Owning a pet in America is an expensive liability – which is a real shame considering the joy they bring. Unfortunately, the Cost of pet ownership has increased in recent years. As per latest American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, from 2013 to 2021, average pet spending per household increased by 67 percent – from $460 per year in 2013 to $770 per year in 2021.
Keeping up with the cost of a pet can be a tragic struggle.This has led many Americans to surrender their fur babies to shelters, which are already overwhelmed. All of this leads to the question: How can those on a tight budget mitigate the hefty costs associated with caring for your beloved friend?
Practice preventive care.
Just like with humans, investing in preventative care — as opposed to just treatment — can go a long way in combating high costs and can even help prolong your pet’s life. Is.
“Preventive care such as flea and tick medication, brushing your dog’s teeth, pet insurance and regular vet visits can be very helpful for your pet’s health and your budget in the long run,” said Dr. Katie Nelson, Senior Veterinarian. The chewer. “Precautionary measures may have some upfront cost associated with them, but this is much less expensive than the diseases and conditions they are meant to prevent.”
Take annual exams.
Anyone who has a veterinarian caring for their pet is probably used to getting those emails or texts that it’s time for their pet’s annual checkup. If there’s nothing obviously wrong with your pet, it’s easy to remove them, but don’t delay.
Nielsen points to this fact presented by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA): “Annual preventive health care exams and routine preventive care — such as vaccinations, heartworm testing, fecal parasite testing , dental diagnostics and more — save pets’ lives by making sure they’re healthy. They can also save pet owners money by reducing or eliminating the risk of health problems that require treatment. Could be more expensive.”
Invest in pet insurance.
Americans already pay a fortune for their health care coverage – why add to the monthly costs with pet insurance? Answer: It can really save you money in the long run.
“I’ve always advised my clients to invest in pet insurance, ideally starting as a puppy, but it’s never too late to get insurance,” Nelson said. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average cost of pet insurance is $44/month. However, this is only average. In reality, you can expect to pay much less or more depending on your pet’s breed, age and where you live.”
But then again, the monthly cost is worth it.
“When you look at how much emergency costs can be for sudden illnesses, injuries, surgeries (and) hospitalizations, the initial investment is a lot easier than a potential medical bill of $5,000-$10,000,” Nelson said.
Ask your doctor about lower-priced food brands.
Instead of searching the Internet for cheap pet food alternatives, talk to your vet about your options. It is important not to choose a food that will become junk or unsuitable for your pet’s needs.
“Your veterinarian can help you choose a diet for your pet that’s right for their health, palate, life stage, lifestyle and your budget,” Nelson said. “
Get high quality toys.
Pet toys can be so cute! So cute! too funny! But you should be patient and use good judgment here too.
“When looking for toys, reviewing customer ratings and reviews can help you decide what’s best for you and your dog,” Nelson said. “See the product description to learn more about the materials used and how the toy was made.
“Also consider what kind of player your pet is to help guide you to the best toys. If they are docile and prefer ‘nose work,’ maybe hide and seek. A chew toy or treat toy is a good option. If they’re an aggressive shaver, a Kong or something more durable might be a good quality toy for them.”
Do your own grooming.
While it’s certainly easier and more convenient to send your pet — especially a dog — to a groomer to be bathed and generally groomed, it’s not cheap. This DIY!
“For pets with short coats, grooming at home can be a huge cost-saver,” Nelson said. “Bathing, ear cleaning and nail trimming are all things that can easily be done at home. Leave things like dematting and anal glands to the professionals, though, for the inexperienced but good pet parent. Injuries may occur.”
Pets with long coats may require a bit more time if you are going to DIY it.
“For pets with long coats, if you’re committed to home grooming, take the time to do your research and learn proper grooming techniques,” Nelson said. “You’ll need good equipment for long nails, such as clippers, a mat brush and possibly a Dremel. For very short nails, keep styptic powder on hand. Air cleaner and cotton balls or ear wipes, eye wipes and no water. It is also good to always have shampoo on hand.
Explore telehealth options.
Is your dog acting up a bit but not in a particularly annoying way? Check out the telehealth vet visit.
“You may not always need to see a doctor, so consider consulting with a doctor first,” Nelson said. Chewy’s free Connect with a Vet service lets you quickly and easily chat or video call with veterinary professionals available 7 days a week from 6am to 12am EST. Chewy’s Symptom Checker is another great tool to get doctor-approved answers in seconds, day or night.
Shop around for low-cost doctors and look for salary assistance
When looking for a doctor, know your options and be dedicated to finding doctors who offer competitive or below-average prices for routine care.
“In addition, many shelters and rescues provide veterinary care for people with limited funds,” Nelson said. “If you’re struggling to pay your pet’s health care bills, there are options like CareCredit or ScratchPay that will help you with a short-term pet care loan.”
Spay/neuter your pets.
Some people don’t like to groom their dog or cat, because they think it’s unnatural, or because they plan to breed them. Please reconsider not spaying or neutering your pets if you want to protect their health and your wallet.
“Spaying or neutering your pets is not only beneficial to their health and the pet population as a whole, but it can save money down the road,” Nelson said. “Intact female dogs go through heat every four to eight months, and it can be messy. They can also become pregnant during this time, which will require health care costs for mother and foal. “Intact male dogs are more likely to be lost or injured as they wander around looking for females to breed with.”
Get coupons and cashback.
“If you’re shopping for pet essentials, such as food, treats and shampoo, look for applicable coupons and discounts before checking out,” said Samantha Landau, consumer expert. TopCashback USA. “Improve your online shopping experience by using a cashback site; if you’re not using one, you’re basically leaving free money on the table.
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