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Save On Pet Care

Pets are wonderful to have but they can become very costly.

Most people love their pets and will do almost anything to keep them safe and healthy. Pet care is a billion dollar a year industry due to the cost of food, shelter, health care, grooming, day care, training, insurance, and other pet related products and services.

Pets provide their owners with companionship, comfort, love, joy, and protection. In return, they need to be treated with love, respect, and dignity. Since pets are domesticated animals and live in the homes of their owners, they can't take care of themselves as they would in the wild, so it's up to the owner to provide a safe environment, food, and other necessities.

Taking care of your pets can get very expensive if you don't plan your budget around them. In essence, they are a member of the family and you, the owner, have a responsibility to provide for their needs. Pet care can cost upwards of $2,000 to $3,000 a year or more depending on the type of pet and the care and services you give them.

Below is a list of things you can do to save money on pet supplies and health care.

(1) Before buying supplies for your pets, seek out the brands you like and then comparison shop for the best prices. Comparison shopping is the best way to find more affordable pet supplies.

(2) Check newspapers and magazines for coupons and discounts on pet food and supplies and many pet stores advertise locally by sending flyers and coupons that are inserted into your regular mail.

(3) Do online searches for products that are on sale and find printable coupons that can be used for extra savings. Most stores have web sites that list all of their products and some offer free shipping if their products are bought online.

(4) Shop bulk stores for big box items such as pet food, medicines, grooming supplies, and toys. Big box items may cost more initially but they can save you money over time. If you feel that big box items will lose some of it's freshness or spoil, think about sharing the costs with a friend or family member who has the same type of pet.

(5) Before you have to take it to a veterinarian, do a little comparison shopping. Each veterinarian is different and so are their fees. Most veterinary hospitals offer state of the art medicine and care for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, and other exotic animals.

(6) Schedule yearly exams for your pets. It may save your pet's life and save you a lot of money in the long run. It is less expensive and better for your pet's health to diagnose and treat an illness in it's early stages than to wait until the illness is full blown.

(7) Do not overfeed your pets. Overfeeding can cause obesity and other health related problems that can become very costly over time. Also, keep your pet's teeth and gums healthy. Most people are unaware that pets can get gingivitis, tartar buildup, loose teeth, and other gum diseases that can eventually cause heart and kidney failure.

(8) Have your pets sprayed and neutered. Many animal shelters offer low cost or no cost spray and neuter services. This prevents pregnancies and certain diseases such as ovarian and testicular cancers.

(9) Fleas and ticks are a pet's worst enemy. They cause medical problems that can be very costly. You can pick up a variety of products to combat these parasites at your local pet store, but it may be wise to ask your veterinarian which products are the best for your pet. Ticks and fleas also bite and infect humans with a variety of diseases, some which can be fatal.

(10) Pet insurance: Like humans, animals have accidents and illnesses that need to be treated by medical professionals. They get colds and flu, allergies, broken bones, ear infections, cancer and other illness. A visit to a veterinarian can be costly but it is wise to have regular checkups and do preventive care. Pet insurance is relatively inexpensive and can help manage the costs associated with your pet's medical issues.

Sadly, when the economy is bad, many people abandon their pets or take them to pet shelters because they can't continue to take care of them. Before you adopt a pet, make sure you can afford to pay for it's long term care. You can do this by putting a little money aside each month in an emergency fund that will cover your pet's food and medical expenses.

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