ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Ways to Save Money on Pet Care

Updated on February 7, 2011

Sadly, our furry best friends are often left in the dust when household finances get tight. Many of us cherish our pets, but they can take a toll on our wallets. When being frugal, don’t let the high prices at pet stores deter you from giving your pet the best treatment. There are many creative solutions that can lower your pet care expenses.

There's no doubt that caring for a dog or cat can be a pricey endeavor. Dog food alone costs an average of $241 a year in America and for cats, the number is only slightly less. Supplies and grooming can cost hundreds of dollars a year more, adding heft to your monthly household expenses. Rather than downgrade your pet's care for the sake of frugality, you just need some creativity and a little cleverness. Here are some tips:

1. Control fleas with natural prevention methods. Chemical flea medications can be extremely costly at $20 or more per monthly application. Instead, control fleas with natural prevention methods such as garlic. Many owners have found success battling off fleas by introducing small amounts of garlic into their dog or cat’s diet. Or, try spraying your dog or cat's coat with diluted lemon juice or lavender oil to turn away the fleas.

2. Make your own natural pet food blend. Mix small amounts of whole foods into mid-priced dry food to keep the cost low. Its best not to buy the cheapest brands of dog food, plus they often lack essential nutrients. Instead buy a mid-range brand of dry food and mix in healthy whole food additions to boost its vitamins, such as roasted chicken, egg, rice, or vegetables. Better yet, feed your dog kitchen scraps and leftovers. This was what dogs ate for centuries before Kibbles ‘n’ Bits ever hit the market. Americans throw away billions of dollars worth of food waste every year, while many of their pets are stuck sniffing unsavory-looking mush from their doggie-bowl. Remember that much of your food waste, including meat, rice, oats, potatoes and many veggies, can be very nutritious for your dog.

3. Make your own kitty litter for next-to-nothing. Store-bought litter for a single cat can cost an owner over $100 a year! Try making your own using shredded newspaper. To take it a step further, soak the shredded paper in warm water with dish soap. Rinse and repeat a couple times. Drain, sprinkle generously with baking soda, mix with hands, squeeze out the moisture, and break up until crumbly. Finally, lay out on a screen to dry for a few days.

4. Be your own dog groomer. Grooming your dog is as simple as a bottle of mild dish soap and a brush, as well as some diligence! You can also make your own dog shampoo.

5. Be wary of vet charges. Its hard not to give in when your veterinarian insists you pay for additional services, but keep in mind money is often their motive, so be cautious with the services you agree to. Try to avoid unnecessary trips to the vet unless the situation is urgent. Remember that animals can heal rather quickly on their own, just like people. If your cat is limping a bit or your dog is sneezing, you might be surprised how quickly they can recover if given a day or so.

6. Make your own toys and treats. We all like to spoil our pets with the good things in life, but pet stores charge an awful lot for cheap, simple toys and treats. For my own cat, a bit of string or a folded piece of cardboard can offer endless hours of entertainment. It is also super easy to make your own dog biscuits using ingredients like oats, peanut butter, eggs, and milk. Check out some of the homemade dog biscuit recipes that are available all over the web.

7. Adopt a pet from an animal shelter or pound. You can take home a wonderful pet that costs next to nothing when you buy from a shelter. If you pick a mature animal who has had their shots and been spayed or neutered, then you will only pay a minimal adoption fee. Thousands of cats and dogs are killed in shelters every day, and many are very healthy. By choosing a slightly older or mature pet from the shelter, you can have better assurance that you are rescuing a healthy pet without unforeseen genetic problems.

The good things in life are simple, and our pets seem to know this best of all!

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      6 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Nice tips

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, these are GREAT tips! I had no idea that one could make one's own pet litter, too - that's so cool! Thanks so much for writing the Hub- I bet a lot of people will find it to be very helpful.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)