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How to Save money on Dogs

Updated on January 23, 2009

I learned how to save money as a dog owner the hard way. After my 7 week old Rottweiler was hospitalized with Idiopathic Gatro-Enteritis $1300.00 later, I am still working on recuperating that money. Somehow, I had to figure out how to prevent something deleterious like this from happening again.

A veterinary visit nowadays can really hurt a dog owner's wallet. An emergency visit with a one or two night hospitalization with IV fluids may easily amount to over one thousand dollars. Wellness exams with vaccinations, fecal tests, heartworm tests and physical exams may easily average 200 dollars.

Preventing disease and conditions from taking place in the first place are therefore the key for avoiding unexpected emergencies as much as possible. A good prevention program therefore, can save a lot of money in the long run. The following tips should show some effective ways to save money as a dog owner.

How to Save Money as a Dog Owner

Sometimes spending a little more money goes a long way when trying to avoid major expenses from popping up out of no where. The say "you get what you pay for" is a really a fact when it comes to taking care of pets.

Investing in Good Quality Kibble

For instance, most cheap dry dog food found commonly at supermarkets are too rich in carbohydrates derived from the presence of grains. Dogs do not need grains but grains are used to "fill" in other words, grains such as corn are used in order for food retailers to use less meat which is expensive.

These fillers have provided unnecessary carbohydrates which nutritionists believe is the cause of why we so many dogs and cats with diabetes nowadays. A good premium dog feet with no fillers and without meat by products, additives and colorants is sure a good investment of the dog's over all health.

Most owners will see almost immediate effects from switching from a low quality to a higher quality dog food. The dog will have higher energy levels, brighter eyes, a shiny coat and a healthy appetite. Alternatively, a raw diet may work wonders for many dogs and has solved many conditions derived from bad dog food such as skin allergies, a dull coat and a sluggish personality.

Dog Health Insurance

After my Rottweiler's episode I enrolled both my dogs in pet health insurance. For only $20 each a month, I have great benefits should they get sick. The insurance company actually has already paid me back more than what I pay in premiums for the year. I have had good success with Pet's Best insurance. They have always paid in a timely matter with no problems.

Dog health insurance is a must. No dog owner wants to find himself dealing with a sick dog where it's either paying the large bill or putting the dog down. I went through this and I would recommend any dog owner to be prepared for the worse. Just as humans need health insurance so do dogs. Dog health insurnace though costs a fraction of health insurance for humans.

Routine Check ups

Regular check ups are very important. They may point out problems before they become too big to handle. This is very true for geriatric dogs. Senior dogs should see the vet at least twice a year and have blood work run so to check if there are any problems arising. Many dog insurances also cover wellness exams. I wish I had them enrolled as I just spent $435.00 for both my dog's vaccinations, heartworms tests, heartworm meds and fecal tests combines.

Discounted Services

If you just recently adopted a dog inform yourself about low spay and low neuter clinics. Upon adopting my 2 Rotties I called my vet clinic and they gave me a spay and neuter estimate at around $150 each dog for a total of about $300. I then called around and a shelter informed me of a special program where they would spay my female for $60 and my male for $50. For $110 both I definitely could not go wrong.

Vaccination clinics are also often offered by shelter programs and low cost clinics. Some may simply charge an average from $8 to 10$ per shot. Shelters often have a vet that will provide such shots n specific day of the month.

Home Remedies

Many owners rush their dog to the vet, when there are in some mild cases, some home remedies that can be tried at home. Investing in some good books written by veterinarians and suggesting home remedies is a good where to start. I have often solved my dogs problems at home by simply using home remedies found right in my pantry. Knowledge is power when it comes to dog's health.

Durable Toys

I don't know how much money i have spent on toys that ended up chewed up in minutes and tossed in the trash for fear of them being further chewed up and swallowed potentially causing an intestinal obstruction. After the lesson though I have learned that there was only one toy that made it through my puppy's adolescence and still thrives: the Kong.

Kongs are very durable toys indeed and are also fun too! They can be stuffed to entertain dogs and also make excellent toys to chew on when bored. My dogs love to toss them around and love to play fetch with them. It's the only toy that I have had since the pups were 12 weeks old.

As seen, there are several ways to save money. Not to mention clipping coupons and looking for store deals. Owners may even save a bunch by having their vet show how to trim a dog's nails , give injections and express the anal glands if an owner wishes to do so. Dogs do not have to be expensive, all it takes is some extra TLC, knowledge and preventive care.

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