Just a couple of weeks ago I adopted my Chihuahua mix named Nala from the local animal shelter. Pets can be expensive, so please be sure you are able to handle the financial responsibility before you take a pet into your home. Over the years I had been a fur-mommy to many pets. Here are 10 ways to save on pet care that will help you save for the big emergencies.
Shot clinics. I have a regular vet for when my dog gets sick, but for shots, I go to a local low-cost shot clinic. The prices are about 50% off and don’t include the office visit fee. Once I got Nala I looked for the local place near me and discovered they also do basic checkups. Good thing I went, Nala ending up having an ear infection so I got medicine for that.
I asked the place I went to if I needed a small income to qualify for services and they said no. For basic things like shots and basic checkups it just makes sense to spend less money.
PLEASE spay and neuter your pets! Here is the ASPCA’s low-cost spay/neuter program search tool.
Flea Medications. I use Trifexis which is a once a month flea and heartworm preventative. I get this from the same low-cost shot clinic and pay a bit less. It is better and cheaper to buy a 6 or 12 month supply rather than one month at a time. You can also find some really good prices online.
Bath Time. If your dog does not need to be groomed, do bath time yourself. Find a good quality dog shampoo, I get mine from my vet. I tried a few bargain-priced ones and they just didn’t seem like they worked. My dog still had a dog smell.
Buy Dog Beds, Cat Beds, and Cat Condos around Christmas time and right after Christmas. I was able to snag a Kong XL bed from Petsmart for 60% off right after Christmas when I owned my lab mix.
Use Real Food for Dog Treats. Dogs are allowed to have and love carrots, apples, rice, and pumpkin. A bag of carrot sticks cost 99¢ at Save-A-Lot compared to expensive treats. If you do buy treats, use coupons and get them on sale. Please make sure they are made in the USA and not China.
Skip Buying the Cute Clothes. If you absolutely must dress your dog, there are some awesome tutorials on Pinterest for making your own pet clothes from your old clothes. I will be making some myself as the weather starts to turn cold for my Nala.
Try Home Remedies First (if you can). I love Google. Twice I have figured out what was wrong with my pets and not needed a costly vet visit. The first time was concerning my cat. He started peeing outside of his littler box and it had some blood in it. I looked it up online and thought maybe he had a bladder or kidney infection. I gave him wet food with some apple cider vinegar added and his problem cleared up in a few days. The second instance was with my dog, he was having severe diarrhea. Discovered it was stress related and fed him some rice. Problem solved. Now, please don’t take that as not going to a vet at all. I still visit the vet, if a home remedy doesn’t work or if I don’t feel comfy dealing with it on my own. ***Disclaimer, I am not a vet. This point is not intended as veterinary counsel.***
Coupon. Good, quality pet food companies don’t have coupons in the Sunday paper, but they do have them on their website. You could also email or snail mail a company to see if you could be sent some coupons.
Use Craigslist/ Offer Up. I got my cat’s cat condo off of Craigslist for free. I often see dog houses, cat condos, and other items that would cost a lot of money even on sale elsewhere.
Keep Your Pets Healthy. Unhealthy pets cost more. Make sure your pets don’t overeat, get enough exercise, and mental activity.