How to Save Money on Pet Care

Like our children, we give our pets our hearts, our time, and ... our money. In fact, lots of money. In 2014, American pet parents spent $64.2 billion dollars on their furry friends.

For many of us our pets are priceless, and we enjoy spoiling them with toys and treats, however, no one can pass up the opportunity to save some money. Below are suggestions to help you save money on pet care

I am sure you have heard about how many people have had to give up their pets because they could no longer afford them. It has been a heartbreaking reality for many Americans, but it might not be as hopeless as it seems. You might be surprised at the many ways that you can reduce the cost of caring for your pet.

Shelter and Animal Rescue Groups

Adopt a pet from the Shelter or Rescue Group. Pets are significantly less expensive than a pet from a private breeder. You may be purchasing your pet from a "puppy mill" where the dog or cat has been in a cage for its entire life. Many have health & behavior issues.

Shelter and Rescue animals are typically spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and licensed before adoption, reducing some initial pet costs. Also, some people feel that mixed breed pets are healthier than purebred pets, possibly reducing future vet costs. For a list of Shelters and Rescue Groups click here.

Health Care

Do NOT go "cheap" on health care. Proper, quality health care is essential to the well-being of your pet. Find a reputable veterinarian, take his or her advice, and practice preventative care, and you will safely save money in the long term on pet health care. 

Ask your veterinarian to show you how to do some of the routine pet care procedures, such as trimming nails and brushing teeth. Regularly performing these maintenance procedures will reduce your trips to the vet clinic.

Consider Pet Insurance 

For a small, worthwhile, monthly fee, pet health insurance can cover the cost of preventative medicine and the treatment of illness and injury. In just 60 seconds you can request a quote and help a homeless pet with your "click". You can also find out how Healthy Paws is beneficial for your pet and you, by providing them with pet insurance that is very affordable.


For major health problems, consider taking your pet to a teaching hospital / veterinary college. Often costs are not as extreme in these facilities, because patients are in high demand to teach students. These hospitals also utilize state-of-the-art procedures and medicines, which may be experimental and less expensive.

Spay and Neuter

Spaying and neutering will reduce or prevent your pet from straying from your home; reducing injuries such as cat and dog fight wounds, infectious diseases, and unwanted pregnancies. Spaying and neutering also reduces the risk of some cancers and infections.

To read more about all the health benefits for your pet  (besides the obvious) click here.

Accessories

Your pet truly does not care about the brand or cuteness of his toys. Be creative. Cats love to play with rolled up pieces of paper, plastic rings off milk cartons, pens, and dogs love to play catch, tug of war, and the list goes on. Before paying big bucks, evaluate why you are buying extras, such as fancy beds. Does your pet really care if the bed is cashmere?

Food
Food is another category where it does not pay to go "cheap". Generic or low-quality foods do not provide the nutrients your pet needs, which may lead to future expensive health problems. Your pet will eat a smaller amount of a high quality food than a lower quality food, again reducing costs. Read the shocking ingredients in pet foods and the dangers it poses on your pets.

Take Classes

The Red Cross offers pet first aid courses. Sign up for these classes, learn how to administer first aid to help your pet through times of minor injury, and save on vet bills.

Take a grooming class, or read a how-to book about grooming to save costs on maintaining your long haired cats (and prevent hairballs) and also prevent matting on your pets by brushing and combing, which is also a great bonding experience for you both.


Look for Deals

Shop for pet supplies through wholesale catalogs. This will save you the middle-man mark up of pet stores.

Your veterinarian and other pet businesses may have specials during pet awareness periods.

February is National Pet Dental Month, the second week of May is National Pet Week, and October is National Pet Wellness Month.

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