Being a pet owner is one of life’s greatest joys. Coming home to a cute creature that loves you unconditionally never gets old.
But what can get frustrating quickly is the expenses, from food and training, to medicine. Use these easy tips to save money on some of the most costly aspects of being a pet owner.
1. Order your pet food online.
Pet food is an item you do not want to skimp on. Cheap food is packed with fillers of animal parts and corn.
While you do not need to spend tons of money, do a little research and try to buy a brand with minimal fillers. Your local pet food store may have steep prices for these nicer foods.
You can save money by ordering it online from a website like Amazon.com or Wag.com. Order in bulk to save even more.
2. Leave your pet with a friend.
I used to spend a lot of money on boarding because I hated asking friends to watch my dog whenever I would go on vacation. Then I met a friend who had always wanted a dog but was not ready for the commitment.
She agreed to be my go-to gal. To be courteous, I gave her a stipend as a thank you, but she was happy to stay in my house and take care of my pup.
If you can, find a friend who’s an animal lover but does not own pets. He or she may be more than happy to take your animal off your hands for a few days.
Another great option is to find another friend with a pet and do a free trade whenever one of you has to leave town. When you travel, they watch your dog or cat. When they travel, you watch theirs.
Your animals get the benefit of staying in a comfortable home environment – everybody wins!
“One way to save money is to
get a wellness plan for your pet.”
3. Use online pharmacies.
While you can buy flea medicine for your dog or cat at the vet, it can be costly, as much as $20 per monthly dose.
To save money, use an online pharmacy. For example, try 1800PetMeds.com. They offer flea medicine and heart worm medicine at greatly discounted prices.
You still need a prescription, which you’ll have to ask your vet to fax or call in. Note that some vets are not willing to do this but many are.
4. Save on vet visits.
While occasional routine vet appointments will not break the bank, blood work, vaccines, dental cleanings and emergencies get expensive quickly.
I use the plan from Banfield, PetSmart’s in-house vet clinic. I pay a monthly fee of around $30 for my dog, which covers unlimited vet visits, all annual vaccines, twice-a-year comprehensive exams with blood work, an annual dental cleaning and a discount on all other procedures.
By using a pet wellness plan, I am saving so much money compared to the old days when I paid individually for each service at the time.
A plan like this spreads the cost out over time and can make owning a pet more affordable. Some businesses also offer pet insurance, but that is different. It is bought in case your dog ends up with a disease like cancer that requires expensive treatment.
You may want to consider this too, as treating a terminal disease can cost thousands of dollars.
5. Train your dog on your own.
Some animals have severe behavior problems that are best dealt with by seeing an experienced trainer in person.
But if you have a new pet that needs basic training or you just want to teach your dog, cat or other creature some new tricks, you can do without the expensive trainer. Just visit YouTube for thousands of free videos on how to train your pets.
You can also try visiting your local library to borrow books on training. Many animal trainers also have websites with free tips.
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