Cutting Pet Care Costs Part 1

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Saturday, April 25, 2015
Designer collars, faux-mink coats, doggie donuts―you may love the novelties, but do your pets really need ‘em? The bucks we spend on those little extras for our animal companions add up.
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“A tremendous amount of the growth in pet industry sales have probably been due to things people don’t really need for their pets,” says Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Science Advisor. While it’s great to pamper Fifi and Fido, it’s also important to budget for the essentials. Otherwise, that couture pet carrier could leave you with empty pockets when the emergency veterinary bills come.

We checked in with Dr. Z. for his take on easy ways to cut pet care costs. “The basics are still the same,” he says. “Quality food, litter for cats and good medical care.” Bottom line? Stick with the basics, and remember—preventative measures are excellent money savers!

Go to the Vet! “A number-one money-saver is preventative veterinary care,” says Dr. Z. Annual veterinary exams can catch health crises early on and can save you a lot of time and money. This includes heartworm preventative treatment, flea and tick control, and a thorough check-up of your pet’s gums, teeth, heart, lungs and internal organs. If it’s been a year or more since your pet has seen a vet, make that appointment today!

Give Your Pet Regular Check-Ups
Weekly home checkups are a great way to nip potential health problems in the bud.
Check under your pet’s fur for lumps, bumps, flakes or scabs. Check your pet’s ears and eyes for signs of redness or discharge. Make note of any changes in her eating or drinking habits. If something seems off, call your vet right away.
Learn how to clean your pet’s ears, especially if your dog is prone to ear infections.
Brush your pet’s teeth regularly with a toothpaste formulated for pets, and check his gums. In some cases, this can help prevent the need for dental cleanings, which can run up to $200 per visit.
Check your pet’s breath. Bad breath can indicate a digestive problem that’s better dealt with sooner rather than later


Vaccinate Wisely
“Although certain vaccines are required by law, there is no longer automatically one policy for all animals,” says Dr. Lila Miller, Vice President, ASPCA Veterinary Outreach. “Veterinarians are now advised to assess each individual animal's risk of exposure when designing a vaccination program.” So before subjecting your pet―and your wallet—to general vaccinations, ask your pet’s vet which vaccines he or she recommends.

Spay/Neuter Your Pets
“Spaying and neutering your pet will have a dramatic impact on their health,” says Dr. Z. “For females, it dramatically reduces the potentiality for breast cancer, and ovarian and uterine cancer disappears.” Neutering also reduces chances of testicular cancer in males. Not only will spaying or neutering save you on future health care, but it will significantly diminish your pet’s desire to wander―and will save you the surprise of an unplanned litter. Check out the ASPCA's Top Ten Reasons to Spay/ Neuter your pet.

Invest in Training
“A lot of people don’t think about dog and cat training as a way to save money,” observes Dr. Z, “but a well-trained dog will be easier to walk, will be calmer in most situations and will be less likely to get into things he shouldn’t.” Teaching your dog to stay by your side and to come when he is called proves far cheaper than paying for expensive emergency care caused by his running off―possibly into the street―and eating items that he shouldn’t.

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  1. Heart of Minnesota Animal Shelter
     created a discussion topic
    April 25, 2015 @ 1:19 PM

    Cutting Pet Care Costs Part 1

    Keywords: cutting, cost, care, expense, budget, price, shop, quality, spend, money

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