Having multiple 4 legged creatures living in our home is great, but paying to feed, “clothe” and care for their multiple health issues can definitely take it’s toll on our budget.
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Here are some ways you can save money on pet care.
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5 Ways to Save Money on Pet Care
1. Be PROactive, instead of REactive.
This means take the necessary steps to ensure you keep your furry friend healthy now. This includes always making sure they get the recommended yearly vaccinations on time, keeping them on monthly flea/tick and heartworm preventions YEAR ROUND, scheduling that dental cleaning your vet keeps recommending, and checking yearly lab values on your pet. All of these things can help prevent harmful diseases from taking their toll on your beloved friend. Things like dental disease, heartworm disease and intestinal parasites can all be very easily prevented by keeping up on your pets care.
I know to some people this may sound like I’m telling you to SPEND money rather than SAVE money, but by doing these things you are helping to prevent the risk of having very expensive procedures and treatments in the future for diseases you can help prevent now. As a vet tech, I have seen first hand so many pets that come in with an illness that could have been prevented and therefore save their owners the grief and dollars.
2. Do your own grooming/bathing
This is a department you can easily save money on if you are constantly taking your pet to be groomed. If you are physically able, BATHE YOUR DOG AT HOME! There are attachments you can buy to hook onto your bathtubs faucet like this one that makes it easier to do. You will also want to buy dog shampoo and conditioner. Human shampoos can dry out your pet’s sensitive skin.
You can also give your pet a hair cut at home. While it may seem daunting at first, once you have some practice you can easily do this yourself. And if it doesn’t turn out perfect, who really cares? Unless you have a show dog, no one will judge your furry critter’s haircut. And if they do, your four legged companion won’t care one bit!
While I don’t have a dog that I have to give haircuts to, I DO have a very long haired cat who has to be shaved twice a year. I used to pay someone to do it, but one day I decided I could probably learn to do it myself. Sure enough, he was pretty tolerable and now I am the only one who gives him a haircut.
You’ll have to invest in a good set of clippers, but if you are serious about learning to do it yourself, then they are definitely worth it! Depending on grooming prices in your area, doing 2-3 sessions at home will probably pay for the supplies alone.
Even cutting back and doing the bathing or grooming at home every other time will save you money. Think about it, at $40+ per session, going every 4-6 weeks, that can easily add up to over $500/year!
3. Ask for a written prescription for common drugs
If your 4 legged friend does happen to get sick and needs antibiotics or another common medication, or will be on a certain medication for life, ask for a written prescription from your vet. With the rising costs of medications, your vet will understand your need to save money and should easily oblige. With a written prescription, you can call around and price shop. Find out where you can save the most money.
**Please be careful when purchasing heartworm or flea preventions online though. While there are some very reputable places to buy from, a lot of places get their supplies illegally. Most manufacturers have a guarantee on their products (like heartworm prevention) and if it fails they will pay for treatments. But, if you buy from an unreputable place, those manufacturers will not guarantee the product.
4. Ask about referral programs at your vet
A lot of veterinary practices, including the one I work at, have some sort of referral program. If you refer friends or family members to your clinic and they become a new client, a lot of clinics will give you some sort of credit or discount on your account. These shouldn’t expire so save it for when you come in next, or need more heartworm medication.
5. Shop the sales and use coupons
This is an easy way you can save money on pet food and supplies. Sign up for the pet store’s weekly ad emails so you can stay on top of what they have on sale each week. Also keep a look out for coupons for your favorites brands. You can even write the manufacturers telling them how much your pet loves their product and some will send you coupons! If I know I’m running low on dog food I start searching for sales and coupons.
Having pets can definitely become expensive, so putting these tips into action can help cut down on the amount of money you spend annually.
What are some other ways you save money on pet care?