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Ways to Save on Pet Ownership and Keep Your Fur Creatures Happier and Healthier
As nearly anyone who has ever been a parent to a dog, cat, or other domestic house-creature can tell you, pets enrich our lives and bring us unspeakable joy. They are like members of the family with an extra set of legs instead of opposable thumbs.
As such, pet guardians want to do everything they can to extend the life of their beloved beasts. With that in mind, we have some tips for how to not only take excellent care of your furry friends but to save money in the process.
Thinking About Adding a Creature to the Household? Consider a Shelter Pet
Not only is adopting a shelter pet much less expensive than paying thousands of dollars for a purebred pup or exotic feline, mixed breed animals are typically healthier and live longer. They tend to inherit the best traits from the mixture of breeds that comprise their genetic makeup and are often heartier than designer pets. And at the risk of stating the obvious, shelter pets desperately need homes. Many states euthanize animals that aren’t adopted within a specific timeframe.
Spay and Neuter Your Furry Friends
If you adopt from a shelter, it’s a given that your pet will be spayed or neutered before coming home with you. But, if you opt for a purebred animal, it is extremely important to have your new friend fixed. Not only will this help reduce the homeless pet crisis, it will also eliminate the need for costly procedures that can creep up later in life when animals are left intact.
Make Sure Your Pet is Getting Sufficient Exercise
Taking your dog on a walk (beyond just a trip to the bathroom) is totally free and will benefit their long-term health. Just like a human, your pet needs cardiovascular exercise. And ensuring they get it on a daily basis will help stave off expensive health problems down the road. Young cats get a lot of the physical activity they need just by running around the house like their furry bodies have been taken over by the forces of darkness, but as they age and become more sedentary, playtime becomes more and more crucial to their continued well-being. Investing in some cat toys that will keep your feline friend engaged will contribute to their long-term health and reduce the risk of obesity.
Stay Current on Recommended Vaccines
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. Making sure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccines and any other preventative medicine could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in treatment for illness down the road.
Take Care of Your Pet’s Teeth
This is crucial with both our feline and canine friends. Feeding your cat at least some dry food (as opposed to an entirely canned diet) will help chip away at plaque accumulation. If you start a regular brushing routine when your cat is a kitten, they are more likely to be tolerant of having their teeth brushed as an adult. Tartar-reducing treats are another excellent option for keeping your feline’s mouth free of plaque and disease-causing bacteria. Just like their feline counterparts, dogs should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis. If your pet has significant tartar accumulation, teeth cleaning is available at nearly all veterinary practices. Ensuring that you pet’s chompers are cared for can save you bundles down the road. Oral surgery is cost-prohibitive and largely preventable if you adhere to regular preventative tactics. Keeping your pet’s teeth clean will extend their lifespan substantially.
Feed Your Pets High Quality Food
Yes, high-end kibble is more expensive in the short term but feeding your critters quality cuisine will keep them healthier and lower their risk of urinary crystals and a number of other costly expenses that can creep up as a result of poor diet. Cheap foods are full of fillers that offer little to no dietary benefit and aren’t good for your pet.
Check Reviews Before Picking a Physician for Your Pet
Some veterinary clinics feel as though are run like a used car dealership, with employees trying to upsell you on services that are unnecessary and only serve to line the practice’s pockets. In the age of the Internet, you can vet your veterinarian before your first visit. Look for reviews that describe the practice as not just cost effective but also patient-focused. It’s great to find a vet that won’t bleed you dry but it’s even more important to find one that will put your animal’s needs above all else. Finding a provider that will put your fur beast first and offer services at a fair rate is a winning combination.
Ask Your Vet to Call in Pet Meds to a Local Pharmacy
Veterinarians simply cannot compete with pharmacy pricing. And many of the drugs your pets require are available at a cheaper price from your neighborhood pharmacy. Check the GoodRx app for the lowest price on your dog or cat’s prescriptions and ask you vet office to call the script in for you. This can save you substantially over time. And it may save you time and gas not having to drive to your vet’s office for refills if it’s a recurring medication.