and toys to regular vet care.

Experts at say the painful reality of inflation not only affects the quality and type of pet food people can afford to buy, but also their ability to continue caring for their pets. Rising housing costs are even causing pet owners to explore alternatives like subsidized pet care.

Pet Segments Affected by Petflation

A price increase in vet care remains in place in 2022, even after the pandemic. With higher prices, clinics are seeing a decrease in the frequency of overall vet visits. Despite the decline in day-to-day veterinary care, owners are still splurging on their pet’s favorite food brands, which led to record spending this past February.

Here’s how each type of pet care cost has been affected by “petflation”:


The pet food segment continues to be resilient despite rising costs. Pet owners are prioritizing food, buying the same brands, and aren't planning to switch to a cheaper option. In some cases, they're even sacrificing what they eat themselves to preserve their pet's dietary routine.

Pet Supplies

Prices reached an all-time high for products like leashes, collars, and dog beds in January 2022, and there’s no end to rising costs in sight.

Vet Care

Vet care costs were high during the pandemic, with curbside appointments leading the way as the new normal. In March 2020, prices began rising and increased through the rest of 2021. A pricing surge started in December as a response to a decline in regular visits.

5 Ways to Manage Rising Costs Due to Petflation

In November 2021, 14% of survey respondents in a Purina study said that COVID-19 led to them getting a new pet. With all these new family members, saving on pet costs is more critical than ever.

Here are five ways to save:  

1.DIY Treats

Making dog and cat treats saves money and provides an opportunity to sneak superfoods into your pet’s diet. Superfoods for dogs and cats include pumpkin, berries, eggs, and lean proteins. Here are three great recipes when budgets are tight:

2. Dog Toy Arts & Crafts

Pet owners don’t need to spend vast amounts on toys for their pets. It’s way more fun to find a DIY pet toy project on websites like 37 Homemade Dog Toys Made by DIY Pet Owners, and you could even create something far more engaging and exciting for your pet than a run-of-the-mill squeak toy.

3. Homemade Food

Making your own pet food is easy, and human-grade ingredients don’t have to be expensive. You can make your food specific to your pet's health conditions and food preferences. Check out this article for6 Recipes to Cook for Your Pet.

Also, here are 5 great ways to save when shopping for a pet:

  • Buy meat or other food in bulk

  • Buy veggies in season

  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat

  • Shop at club stores or lower-cost grocery stores

  • Join a food co-op with other pet owners

4. Local Shelters

Diversion Programs at animal shelters help families by providing pet-friendly housing and preventing homelessness. If you’re a pet owner in need, many shelters provide pet food, vet care, or pet-friendly housing. Check with your local shelter for more details.

5. Get Pet Insurance

With pet care prices steadily rising, it’s always best to budget for the unexpected. Pet insurance offered by AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) can help you ensure your pet continues to get the best veterinary care and that you have peace of mind in case of an emergency. Click here to get a quote today.

Christy Caplan CVT

Christy is a writer, editor, blogger, chicken keeper, and storyteller. She uses her knowledge as a certified veterinary technician to inform animal lovers on health and wellness topics. Christy's Standard Dachshund and Beagle mix are the inspiration behind her writing portfolio and essays.


Related Articles

View All