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Babies, at least the human variety, cost a lot. Pets usually don’t come with as hefty a price tag, but they still require health care, food, toys and other supplies. Here are the top ways to save on pet products and other costs associated with having a pet.
Whether it’s medication, pet food or litter you need, check online prices. Pet stores often have internet sales in addition to the coupons and free shipping they use to sweeten their deals. Also, investigate how much you might save with generic-brand products; sometimes, it’s a hefty amount. Amazon is a great option for finding low-cost pet supplies, plus if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll save big on time and shipping costs.
For free stuff, Craigslist is a great resource. You can also snag free toys, dishes and the like for cats, dogs and other pets at Freecycle.org.
One of the best ways to save on pet care and pet products is to prevent problems. To this end, consistent, preventative vet care is a gift to both you and your pet. Keep on top of vaccinations and routine care. Humane societies and other organizations often run regional vaccination clinics that are free or may cost you no more than $5. Invest in safety measures such as light-up collars for when you walk your dog at night. Lean over a sink to open medications and other consumables that are dangerous to pets. That way, there’s no chance a pill will fall and be wolfed down by your pet before you can get to it.
Sometimes pet insurance saves money, and sometimes it doesn’t. At the very least, be aware of the advantages and limitations of such insurance. If you can pay out of pocket for many, or most, potential expenses, then pet insurance may not make sense. Always check coverage caps/maximums, as well as restrictions on pre-existing conditions or health issues that run in your pet’s breed.
Start early to get your dog used to you clipping his nails and cutting his fur. You’ll need plenty of patience, but the reward is savings of at least a few hundred dollars a year.
No doubt you’ve seen memes about cats loving boxes and toilet paper rolls while ignoring expensive toys. Don’t stress over buying high-end play products. When you have a dog, a tennis ball is his best friend. Keep a steady lineup of five to 10 toys for your pets, and rotate a few every week to keep your pet engaged with them.