Are you a dog or cat lover? Do you love they way they greet you at the door with a wagging tail or wet kiss? We all know the rewards of owning a pet are endless! And while the rewards and love are endless, it seems as though the bills to take care of them can be endless too! But thankfully, there are many budget savvy ways to make sure pets get the best care possible while still staying on a budget.
If you own a pet but are looking to scale back on costs, take a peek at these 10 tips for caring for your pet for less! You will find that you can easily cut costs without cutting care or risking the health of your pet.
Ten Tips to Caring for Your Pet for Less:
1. Comparison shop! Shop for a veterinarian by comparing fees. Just like any business, costs amongst vets can vary. It never hurts to shop around. Also, ask if your vet offers a discount for paying cash instead of credit, or offers a discount for bringing in multiple pets. Many of them do but you have to request this discount.
2. Do your own basic care. For instance, brush your pet’s teeth regularly to reduce the number of vet dental-cleaning visits, which can run about $200. If you regularly brush your pet’s coat, you’ll reduce grooming costs, and your cats will have fewer hairballs. If your dog is prone to ear infections, ask your vet how to clean your dog’s ears. Simple and routine care such as these can reduce large bills in the future. These things are quite simple to do at home and for a lot less.
3. Get them fixed! Spay or neuter your pet. “Spayed and neutered pets have fewer health problems down the road,” my vet has said, pointing to prostate and ovarian cancer. Also, once neutered, they are also less likely to roam or run risking injury.
4. Get the low down on vaccinations. Ask your vet whether that annual vaccination is necessary. The American Animal Hospital Association changed its guidelines, recommending that “a number of the core vaccinations be done every three years,” instead of annually. Be smart and talk to your vet!
5. Don’t skimp on food brands. Don’t buy the cheapest food you can find. Higher-quality food helps keep your pet healthier since it is not filled with fillers which can lead to digestion and elimination issues. Even high end food such as Iams runs coupons in the Sunday paper regularly so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these money saving offers. You can also call companies and request coupons.
6. Take advantage of online pet pharmacies. Shop around on medications. Call your local pharmacy and look online for lower prices. Or you can call 1-800-petmeds to speak with a helpful pet tech who can find you the same medications your vet offers at a fraction of the price. Plus, you can’t beat free to your door delivery!
7. Be mindful of the time. Avoid emergency clinics when possible. At most emergency veterinary clinics, almost every procedure and medication and boarding fee is marked up. If it’s an emergency, go. But if it’s between 8 and 5 and your regular veterinarian is open, give a call and ask for advice.
8. Look for free clinics. Be advised of vaccination clinics in your area. In the case of all required vaccinations, ask about clinics offered at your local vet or shelters where vaccinations are given for free or at a discount price. Shelters especially like to offer these clinics, so be sure you are on their mailing lists to stay abreast of these events.
9. Use loyalty cards! At pet supplies stores such as PetSmart you will earn huge discounts and free products for your patronage. You will also be alerted of any upcoming specials, sales, workshops, classes, etc. Many groomers and even vets offer loyalty cards for multiple grooming services or even medication purchases resulting in future savings for you.
10. Cuddle with your furry pals! Last but not least, remember early detection is always key to not only a longer life for your pet but lower costs for any care that is needed. Stay in tune with your pet but cuddling with him and petting him frequently. This will not only lower your blood pressure, but will relax him, allowing you to feel and look for any health changes such as lumps or injury.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save on caring for your pet while still giving them everything they deserve. Even following just two or three of these tips can really save you in the long run, so give them a try!