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How to Save: Pet Care

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Adopt our version of a stimulus package for Fido and Fluffy

 

This article is courtesy of Grandparents.com

 

  

By Mercedes Cardona

 

1. Hire the grandkids.

 

Pay your grandkids to cat-sit, walk the dogs, or bathe your pets. They'll welcome the chance to make money from those chores and to spend time with your pets, especially if they don't have their own. And, you'll pay a lot less than you would a kennel, dog-walker, or professional groomer for the job.

 

2. Stay dry.

 

Although canned pet food has no nutritional difference from dry, it's more expensive and it can be up to 75 percent water, according to Consumer Reports magazine. Researchers there found that inexpensive, generic dry foods were just as good as the premium brands. But be careful if you want to make your own. Dogs and cats may like human food, but the watchdog (pun intended) organization warns that pets have different nutritional needs. Check with your veterinarian first.

 

3. Cut the vet bills.

 

If you adopted your pet from a shelter, ask if it houses a low-cost veterinary clinic. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will direct you to free or low-cost spay and neuter programs locally; some clinics also offer vaccinations and other services. Ask your vet before you vaccinate: While the law requires that pets receive some shots, not all animals need the same protection.

 

4. Buy veterinary insurance.

 

It can cost $300 to $400 a year for veterinary insurance, according to the ASPCA, but some medical treatments can set you back thousands of dollars. You can get even lower rates if you insure several pets.

 

5. Rotate your pet toys.

 

The ASPCA recommends putting some toys away and rotating them every few months to keep your pet interested, instead of constantly buying new ones.
 

 

Image: Mr. T in DC / via Flickr

 

This article originally appeared on Grandparents.com. For more penny-pinching idea, see their other Monday Money Savers.
 

 

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