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8 Ways to Save on Pet Costs

8 Ways to Save on Pet Costs PhotoFinding ways to save on pet costs is something which is on every pet owner’s mind. Prices in the pet aisle are steadily rising because the increasing costs to manufacture food and gas prices to transport pet essentials to stores are forcing pet care business owners to shift the costs to consumers.

Our furry and scaly friends have an important role in the household and they are often considered an important part of the family. We want nothing but the best for them and we always make sure that they are cared for properly. However, rising costs are making it very difficult for pet owners to do so. After all, a pet is another mouth to feed.

According to American Pet Products Association, by the end of the year 2012, Americans will end up spending $52 billion on their pets. In an effort to help pet owners everywhere, we have come up with savvy cost-cutting tips which can help cut costs on food, the vet and toys.

Choose a pet which is the best fit for your budget and lifestyle

If you are still considering buying a new pet, do not just look on how cute the pet is.  When choosing among breeds, you need to keep your budget and lifestyle in mind.

Do you live in a house or an apartment? How much time can you devote to walking and grooming your pet? Are you ready to handle health conditions which your pet might have?

Before you buy a pet, it is advisable to discuss your plans with your local vet first. Take the time to plan and research different breeds online. There are just some pets which will cost you more money than others.

Ask to see the pet’s veterinary records

It does not matter if you are buying from a breeder or if you are adopting from your local pet shelter, it is a must to see veterinary records so that you will be aware of all preexisting conditions which might end up costing you a large sum of money.

Pets from pet shelters are up to date when it comes to shots and vaccinations; however, they often come with behavioral issues because of neglect or abuse.

If a breeder’s price is very cheap, most often it is because they did not spend money on vaccinations and other pet care, which will end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.

Invest in preventative pet care

The cost of emergency veterinary care is a lot compared to regular visits to the veterinarian so as a pet owner or a future one; it is a must to have your pet regularly checked by the veterinarian instead of waiting for your pet to start having symptoms or signs of health conditions.

There are many vets today who offer package deals for preventative care over the course of a year. Ask local veterinary clinics and shelters and compare prices.

Prevent accidents

Most pets get into accidents mostly because their owners did not care for them properly. Most accidents are preventable but if they do happen, they can cost thousands of dollars. It is a must to make sure that your pets are visible during nighttime by buying a light-up collar so that you will know exactly where they are.

Keep medicines out of reach, if you should open a pill box, make sure that do it over a bowl or a sink so that your pet will not accidentally ingest a pill which has fallen on the floor. Babyproof the trash if need be. Pets can easily get poisoned by human foods and other small items in the trash.

Consider pet insurance

Insurance can help cushion the blow of expensive veterinary emergencies, however, you should also keep in mind that many policies have limitations. Aside from the maximum, pet policies might not also cover various preexisting conditions which are common to certain breeds.

Experts say that you should consider pet insurance but not the traditional one. Instead of sending monthly payment to your insurance provider, you should deposit money to a savings account which is especially opened for pet care.

If you do wish to get pet insurance, choose one which has generally cheap premiums for a young pet.

Feed your pet the right food

Finding the right food for your pet can be quite challenging because of the wide variety of terms which manufacturers use. Some manufacturers label their food “all natural” or “wild”. These terms are very misleading. If your dog is not vomiting and is healthy after giving it a certain food, this means that it is a probably a good choice for them.

Remember, however, that feeding your dog too much can often lead to various health problems. Obesity and food bloat can cost you more get bills. So, use a measuring spoon and refrain from eyeballing portions so you do not end up overfeeding your dog.

Buy in bulk

If you have extra space at home, buy your food in bulk because this will help you save a lot of money.  It can be quite uncomfortable having to carry a large bag of dog food but just think of all the savings you will be able to make. Store dog food in air-tight and pet-proof containers. This will keep the food fresh and safe.

Give your dog attention and not too many fancy toys

There are several sites online which can cater to pet owners. However, you should not switch to cheaper items right away because it can affect your dog in so many ways. Changing many things in the pursuit of bargains can end up costing you more money in veterinary care because your dog has the potential to get sick.

You need not spend thousands of dollars on fancy toys. What your pet really needs is your loving attention and care. You should be bonding with them and grooming them and not leaving them alone with a toy for hours on end.