How to Tame Your Pet Spending

By: Roger Jocey

Many pet owners see their pets as a member of the family and often spoil them just like children. With pets being so near and dear to our heart, it can be a real downer when they end up costing a fortune that you donít have. While having a pet can be expensive, there are ways around these expenses. Youíll be surprised how much you can actually save per month by using these helpful tips.

Make a pet budget.
You canít bark about your dog digging you into debt if you donít track your monthly pet expenses. Put your nose to the ground and create a system to tally the costs of pet food, veterinarian bills, litter, collars and leashes, pet carriers, toys, and cages. Be sure to also account for special costs like grooming, training, and even household damages to floors and furniture. Knowing what you can afford on a monthly basis can help when emergencies pop up Ė no bones about it.

Get your pet spayed or neutered.
Litters of puppies or kittens may be cute, but they sure are expensive when you factor in veterinarian bills and the cost of finding homes for them. Spend a little now by spaying or neutering your pet to save down the road. And with many unwanted animals put down by shelters each year, simply being responsible by getting your pet fixed will save the lives of many animals.

Consider pet insurance.
This could potentially save you hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in vet bills if your pet gets sick or injured. Shop around and shop early. Lower rates are given for younger pets. You can get more information on pet insurance here.

Do-it-yourself training.
A well-trained dog can save money since you wonít have the expense of trying to fix behavior problemsĖor pay insurance claims. You can reduce the cost of training by doing it yourself: find books or DVDs from reputable trainers that use time-proven techniques.

Shop around for medications.
Ask if a generic, less-expensive substitute or over-the-counter product might work. Your vet may not offer the lowest price. Ask for a written prescription so you can compare prices.

Utilize Vet Schools/Clinics
Using vet schools are a great way to save money on visits. Many vet schools, clinics and university programs offer pet services at reduced prices. By utilizing the service of students in training you can be sure that your pet will get extra care while helping to save money in your wallet.

Portion Control
Your pet is going to eat as much as you give them; they have no comprehension of portion control or saving some for later. So, itís important that you†control their portions for them. Your pets should eat a certain amount of food per day depending on their size. If you give them more than needed, youíll not only endanger their health, but youíll also run out faster and end up spending a lot more money on food in the long run.

Bye-bye bling
Your dog could care less about the bedazzled collar or the jersey to match your alma mater that you bought for him last season. If you feel Fido really does need a raincoat buy one on sale and donít feel the need to update your petís wardrobe seasonally.

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The best way to control pet expenses is to do your research first. Look for a healthy, friendly cat or dog, give it the food and care it needs to thrive, and you will have a happy, loving friend for years to come.

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