How to Save Money on Pet Care

Posted by Ian on April-14-2011 under Save Money

With living costs climbing, seemingly out of control, these days’ families are watching their finances and not splurging like they used to. Indeed those with pets understand, more than others, that being frugal and saving money on pet care is a must. It is important to note that saving on pet care doesn’t mean, neglecting your dog, starving your cat or releasing your pet parrot into the wild. It means saving on costs without the animal suffering in anyway. I’m sure there are many people that are able to offer hundreds of money saving ideas, however, using your common sense is really all that is required – you don’t have to be a Harvard graduated to save money on pet care. The following are some ideas that you may find useful.

1. Health: Make sure your pet is healthy. A fat, overweight cat, dog or parrot will lead to illness such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc – these diseases are not unique to humans. If your pet is not healthy you’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars on visits to a veterinarian. For dog owners, keeping the mutt in pristine condition means walking it daily and feeding it healthy dog food. Obviously walking a cat is not something many do; in fact, very few people walk the family feline – cats, unlike dogs, exercise at night on their own. With birds and other caged creatures, it is their diet that maintains their health – so you must make sure it is the correct food. If, in the event, you do notice a sudden loss in weight or any other change in your pet’s physical appearance or personality, take it to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Doing this will also save you money in the long run.

2. Do-it-yourself: Learn to look after your pet yourself. For example, if you are a dog owner, try grooming and cutting your dogs nails yourself. Taking the animal to a dog barber is expensive. You don’t have to have wonderful creative barbering skills to keep a dogs hair groomed, just cut it and keep it clean. This do-it-yourself strategy will save you unnecessary expenses. There are pet owners that actually brush their pet’s teeth as well as groom. There is no need to go overboard, remember your pet is an animal and pampering it too much is not good. Washing a dog is something that should be performed regularly and you should use dog shampoo and not the same stuff that you yourself use when taking a shower.

pet care

3. Shopping: Buy pet food in bulk. Petfooddirect.com is a website that allows you to buy large qualities of pet food and have it shipped directly to your door. This service will save you spending money on gasoline driving to the mall. We all know that pet food and the various medications also needed, are expensive and this is a good reason to buy a three-month supply. You can also save money by not purchasing expensive pet food name brands. It is possible to find cheaper brands which have the same nutritional value as the aforementioned famous, expensive brands. If you are a person that feeds your dog or cat, the real deal – namely meat from a butcher, you should buy in bulk and store this meat in a freezer – not in the fridge. It is also a good idea to boil this meat prior to dropping it in the dog or cat’s bowl. Boiling meat will kill any bacteria that may give your pet an illness and thus a trip to the vet.

4. Accidents: For dog owners keeping the mutt, either chained or in a fenced area will keep not only the dog safe, but also visitors to your house, strangers walking passed and the mailman. Don’t allow people to feed your pet – it is your responsibility. There are times when others, who feed a pet, accidentally give it the wrong food and this in turn may lead to various problems. It is said that keeping a cat indoors will keep it protected from the horrors outside. I believe this is not only untrue, it is cruel. Cats are, for the most part, nocturnal and find enjoyment roaming the neighborhood after dark. It is also the time when they search for a mate – surely you’ve heard the incessant whining of cats outside your bedroom window at three in the morning. Protecting your pet is quite simple and takes little thought. For example, if you have a pet fish, don’t put the fish bowl in a place where the cat is able to do a little fishing – this also applies to pet hamsters.

5. Pet accessories: This is an area where some people go completely nuts. There is absolutely no reason to buy a dog or cat a very expensive collar or some sort of body vest. Japanese people are notorious for this; spending large amounts of money on a “pretty” collar or a woolen body vest to keep the mutt warm during the winter months. These pets are animals; they’re not four-legged people. A simple collar is all a dog or cat needs. Over spending on pet accessories is just plain stupid.

6. Insurance: There are some people that actually take out a health insurance policy on their dog or cat. This I find a little strange, albeit, silly. If you look after your pet well, giving it the correct diet and exercise, then there is absolutely no reason for taking out health insurance. However, if you pamper your dog or cat and tend to feed it the same food that you yourself consume, then perhaps taking out an insurance policy is a good idea. Be prepared to pay a great deal of money; pet insurance isn’t cheap. There are various companies that offer pet insurance policies and you’ll need to consider seriously which one best fits your financial situation. If, however, you are serious about saving money on pet care, I would recommend forgoing any type of pet insurance unless you really think it is necessary.

You can also check out other money saving tips like how to save money on office supplies, how to save money on DVD rental, or how to save money on doctor visit.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, common sense will enable you to save a great deal of money on pet care. If you are careful and make savings wisely, without endangering your pet’s life, you’ll find that you’ll have more money in the bank for next year’s Christmas shopping.




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