There are all sorts of ways to save money. Cutting down on daily or monthly expenses is great, and yes making coffee at home can save you a decent amount of money each year. But, let’s face it, giving your pet the best when it comes to their health and well-being will always be a top priority.
Preventive healthcare is one of the keys to keeping your pet’s overall health up and reducing your long-term pet healthcare costs.
There are many ways to save money on pet care. Here, we have compiled six ways for you to jumpstart a habit of saving money on pet care.
- Be proactive and schedule routine checkups.
Getting the necessary vaccinations is generally the initial step in caring for your pet. However, some pet owners believe this is enough and don’t return to a veterinarian until there’s an emergency.
Just like us, pets need routine physical examination to help prevent problems in the long run. With regular examinations, the vet can identify potential problems before they become actual problems. This can help pet owners save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Preventive health care exams and regular preventive care includes heartworm testing, dental evaluations, vaccine boosters, and fecal parasite exams.
According to PetCareRX, an office visit might start at about $50, with an extra $20-$45 for standard procedures or tests. Older animals might require more thorough exams that cost a little over $100. The costs can add up, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of treating a problem after it’s become serious.
- Choose the right veterinarian and stay loyal.
Pet care can be highly competitive, which is why selecting the right veterinarian plays an essential part in getting the best healthcare for your pets. With several factors to consider in choosing a vet, shopping around is necessary. Try comparing prices and getting upfront estimates before going in. Also note how a vet and his or her staff treat you and your pet.
Once you’ve found a Veterinary that meets your criteria, stay as loyal to them as your pet is to you. Loyalty goes both ways and after a time some vets might offer freebies such as free baths, overnight stays, or nail clippings.
- Buy premium pet food.
It might not seem like spending extra money on pet food actually helps you save, but sometimes it pays to spend a little more upfront. For example, more expensive dog food may be more densely packed with carbohydrates and protein. As a result, pets will get full sooner and eat less of it. Note that the volume density of the food is important. If you keep buying cheap dog food that mostly contains corn gluten meal or wet food that is mostly water, dogs will never feel full.
Pet foods with lamb, chicken or fish are often the best, and in general you shuld stay away from corn-based pet food or treats.
- Avoid spending a lot of money on pet insurance.
Just like with humans, a pet’s emergency medical visit can be costly. Pet insurance can help offset these unexpected costs, but after taking deductibles into consideration the premiums you pay might not be worth it. If you’re set on getting a policy be sure to shop for a good plan. Prices and coverage can vary widely from provider to provider.
You may be better off foregoing pet insurance, especially if your pet isn’t a breed that’s known for health problems (such as those this list of dogs). If an emergency arises, ask your veterinarian if they offer financing programs that allow you to pay over time. When dealing with serious conditions, it can also pay to compare one-off costs and package deals. Sometimes you can save money by paying for pre- and post-operation care along with the operation.
- Enjoy making homemade toys.
Dogs and cats are very easy to please when it comes to providing them with toys. Recycling some old stuff can be turned into a great pet toy. Take for an instance an old t-shirt. You can put it into knots and make it a tug-of-war toy for your dog. Your dog will love the tearing sound of the shirt. Plus, exercise by playing these toys is beneficial for your dog’s health.
As cat owners likely already know, a paper bag or cardboard box can keep your cat entertained for hours. You can find many designs and instructions for making homemade mice, catnip holders, and other toys on Pinterest.
But be sure to watch your pet while playing with a homemade toy. Pet toys bought in stores can be safer because they’ve passed standards for safety issues. You know what’s gone into your toy, but you might not have considered all the ways your pet will play with them.
- Spay or neuter your pet.
Always have your pets spayed and neutered if you don’t plan on breeding them. This way, it controls the pet population and prevents hundreds of cats and dogs being killed every year. Also, dogs and cats generally have fewer health problems when they are spayed or neutered.
Being proactive about your pet’s health care generally saves you money in the long run. Premium food, bi-annual comprehensive checkups to the vet, and preventive care are often cheaper than the total cost of complex procedures, medication, or surgery.