Petflation outpaces inflation in the U.S.

Tips for penny pinching pet care

6 minute read

A yorkie dog sitting in a shopping cart with red accents and shoppers in the background

Lately, inflation has been impacting every facet of consumer goods, and pet owners are feeling the punch when it comes to pet care prices. While overall inflation is cooling and we’re not seeing as many headlines about it, the costs for pet products continue to rise, making it more expensive to care for and raise fur babies. For example, in June 2023 the inflation rate for pet-related products and services increased 9.6%, compared to the general Consumer Price Index, which went up 3% from a year earlier.

Pet Business Professor John Gibbons, sums it up: “Petflation slowed from 10.3% in May to 9.6% in June. This is below the record 12.0% set in November, but it is a record for the month. More bad news is that 9 of the last 11 months have been over 10% and the current rate is still 6 times more than the 1.6% average rate from 2010>2021.” Pet Age coined in: Petflation. Since 2019, pet prices for pet-related products and services are up by a whopping 22%.

Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States, recently shared with CNN: “Nationwide, shelters are not seeing increases in pets being surrendered, however, when there are certain communities seeing spikes in abandoned or surrendered pets, that’s a sign of broader societal hardship.”

Stephanie Boone, Founder of Wondercide, shares her perspective: “Pets are an important part of the family, and the financial aspect of caring for our dogs and cats can become difficult during periods of inflation or economic uncertainty. Wondercide is there for your pack each step of the way. Keeping pets and their parents well cared for while lessening the stress on their wallet is top of mind always.”

Here are some tips to protect both pets and your bank account:

Consider Pet Insurance.

While using a high-yield savings account to cover future expenses is always an option, having enough money to cover unexpected accidents is never guaranteed. Pet insurance is an option to cut down on vet expenses, where a monthly or quarterly premium is paid for a certain amount of health coverage, which can include wellness visits, emergency care, and even operations depending on the insurer/policy. Most pet owners’ primary concern surrounding insurance is that they’ll pay more than they’ll save – however, research suggests otherwise. According to Pets Best, “4 out of 5 pets will have unexpected emergencies.” So pet owners could be strapped with the cost of pet surgeries, bloodwork, tests and more without insurance. Pet insurance can save when getting a new puppy, between neutering, shots, well visits and more. These savings can add up especially if you are a family with multiple pets. Potential Savings – $1,000-$5,000+ per year according to Forbes.

If you love something, Go Big!

If you love a pet product, buy in bulk for the best savings. Double down with neighbors or friends to share costs if you like, too. How can big sizes help you save? Here’s one example: Wondercide offers their best-selling Outdoor Pest Control spray in a gallon size, which can be used to refill their ready-to-use sprayer or any hose-end applicator. If you buy the gallon, you’ll save a whopping 50% versus purchasing the smallest 16 oz refill size.

Assuming a 5,000 sq ft backyard and calculating monthly use to maintain control over bugs in your yard, the gallon will last you 16 months. If you purchased the smallest size refill, you’d need to purchase 8 bottles versus the 1 gallon bottle (that’s a lot more plastic waste too!).

Bundle up.

Buying product bundles and kits is a smart idea. Not only do bundles offer up products that pair well together, they offer savings over buying the products individually. Take Wondercide’s Complete Control Flea & Tick Kit for pet parents. It has everything you need to keep your dog, cat, home, and yard protected from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. You’ll save 15% right off the bat purchasing the bundle. Wondercide even lets you save on already-discounted bundles when they have sales, so it’s a win-win.

Subscribe & save.

Buying more often comes with cost-saving benefits and ensures you always have what you need on hand. That just makes sense. You’re busier than ever and don’t have the luxury of time to shop – and you’re not alone. The average number of subscriptions was up 14% per subscriber in 2022 versus the prior year. Wondercide subscriptions will save you 5% everyday and that’s even on bundles, which are already 15% off the price of individual purchase. Stacking savings is twice as nice. Check out the subscription savings on Wondercide’s Insect Repellent for family, which repels ticks and mosquitoes or Fruit Fly Trap.

Follow the promo codes!

Whether shopping around for food, shampoo, training sessions, pest control, or other things you need for your pets, research to find the best deals before you buy. No time to search for sales or clip coupons? Set up a Google Search to call out your favorite brands' promos for you! Also, follow social media and brand specific channels for exclusive discounts offered to customers only to save even more. Cart extensions like Honey and RetailMeNot can help too. Another easy way to snag a coupon code: Sign up for emails or texts from your favorite brands. Wondercide offers a 10% off code and you get to stay informed about upcoming promotions so you can save ongoing.

Keep the bling without the sting.

Dogs get groomed frequently and need it more often when fleas and ticks are in the picture. Save yourself the headaches of an infestation by preventing the problem in the first place. With less concern about bugs on your pets’ skin and fur, you can spend less time (and money!) in defense mode. Use effective, plant-powered flea-and-tick products like this lineup from Wondercide to keep the bugs off your pets and a little extra bling in your wallet.

Collect rewards.

Don’t forget to sign up for rewards programs if they’re offered by retailers. For instance, Wondercide’s rewards program gives you points for every dollar you spend. Every $1 spent is 1 point and for every 20 points, you get $1 to spend on You even get points just for signing up and having a birthday so it’s easy to get enough points for nice discounts on future purchases which means more savings and dollars in your pocket.

Need a little more help?

Resources are available for pet parents that are overwhelmed with costs. There are pet pantries, veterinary emergency care help, pet re-housing, pet food help and more offered by organizations like the Humane Society. Also listed are links to independent programs that may offer assistance. Each non-profit has its own guidelines and specific focus area:

National Programs:

State Programs:

“We have plenty of other things to worry about and pet products shouldn’t be on that list. I created Wondercide to protect pets and their families” Boone explains. “Since 2009, Wondercide has only raised prices once on select products. Many products are the same price today as they were fourteen years ago!”

As prices for everything else are soaring, Wondercide is happy to offer value in many ways to help combat petflation.