By Alicia Goodwin

Everyone tries to do the best thing to save money. We all agree it is a good thing. However, there are some ways that are better than others at helping you save money, especially with your pets.

– Vaccines/Exams and Spaying/Neutering: Getting an exam and or a vaccine is much better than skipping to save money. If your pet gets sick, then it cost much more money to get them well again. Your pet should have annual exams (depending on the pet, age, health style, wellness, etc.) and get regular vaccines as needed. It will help your medical bill in the future and keep your pet healthy. Spaying and/or neutering is also recommended, rather than waiting and having additional costs later.

– Prescription Medications: Never give human medication to pets even if you are trying to save money. It could prove fatal to them. Don’t purchase from outside of the country, medications may not be FDA approved. They may also be counterfeit and then you could be sending money for something you don’t need. Always listen to your veterinarian or pharmacist about where to buy or pick up your pet’s prescriptions.

– Pet Insurance: It is hard to save money while also keeping your pet healthy. To cut costs, however, you may want to get your pet treatment as soon as possible to avoid costly surgeries or other procedures. Getting lumps or small tumors removed can be much less expensive than if you ignore it.

– Food/Weight: Obese animals could break a bone just from jumping off the couch. Preventing obesity can prevent costly procedures. An article I read stated, “Obesity also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and joint disease, including arthritis, so keeping your pet at a healthy weight is a great preventive measure that keeps costs down throughout your pet’s entire life.” By looking up what type of food you are buying for your pet, you could reduce the chance of them becoming obese. Trying to save money by switching to low quality foods will not help. The low quality brands have more fillers and less of the necessary nutrients. Your pet will eat more, meaning you will need to buy it more often than the high quality food that is better for your pet. In the long run, buying a bigger bag of high quality food will help you save money.

– Grooming: To save money on grooming, do it yourself at home. It will take patience, time, and practice. However it will help you save money that you would have spent on getting your pet professionally groomed.

– Toys and Bones: To save money for pets (specifically dogs for this part), you could make your own toys out of old clothes. Consider buying bones from the butcher for dogs. For cats, I have used this one, you could cut up an old shirt or shoe. Cats will play with anything as long as it keeps them entertained.
Finally, talk to your veterinarian about other money saving options available. They want to help you and your pet, so take advantage of the extra aid.