Here are eight ways to save on pet costs from Money Central (see the end of the article):
- Use low-cost clinics for shots.
- Get second opinions.
- Ask for samples.
- Shop around for meds.
- Don't cheap out on pet food.
- Keep their weight down.
- Keep your pet indoors or on a leash.
- Consider a cat -- or a mutt.
My thoughts on these:
1. We usually got our pets from the animal shelter and often they had shots at a reduced price. Not sure they do this or not anymore, but back in the day, it saved us a decent amount.
2. Just like you would for yourself, getting second opinions is a great idea for your pet -- especially when your vet is recommending that new $2,500 treatment.
3. Vets get a ga-zillion samples of food, drugs, treats, etc. from companies wanting them to push their products and my experience is that most vets usually share them freely just for the asking.
4. Not only shop around for your meds, but also ask for free samples (as noted above.)
5. Cheap pet food? My mom used to COOK for our pets. Later, when I was on my own and had pets, I always fed them the "good stuff" figuring it was cheaper that a vet bill from eating bad food. Besides, the makers of the better foods coupon heavily (or at least used to), so I never paid full retail.
6. Our pets were always big, but only a couple were fat. Maybe my chasing them (the cats) around with a toy car kept them in shape! ;-)
7. Our cats were always indoor only animals. We lived in a rural area, and the dogs would run free. Yes, we had to train them not to go near the road, but they were quick learners.
8. Personally, I like both cats and dogs, but let's face it -- cats are cheaper. And both kinds of animals are very cheap (or free) at your local animal shelter.