In addition to the supermarket, school, fair, gasoline and prices in general, spending on pets also entered the list of items that have experienced significant increases over the past year, considered the second pandemic.
The extra weight in the pocket has prompted teachers to seek solutions to maintain the standard of pet care.
In partnership with her boyfriend, with whom she lives in São Paulo, Girrana Rodrigues Teixeira is the teacher of kittens Cecília, aged 13; Chico Buarque, 8, and Joao Gilberto, 4. As if high prices for food, bags and sanitary litter were not enough, the felines in the house fell ill during the epidemic, and therefore began to consume special – more expensive – food and medicine, which added to the burden on the family budget.
It was 2019 when the teacher started noticing some price increases for pet products.
In one month they increased by 10 BRL, in the other month they increased 10 dollars and then after that bubble I even noticed in the epidemic. Prices have gone up a lot.”
Prior to this, the expenses for food, bags and litter for the three cats did not exceed R$140.
“A bag of common luxury food eaten by a healthy cat cost R$110 in 2018. Today, the same package went for R$160. A bag that was R$1.60 went for R$3 and a previously unused snack amounted to R$4.50. The average price today is $7. The difference is very big,” says Jerana.
She also says the values had more weight because kidney and digestive issues were diagnosed in two of the three cats, who started consuming special rations. Whereas a 10-kilo package of common pet food started costing R$160 at the height of inflation, the family pays R$270 for 4 kg of food specific to the kittens’ needs.
The switch to more expensive feed during this period was messy. I hit in a ridiculous way,” says the teacher.
One way to save money, at least with cat medicine, was to choose compounding pharmacies to make the medicines. Cecília the cat constantly uses medication that costs the family R$90 for 20 days, a value that drops to R$60 with the same drug tampered with for three months.
What made products more expensive
The absurdity the feline teacher refers to is not just consumer perception. During 2021, Betz says, the chain suffered from inflation that, on average, reached 18% of the products sold in its units.
Final prices were affected by factors such as pressure caused by raw material and packaging prices, increased international freight and raw material prices, which mainly affect pet food.
The impact on the budget was so great that teacher Ghislaine Oneida thought about changing Arthur’s system, a 14-year-old Pinscher, Velvet and Thor, both 4- and 2-year-olds from SRD.
Before the price hike, the owner spent an average of R$220 on a package of superfood, a value of R$290 today.
Not having the courage to change the puppies’ habits, she discovered the discounts offered in pet food subscription programs online and the package was reduced to R$180.
According to Petz, most customers do not exchange products due to the difficulty of adapting pets to less valuable food.
According to Allen Pena, Vice President of Finance and New Business at Grupo Petz, to reduce the impact of the increase in food prices, teachers have reduced their purchases in “non-essential” categories such as accessories and toys.
Gislaine confirms the statements of the pet store chain and says that it has stopped buying other things not only for animals, but for itself with the intention of keeping food and snacks for Arthur, Velvet and Thor.
More tips to save
Creating an account plan and, from a list of everything to buy in the month, researching discounts and subscription programs are some of the experts’ recommendations at a time when prices have skyrocketed and salaries haven’t kept pace with growth.
Buying feed in bulk is also a good option to save money. Relatively speaking, the larger the packaging, the cheaper the product. In dry rations, for example, it is useful to calculate the value per kilogram. The difference in price per kilogram of the same ration of 1 kg and 10 kg can be more than 40%.
In this scenario, it is only necessary to be careful when storing servings to maintain quality – preferably inside the packaging itself, always well closed and at room temperature.
For higher-priced products, such as anti-flea products, for example, the savings on choosing a long-lasting product can be anywhere from 20% to 70% off compared to a short-term discount.
“It’s worth understanding some of the properties of all kinds and ways to use them. When in doubt, consult a veterinarian,” recommends Rodrigo Neumann, director of digital commerce at Cubase.