5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Pets

by FinancialTips4U

When you're a pet owner, teconomic ups and downs become even more troublesome. What if your dog gets sick and you can't pay for health care? What if you can't afford your pet?

Do you feel that if you hear the term “European debt crisis” on the news one more time you just might scream? While it might seem like dry, boring news to many of us, some economists worry that the European debt crisis – along with a number of other current global events – might just send the American economy back into a recession. That's not good news for many average Americans, who are already struggling to keep their heads above water financially.

When you're a pet owner, those economic ups and downs become even more troublesome. What if your dog gets sick and you can't pay for health care? What if you can't afford your pet at all anymore and you have to give your pet away?

Before you start calling farms to find out if they'd be willing to take in your four-legged friends, just relax. There are many simple ways you can save money on your pets. Here are five of them.

1. Buy pet supplies off Craigslist.

If you've never been introduced to the magical world that is Craigslist, now's the time to point your web browser in that direction. For the uninitiated, Craigslist is a website where people post free classified ads. You can find almost anything on Craigslist, from a ride to work to a photographer for your wedding to pet supplies. Think of it as your own personal online yard sale. Instead of going to the store to buy a brand new leash or pet carrier, look for it on Craigslist first. Freecycle is another place you might try to find pet supplies your fellow local pet owners no longer need.

2. Research your pet.

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Understanding that, read up on your pet. By learning about the most common ailments that affect your particular breed of dog or cat, you might be able to save money by preventing illnesses before they start.

3. Utilize discount pet meds.

There's no reason you should pay full retail price for pet meds; you can find discount pet meds online from reputable pet pharmacies. Before buying discount pet meds online, however, make sure that the pet pharmacy is based in the United States and is certified by the National Association Boards of Pharmacy – the main regulatory body for pharmacies within the US. Buying discount pet meds is a great way to save money on meds you have to regularly buy anyway, such as flea and tick medication and heartworm preventatives.

4. Feed, water and exercise your pet appropriately.

Speaking of disease prevention, dogs and cats need a healthy diet and exercise just like humans do. For starters, keep your pet's water bowl filled with fresh water all the time. Just like humans, various health problems start to impact pets when they become dehydrated or even chronically dehydrated.

When it comes to food, even though it may seem like you're saving money when you buy the cheapest dog or cat food on the market, you're not. A great way to save money on food and keep your pet's diet healthy at the same time is to make pet food yourself. There are plenty of recipes to be found on the Internet that are both healthier and cheaper than buying food at the store.

Finally, make sure your pet is getting enough exercise. Just as you need to get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and movement, so too does your pet.

5. Love your pet.

That's right: The last tip for saving money on your pet is to love him or her. If you want your pet to stay happy and healthy, to have a minimum of behavior problems, and to be with your family for a long time, there's no better action you can take than to love on him or her. A loved pet is a healthy pet.

Know of any other ways to save money on pets? Share them in the comments section below.

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Updated: 02/17/2012, FinancialTips4U
 
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