10 Ways to Save on Vet Bills
There are many ways to save on vet bills and also saving money on your pets in general if you investigate a little and do a bit of research. Here are ten ways I've found and practice.
1. Anal Glands: If you own a dog, especially a little one, you will at some point encounter an issue with anal glands. Some dogs don't have a problem and naturally express themselves when they go outside. If you've seen your dog scooting on the carpet or acting as though something just bit his butt, they need their glands expressed. Next time you go to your vet, ask him to show you how he does it or watch the video I attached below. It is gross but that's how it's done. The smell is awful but imagine that inside your dog and how it must feel to have the glands impacted and full. If you have a strong stomach, you can do this. I was going to post my own video because I do this for my little Coco, but she refused to be on camera. Can you blame her?
Tip: Get some plastic gloves, paper towels and a place to sit your dog so you can easily do this and make it as comfortable for them as possible. Remember, expressing their glands is a relief for them, no pain. It hurts them more as it builds up.
2. Treats: When giving them treats, you don't have to give them the entire piece. Some of the treats that come in long sticks or bacon strips can be cut with scissors to make at least 6 pieces or more to each slice. Your dog won't know the difference between a smaller piece and a bigger one.
3. Clothes: If you live in colder climates, no need to spend money on buying dog coats. For bigger dogs, pass them down a tee shirt or sweater your child wore. Or visit a thrift for child's clothes. For smaller dogs, cut the sleeve off a sweater, and cut 2 smaller holes for their arms to go through.
4. Grooming: It gets expensive. There's no reason you can't do it at home. All you need are clippers, a mat, scissors, comb, dog shampoo, nail trimmer and a blow dryer.
Tip: Most vets will trim nails for free. Call yours to find out. Also, when drying hair, never set it on hot, set it to warm and use towels to get them as dry as you can before you blow dry.
5. Toys: Dogs and cats are easy to please with toys. As long as they have a good pull toy like a rope or a rubber ball to play with, they're happy. Stuffed animals are great as long as they're sturdy and don't have eyes or bells that come out. Laser pointers are great too. You can find these at the dollar stores. Just make sure you don't get it in their eyes.
Tip: When buying balls, please make sure it's too big for your dog to swallow. And don't buy baby toys for your dogs. Dogs have sharp teeth, not babies. Unless yours does, which means you have bigger issues.
6. Food: Always make sure you feed them premium dog and cat food. They don't know what gourmet food tastes like and really don't care. If you're going to give them some natural food or scraps, do NOT give them bones from the table, only from pet stores.
Tip: If your dog ever has runny stools, a little bit of white rice and chicken (not fried or seasons and no skin) mixed in will do the trick to get them back on track.
7. Teeth: Brush your doggies teeth daily. There are toothpastes for doggies but it isn't really necessary. Warm water will do the trick as long as you use a toothbrush. They're pretty good about it and will let you get in there. This will save you money in the long run.
Tip: For dogs, invest in dental bones. And for cats, since you can't really brush their teeth, don't let them eat soft food. Give them crunchy so they teeth get cleaned that way.
8. Water: Clean their bowl out daily and keep their eating area clean as well.
9. Pee Pads/Litter Box: If you have a puppy, you have pee pads. You can pick these up at dollar stores now and outlets for a low fee. When your doggie pees in one corner of the pad, don't throw the whole pad away. Bend over the corner. they'll figure out the rest. For cats, put in plastic bags under the litter for easier clean up. Also use dryer sheets under the plastic bag, under the litter for odor.
10. Exercise: Do this daily. Walk them every day even if it's just around the block, benefits both of you. Or you can just throw a ball or frisbee around, play with a toy, whatever as long as you get them moving. A healthy pet, means less vet bills for you.
Tip: If you are having financial difficulties, please remember to call your local ASPCA or Humane Society. I've listed their links below. Some offer free vaccinations, free neutering and spaying (some for a small donation).
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