Save Money as a Dog Owner
Posted by Sarah at 1:39 pm in Family, Great Deals, Pets, Shopping

I am a dog person. I love the wagging tails, the licking tongues and the simple companionship that these pets provide. But I hate the way the expenses seem to pile up. First it’s the shots, the food, the toys and then the new carpeting I need after training a puppy. Despite all that, I could never give up on my furry friends – nor could any other true dog lover that I know. Fortunately, cutting down on these pet-related expenses is easy with a few of the following tips.

If you’re thinking of getting a dog, one of your first major expenses will be shots and medications. Puppies are required to have certain shots as they grow up, and these can be costly. If you’re adopting an older dog, you may need to purchase medication to treat existing conditions. Check with your local pet stores to see if they offer any special low cost vaccination clinics, which can save you a lot of money. These events can charge lower rates because they don’t have all the extra overhead associated with a full veterinary office.

You’ll also want to check with your local government to see if they offer any pet-related services. Some cities and counties offer low cost vaccinations and spay/neuter procedures that you can take advantage of. Since these procedures lead to fewer unwanted, unhealthy pets being born, the city benefits by cutting down on animal control and sheltering expenses. You benefit by saving lots of money on the same exact procedure that would be done at a veterinary clinic.

If you find that your pet needs medication, you’ll get a better deal ordering them online from a discount store. You can find basic pet medications like flea and heartworm drugs at companies like 1800petmeds.com, which offer the same products at lower prices. You’ll still need a prescription to order certain products online, but your veterinarian is required by law to give you a valid prescription that you can use anywhere to purchase needed medications. Just fax it to the online retailer and you’ll be all set.

Pet food is another necessity to keep in mind. Hopefully, you’ll wind up with a dog that will eat anything in sight – not a picky eater whose taste buds will tolerate only the finest in doggy cuisine. Whatever food you purchase, try to get it in as large a quantity as you can. You’ll save more money by purchasing in bulk than buying tiny ten pound bags each week. If you’ve got a picky pooch, check with your local feed stores or farmer’s supply stores – you may be able to find specialty brands at lower prices.

If you’re a pet owner on a budget, indulging in doggy day care, pet spas or any of the other chic pet establishments that have recently popped up is probably out of the question. If your dog is too big to be washed at home, check with your local pet store to see if they have a pet washing station with bigger wash tubs and longer hoses. And if you crave a dog-free day of doggy day care services, why not pair up with a fellow dog owner? One week, you drop off your dog at a friend’s house for the day and then return the favor the next week. You’ll both get a little break without breaking the bank.

Always keep your eyes out for pet store discounts in your newspaper and coupon circulars, and watch your local pet stores for clearance sales. You might be able to get that fancy toy you’ve been eyeing at a substantial discount. And keep in mind that the things pets love most aren’t necessarily store bought toys. My dog is never happier than when he’s chewing on a homemade tug toy made from heavy duty rope found at the hardware store. So don’t let the expenses of pet ownership scare you off – you can share your life with man’s best friend without going broke.

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