7 easy ways to save on pet expenses
Here are some ways to budget for a pet, plus tips on how to save on everything from food to medications.
1. License your pet:
Licensing your pet will keep you out of the doghouse and is among the first responsibilities you’ll have as a pet guardian. Different municipalities have varying rules and regulations when it comes to pet licensing — but the majority require dogs, at a minimum, be licensed, with the option to also license cats and other pets. You can get details on pet licensing at your local animal shelter, animal control division or police department. While costs vary, paying an annual licensing fee is much less than a ticket for an unlicensed pet. Many animal shelters and cities will also offer you a discount on Microchips, which store your contact information so you can be located if your pet goes missing.
2. Vaccines and vet care:
Be sure to get your pet to annual exams for his check-ups and vaccinations. Preventing illnesses are much less expensive than treating them. If your pet is prescribed a medication, you can save by ordering through 1800PetMeds, which offers prescription and nonprescription medications for your pets at a discount, plus you’ll earn 2 percent Cash Back when you shop with ShopAtHome.com.
3. Vacation expenses:
Boarding your cat or dog while you’re on vacation can cost between $20 to $25. Pet hotels — which offer additional services like spas, grooming, and doggie daycare — are a trend on the rise and can cost up to $90 per day. Another option? Travel with your pet. Most hotels will require an additional deposit and daily pet fee. Holiday Inn is among the dog-friendly hotel chains, and you can earn 5 percent Cash Back when you book with ShopAtHome.com.
4. Food and toys:
Whether you’re shopping for pet food, bowls, leashes, toys, litter boxes or even a dapper sweater to keep your short-haired dog cozy, buy online and start earning Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com at popular pet retailers like PetCo and PetSmart.
5. Save on grooming:
Reduce your costs at the groomer with regular nail-trimmings and brushings. It will also scale back on hair shedding about your home and your cat will have fewer hairballs.
6. Brush your dog’s teeth:
Dental cleanings for dogs can be pricey. When you factor in pre-anesthetic bloodwork, it can cost up to $350. To reduce the need or frequency of dental cleanings, brush Fido’s teeth at home to fight plaque and prevent periodontal disease and build-up. Nylabone, $7.99 at PetSmart, makes a bacon-flavored toothpaste that cleans and freshens your dog’s breath and removes tartar.
7. Look into pet health insurance:
It’s a great idea to set up an emergency savings account should your pet need to take a trip to the emergency animal care center. Because those visits can be costly, look into a pet health insurance plan — and do so while your pet is healthy. Be sure to compare plans and read the fine print because pet insurance policies vary greatly.