7 Ways to Save Money on Pets

May 28, 2012

Pet food, vaccinations, and medical care all add up quickly. In today’s tough economy, people are cutting their budgets in any way they can. Here are some tips that will help you keep your pet in good health while saving money.

1. Pet food. You may be tempted to feed your dog (or cat) top dollar food, but that isn’t always necessary. You don’t want to feed them the cheapest food (it’s just stuffed with fillers liked corn which means they’ll need to eat more), but you also don’t want to spend $80 on a bag of food that you will, literally, be scooping up later. Going middle-of-the-road on pet food is usually best, so check out all of your options. When switching your pet’s food, allow 7-10 days for the transfer. Start off by giving 3/4 of the old food and 1/4 of the new food, then 1/2 and 1/2, then 1/4 and 3/4.

2. Feeding time. Don’t overfeed your animal. While many will eat until they’re stuffed, it’s not good to feed them too much. You want your pet to be healthy and active, so follow your vet’s recommendations on how much to feed them. If you aren’t sure, you can always check the back of the food package.

3. Socialization. Dog parks can cost upwards of $50 a year for membership. Instead of paying a fee for your dog to socialize, try finding other dog owners in your area that are willing to swap yards with you! What I mean by that is, one week you take Fido to Sally’s house to play with Ginger, and the next week Sally brings Ginger to your house to play with Fido. If you both have large yards, this will work out perfectly. If not, consider finding a park that is free. It may be off the beaten path, but if you visit the park regularly it may be worth it.

4. Training. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a private trainer, check out pet store chains like PetSmart and PetCo. They offer obedience training classes that are very affordable.

5. Vet bills. Start a pet savings account if you aren’t going to carry health insurance on them. Vet bills can be thousands of dollars, easily, if something is wrong with your furbaby. A pet savings account is a good way to make sure you are prepared for anything.

6. Grooming. If you have a long haired animal, it might be a bit more difficult to groom him yourself, but that is definitely something you need to consider when picking out a pet. You can easily shampoo your dog yourself, but trimming their nails should be left up to a professional unless you know what you’re doing. You can also treat your pt for ticks, fleas, and heart worms without an expensive trip to the vet – just check out your local pet store and they can help you.

7. Buy used. Check craigslist for supplies like leashes and crates. Instead of spending $100 on a new pet taxi, consider purchasing a used one for $50 or less. With multiple pets, the savings can definitely add up quickly.

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