6 Ways to Save On the Cost of Your Pet

There are 79.7 million households with pets in this country. As the pet population in our households grows, so do the costs. They are truly like having furry children.

I own a cat and a rabbit and believe me, with just the two, the cost adds up. Here are some ways to help cut down on costs and still have a happy, healthy pet.

Adopt from a shelter

This will save you money from the start. Shelter animals are already spayed/neutered, up to date on their shots, and have been microchipped.

With a low adoption fee, it is definitely worth it. Other than a trip to the vet for a basic exam within a week of adoption, your costs should be pretty low to start.

Food

Food is expensive. Very expensive. I pay $45 for an 8.5 lb bag for my cat once a month from the vet. Even food at the grocery store or Walmart can be pricey. Look online for coupons or go to the manufacturer’s web site directly to find coupons.

I have been able to save $5 or $6 dollars off a certain size bag at times. The brand I use even had a buy one bag get the second for a $1 promotion at one time. Also, ask your vet if they have coupons available.

Vet Care

Medical care for animals is just as expensive as it is for humans. I never get out of my vet’s office for under $100. And I love my vet. However, there are other options.

Banfield Pet Hospitals, located in PetSmart stores across the country, offer ‘Wellness Plans’ for pets that include a bundle of preventative care services and discounts designed to meet the needs of your pet.

Another option is to call your local Big R/Tractor Supply Store and ask if they have any mobile vet services that come once a month. Our local Big R hosts a mobile vet service from the southern part of our state.

They offer discounts on shots, flea treatments, microchipping and other common, non-invasive procedures. They are only at the store for one day during a certain time frame and you have to reserve a slot on their web site. But the discount in cost may be worth it.

Boarding

Taking your dog or cat to be boarded while you are away can be a costly expense. Why not get creative with it. Ask your friends when they will be out of town on business or on vacation. Then arrange to do a pet sitting swap.

This person should be familiar with your animal which will make their care more personal. As long as your out of town days don’t conflict, you will have a pet sitting partner and your furry friends will be much happier at home.

How to Save When Your Pets Get Older

If your animal needs subcutaneous fluids

Do it at home. As our pets get older, diseases and other things can crop up. My cat Carlton had chronic kidney disease in his old age and needed subcutaneous fluids three times a week. Instead of taking him to the vet all the time, I opted to do it myself at home.

The supplies I needed for the month only cost about $15. It also cut down the stress on Carlton, since he could be in his own surroundings. Sadly, this only helped for a short period of time, I lost him in September of 2014.

Play with your animal

Exercise keeps them healthy just like it does us. So take the dog for a nice long walk. Cats can be a little more difficult to exercise. If you have a house that has stairs, maybe put the litter box in the basement and the food and water in the kitchen.

Make sure your cat has lots of interactive toys to play with when you’re not there. This is another key element in saving on the cost of your pet.

Think about your pet’s health like you do your own. Healthy food, lots of water, exercise and good medical care. Keep these things in mind and you should have a long, happy life together.

Carrie Lowrance is a writer and author. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Crosswalk, and Same Journey. She is also the author of two children’s books, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green) and Brock’s Bad Temper (And The Time Machine). You can find out more about Carrie and her writing at carrielowrance.com

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