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Pet Care on a Budget!

Updated on August 23, 2010

It is no secret that we are dealing with tough economic times. In the money tight environment that we currently live in…it seems that even Felix and Fido are feeling the bite of the economy (no pun intended). Below are several ways that you can save money without sacrificing your pet's health or care.

Buy less expensive BUT HEALTHY dog or cat food!
Buy less expensive BUT HEALTHY dog or cat food!

Ways to Save!

  1. Do NOT cancel your pet's routine, yearly check-up! Though you may be tempted to do so, it is actually a good idea to take your cat or dog to the veterinarian for their yearly physical. Preventative care is very important and can save you money in the long run! Some health conditions can become very expensive. If caught early, they will cost you less to treat.
  2. Time to Eat! Look for "commercial" dog or cat foods that are not only healthy but less expensive! Do your homework and research before you buy! Most, if not all pet food companies have websites that are loaded with health and nutrition information. Look for foods that list meat or meat byproduct as the first ingredient as these are generally the healthiest and easiest for your dog to digest. Also, be on the look-out for coupons and buy in bulk if possible!
  3. Obtain Pet Insurance! If you have a young cat or dog, consider purchasing veterinary pet insurance! Many pet insurance companies offer wellness and preventative care plans that actually allow YOU to choose what veterinarian you visit. Though most, if not all, pet insurance plans make you pay "out of pocket" first, you will be reimbursed a portion of your bill once you file a claim. That is better than nothing! In reality, veterinary health insurance plans do save you money in the long run, especially if you get insurance for a new puppy or kitten.
  4. Time for a Haircut! Taking your dog or cat to a professional groomer can be VERY expensive. Why not learn how to cut your pet's hair yourself! Look for pet grooming courses offered in your area (community colleges are a great place to start) and enroll! That way, when these tough economic times end…you can continue to save money! Grooming courses will also teach you how to correctly cut your dog's nails!
  5. Make Your Own Pet Toys! Take a look around your house. Why not turn that old sock in the corner into a doggie tug-o-war toy!? Or, better yet, turn those old carpet remnants that you have been storing in the basement into a cat scratching post. Go ahead, use your imagination! Store bought toys can be expensive. You might just be surprised at what you can come up with at home (and trust me, your cat and or dog won't know the difference!).
  6. Sorry, No Treats for You! This sounds worse than it actually is. Rewarding your dog or cat for good behavior doesn't always have to be done with food! Instead of reaching for fatty, store bought and often expensive treats, scratch your dog on the chest or play with your cat longer than you usually would. Rewards for good behavior do not always have to be treat based! Now this doesn't mean that you can never give your pet a food treat again…it just means that you will be giving food based treats less…which in turn, will save you money!
  7. Exercise Time! If you have a dog…then get out there and take him for a walk! Exercise will not only benefit YOU, it will benefit your dog as well! A healthier dog will mean LESS trips to the vet…which in turn will mean less money coming out of your wallet!

Exercise with your dog! You will both benefit from daily work-out sessions!
Exercise with your dog! You will both benefit from daily work-out sessions!

As you can see, there are MANY ways to save money when it comes to your pet and you don’t' have to sacrifice their health or care. These tough economic times will eventually pass (I hope!) and when they do, there is no need to go back to your old, expensive ways! After all, saving money is a wonderful thing…in good times and in bad! Woof!


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