5 Ways to Save on Pet Costs
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PET FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE AND BUDGET
- If you’re in the market for a new pet, consider your living style and budget. Do you live an apartment or a house? How much disposable income can you commit to your pet? How much time can you commit to the physical demands of your pet? For example, many dog breeds require constant walking, grooming, and in some cases, regular medical attention (skin conditions, etc.). Jason Nicholas, founder of The Preventive Vet, an online resource for pet owners, suggests speaking with your vet when you’re in the planning stage and researching the breed online to help match the pet to your needs.
INVEST IN PREVENTATIVE CARE
- Emergency veterinary care can cost several times more then regular office visits. That having been said, it’s important to keep your pet’s vaccines and vet visits current instead of waiting until your pet is in obvious distress. Many pet emergencies, like car accidents or poisonings, are preventable when the proper precautions have been taken; consider baby-proofing the trash and closets containing cleaning chemicals for really mischievous pets. Simply put, spend a little now in preventative care, or spend a lot later with a trip to the emergency room.
CONSIDER THE COST OF PET INSURANCE
- Experts disagree about whether pet insurance is a smart investment. The general wisdom on buying insurance is not to insure what you can afford to replace (or in this case, pay out-of-pocket). It could help cushion the blow of an expensive veterinary emergency, but many policies have limitations. In addition to coverage maximums, pet policies may not cover preexisting conditions or conditions that are common to your pet's breed.
FEED YOUR PET THE RIGHT FOOD
- Pet food labels carry some aggressive marketing these days. Terms like “all natural” or “wild” can be very confusing and/or misleading. Look for labels that support major organizations. For example, the AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) is an organization that specializes in pet food standards, so you can be sure the food meets specific guidelines. In addition, pay careful attention to portion control for your pet. Over-feeding your pet could lead to health problems like food bloat and obesity, which will cost you more in food bills and medical expenses down the road.
FOCUS ON ATTENTION RATHER THEN TOYS
· When it comes down to it, you don't have to spend a ton of money on fancy toys or trinkets for your pet. Instead, pay attention to your pets; spend time grooming, walking, and playing with them. Many pets would rather bond with you then play with a toy anyway – save the money, your attention is more valuable to them.