10 Great Ways to Manage Pet Costs
Having pets can quickly add up financially, especially when you take in the cost of food, treats, toys, grooming, and of course, the expected and unexpected veterinary bills.
Here are 10 great ways to manage pet costs:
- Pet Insurance. We could’ve easily put this in last, but really this is one of the most cost effective and loving things you can do for your pet. Plans cover up to 90% of veterinary costs, and since pets are much like children, in that they often fall ill or get injured when we least expect it, having pet insurance can literally save you thousands of dollars. Since veterinary bills can eat up a major portion of your pet’s budget, having pet insurance could help you manage pet costs and save your pet’s life.
- Portion Control. All pet foods come with a suggested feeding chart, and in order to both maintain your pet’s healthy weight and save a few dollars by not overfeeding, be sure to use a measuring cup and follow the guidelines. Eating proper portions will ensure your pet stays at a healthy weight, thus reducing your pet’s risk for pancreatitis, diabetes, and other costly medical conditions.
- Cut It Off. It’s not always easy to find the perfect groomer, and it can be a costly, and sometimes stressful event for your pet. The good news is that you can stretch the time between visits by using grooming scissors and trimming the hair around your dog’s face yourself. You can also trim your pet’s nails at home and practice regular bathing and brushing to ensure a clean and healthy coat between professional grooming trips.
- Clear the Ears. Use a cotton ball to clean your dog’s ears along with a simple homemade solution or a recommended store bought ear cleaner. Dogs who swim a lot or are heavy-eared breeds like Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections, however they can easily be prevented with a good regular cleaning of those cute ears.
- Cook It Up. One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is by serving healthy homemade foods. Tasty treats like steamed carrots and green beans help your pet feel fuller on less kibble, and it’s healthy for them too.
- Check the Mouth. Pet dental care is one of the most important and overlooked health benefits in pets. Brush your dog or cat’s teeth twice a week. There are special toothbrushes, toothpastes, dental gels, and chews available at most pet supply stores. Taking care of your pet’s dental needs at home is a lot less expensive than waiting for professional dental cleanings.
- Vaccinate or Not. Not all pets need the same vaccinations. Consult with your veterinarian to see which vaccines your pet really needs, making sure to consider your pet’s age, health, and access to the outdoors. It will also save you money if you can opt for three year vaccination packages instead of yearly vaccinations.
- Bargain Shop. Many items can be bought at discount and warehouse stores, saving you a ton of money. Things like leashes, litter, bowls, beds, and toys are things to consider when bargain shopping.
- DIY Cat Trees. If you have a cat, then you know how much they love using cat trees to scratch and hone their claws. But did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars by building a cat tree yourself using scrap wood, carpet remnants, and sisal rope?
- Teamwork. Since nearly half of the population is loving pet parents, it’s not hard to find neighbors who have pets and are just like you when it comes to needing care for them. Consider trading services, such as grooming and/or pet sitting, and even sharing items purchased in bulk. This will both lower your costs and help to make you and your pet more social.
Pets are part of our family and they mean the world to us, but that doesn’t mean that we should go broke trying to care for them In fact, as loving pets, they would want us to manage costs as easily and stress-free as possible. All they want is to be loved, and they will happily take whatever you can give them, as long as it comes from your heart.