Top Ten Tips
to Save on Pet Care

by Gary Le Mon

Dog with money

Discover our top ten tips to save on pet care.

Since we pet lovers want to provide the very best care for our animal companions, expenses often end up being more than anticipated.

Thankfully, there are smart ways to cut the cost of your pet’s upkeep without sacrificing health or happiness.

1. Think about cost before you choose a pet. If you are still at the stage of trying to pick out a new pet, you may want to make cost an important element of your decision making process. For example, larger dogs typically cost more money than average sized cats or small dogs. The biggest dog breeds need a lot more food and much larger beds.

However, size is not the only thing worth considering. Some pet breeds are more prone to chronic illnesses or genetic defects that lead to frequent vet trips and a need for medical treatments. For example, Ragdoll cats have a predisposition to develop cardiomyopathy which can eventually lead to heart failure or dangerous blood clots. Do your research, and try to pick a pet that has a reputation for having robust physical health.

2. Consider rescuing an animal. Buying a pet from a breeder allows you to obtain information about an animal’s genetic lineage, which may help to guard against health problems. However, rescuing an unwanted animal from a shelter or rescue center is a loving, worthwhile thing to do and can end up saving you a substantial amount of money. Some rescue organizations only ask you to donate what you can afford. Sometimes the price of the pet will include the price of spaying or neutering.

3. Make pet toys at home. You may be surprised by the hours of joy that a cat or dog can get from very simple household items. For example, pet owners often complain that their cat shuns an elaborate new scratching tower in favor of the cardboard box!

Instead of emptying your wallet at the pet store, use your imagination to create fun, safe sources of entertainment. Old t-shirts can be turned into knotted tug-toys for energetic dogs, while many cats will happily chase a plastic bottle top across a wooden floor.

4. Practice preventative healthcare. You can guard against certain medical problems throughout your pet's lifetime by planning proper nutrition. Food becomes more functional when supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals. And to assure a completely nutritious diet, more and more holistic vets are recommending daily herbs for cats and dogs to protect your pet from a wide range of dangerous and costly diseases.

In addition, neutered or spayed pets are not as susceptible to certain health problems. Female cats are less likely to develop mammary tumors. Male dogs have a reduced risk of testicular cancer. This one surgical procedure is far cheaper (and less traumatic) than what you can expect to endure if your pet develops a serious health problem.

5. Another of our top ten tips to save on pet care is to research different vets. Before you choose a vet for your pet, it is worth spending some time researching the local options and trying to find a place that will be less expensive.

In addition, if you have already chosen a vet and feel that the bills are unreasonably high, it is never too late to change to a new one. But it is not wise to choose the cheapest option without reading reviews. Always choose a vet with a good reputation if you want to make sure that your furry friend will be in good hands.

6. Buy secondhand pet supplies. You can find all kinds of useful items on online auction sites and pages that allow people to post classified advertisements. Explore Craigslist and eBay in order to find leashes, collars, toys and pet beds that are now unwanted. These items tend to be a lot cheaper when bought secondhand.

7. Next in our top ten tips to save on pet care is to consider buying pet insurance. If you get pet insurance for your beloved animal you will be able to relax in the knowledge that almost any medical treatment can be made available if needed. This measure may save vast sums of money in the event of an accident or a sudden health emergency. Some insurance policies even include annual health screenings.

It is important to note that most do not cover congenital defects. You should always read the small print before selecting a pet insurance policy.

8. Look for free boarding options. If you have reliable friends and family members, try to convince one or more of them to take care of your animal if you need to travel without your pet. Many pet boarding facilities charge exorbitant prices for very basic care, and your pet will be much happier staying in the familiar surroundings of a loved one’s home.

9. Watch for healthcare promotions. Sometimes you will find that vets or animal shelters spend a few weeks promoting certain forms of healthcare by offering them for lower prices. Some months spaying or neutering procedures will be less expensive. This can end up saving you a lot of money.

10. Last of our top ten tips to save on pet care is to have symptoms investigated early. It’s best for your pet and your financial situation if you seek medical advice any time you are worried about your pet’s health.

For example, if your dog has been coughing a lot or you have noticed an increase in your cat’s drinking, a timely visit to the vet may yield quick and effective treatments. On the other hand, if you wait until symptoms progress, you will be risking your pet’s health and your bank balance at the same time.



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