It seems that everyone is on a tight budget these days, and for animal owners it can be particularly perplexing to find the best prices for pet care. The biggest expense in our pet budget comes from veterinarian visits, both routine and surgical, which can put a serious dent in our bottom line. But remember, preventative vet visits and keeping vaccinations current, will save money in the long run.
The best way to realize big savings at the veterinarian’s office is to purchase routine medications, like heartworm, flea and tick medicines, on the internet. The average markup for these prescription products is around 100% at the vet’s office and some medications can have up to a 275% price increase. Another tip, many vaccinations are unnecessary and while your vet may recommend yearly boosters, except for rabies, most of these shots are good for up to three years.
For an even bigger savings, sign up for one of those membership “ebate” websites that offer cash back and other rewards for using their online shopping service. Another added tip, if your veterinarian has a problem with you filling your pet’s prescriptions elsewhere, you should find another vet since they could be overcharging you in other areas.
PET STORE PROBLEM
Even when shopping online, big chain pet stores like Petco and Petsmart are overpriced compared to other discounted internet outlets like Target and Walmart. Food, toys, treats, accessories, grooming supplies and more, except for some specialty items, you should be able to find almost everything you need at a fraction of the cost.
Speaking of playthings for our pets, there’s plenty of online savings to pocket some extra for the cash we put out for our cats and dollars spent on our dogs. For example, for those who have large or more active dogs that are particularly destructive and chew through their toys like tissue, many will purchase more durable items from the Kong ® product line. But when buying these more indestructible toys, be sure to shop around for the best prices, sites like Amazon and Ebay may surprise you.
Pet treats can also be a little pricey and considering those frightening headlines of poisonous jerky chews imported from China, we’re better off making our own and often at more affordable prices. Check out sites like Pinterest and Facebook for dog treat recipes or try searching Google for even more options. Your homemade goodies are healthier, fresher and tastier than anything you can buy on a shelf or purchase online.
RESEARCH ROVER & KITTY CHECK
Many of us have probably used the internet to perform some type of research on ourselves, but we can also do the same for our pets. Find a reputable animal website that can answer common questions about dog dilemmas and cat concerns. This can include medical advice, information on training and behaviors. While we offer a wide variety of services, there’s a plethora of knowledge about animals available on the world wide web.
While we can’t escape spending money on our beloved pets, we can save more money and spend less by using some extra “re-tail” therapy. Besides, what our pets really want is us to spend more time with them which doesn’t cost a dime.
Amber Kingley is a guest blogger for New York Dog Nanny. If you would like to get your speciality tips shared, please email info@Newyorkdognanny.com with a writing sample and why you’d be a great edition.