Pets not only need our time and attention, they require our money, too. Food, vaccinations, and veterinary care all adds up. In today’s hard-hitting economy, people are rethinking their personal expenses and cutting the budget where they can. Unfortunately, this means record numbers of animals are being discarded and surrendered at local shelters. Some people even have to make difficult decisions regarding euthanasia when faced with pet health problems and high vet bills. Luckily, here are some tips to keep your pet in good health while saving money.
Firstly, avoid corporate dry pet food as these are far more expensive. Try grain-free kibbles, add raw meat of a wide variety, or bone meal or poultry including bones. Dogs do not need carbs, although they do benefit from the fibre in veggies. For vegetarian animals such as rabbits, they’ll eat fruits and vegetables.
Coupons for pet products can be found everywhere from the newspaper to manufacturer’s website. Rewards programs and subscription services will also help you save on the major recurring expenses like pet food. If you’re willing to try out some of the newer products, keep your eyes open for free samples and rebate offers. And of course, good old-fashioned bulk buying is a great money saver too.
For emergency and other unplanned veterinary costs, the expense can be overwhelming. In some cases, it becomes a life-and-death situation just because the funds are short, not a medical shortcoming. Other times, an animal may “find” us; they may be homeless, injured or otherwise healthy but incurring unplanned-for-expenses. Although there is no NHS for animals there are some charities that may be able to assist financially those owners who are on certain benefits.
- The Blue Cross
- Dogs Trust
These all provide veterinary care for people on state benefits. There are other charities that provide certain services such as free neutering and low-cost vaccination.
Alternatively, there is CareCredit. It works like a credit card but is exclusive for veterinary care as other human health care services. Not every provider offers CareCredit or all of the available payment plans through CareCredit.
Is that cute designer sweater you bought for your pet necessary? High-end animal fashion might be “in,” but it’s also entirely pointless. Your animal also doesn’t need a full-service spa for basic grooming. In fact, you can do the washing, brushing and trimming yourself. Not only will you save, but you’ll bond, too. Skip the unessential accessories and pet pampering and go for some good old-fashioned love and care instead.
Instead of boarding your pet every time you leave town, ask a friend, neighbour or family member to pet sit. If none of those are an option for you, why not check out dogvacay.com, a website that helps match up dog owners with local pet sitters who operate out of their own homes. These are usually a lot cheaper than pet lodgings, too!