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Between visits to the veterinarian and purchasing pet care products, owning a pet can be expensive. Luckily there are a number of ways you can reduce your expenses. Here are 20 tips for saving money on your pet.
1. Make Your Own Toys
From an easy catnip mouse to a towel braid, you can DIY your own toys instead of purchasing them. Just make sure that you avoid using any small parts or other items that can be potential choking hazards, and always supervise your dogs as they play with these handmade toys.
2. Schedule Complete Physicals
While there’s no way to prevent your pet from ever getting sick, the most cost-effective way to deal with an illness is catching it before it gets serious. You can do this by requesting a complete physical whenever you visit your vet. By providing a full physical and performing blood tests or other diagnostics if necessary, your veterinarian is more likely to catch a condition before it gets worse and more expensive to treat.
3. Create a Pet Budget
If you’re not already keeping track of your monthly pet expenses, start now! Take note of how much you spend on your pet and make an allotted monthly budget. This way you’ll be mindful of how much you’re spending and able to keep yourself from going overboard.
4. Avoid Expensive Fashion Items
From fancy collars to customized sweaters, there are a lot of options for pet apparel these days. Most pets, however, don’t need these expensive accessories, so save your money and stick with purchasing only necessary apparel, like a well-made collar, an ID tag and a comfortable leash.
5. Take Your Own Photos
With some planning, you can take great pet portraits yourself without hiring a professional photographer. You can even snap great photos of your quick-moving cat with some practice.
6. Groom at Home
Pet grooming is important, but there are a number of procedures you can perform yourself instead of visiting an expensive groomer. Take the time to learn how to perform pet pedicures and coat care.
7. Seek Out Inexpensive Cat Scratchers
You can purchase inexpensive scratching posts, “scratch trays” made of corrugated cardboard or door hangers with cardboard or sisal surfaces instead of splurging on an expensive cat scratcher.
Also consider DIY-ing your own scratchers by wrapping a cheap sisal rope around a new or used post to make it last longer, or around a log or tree limb. Just be sure whatever you create is stable enough to not fall over on your pet and tall enough to offer a good scratch.
8. Keep Up-to-Date With Vaccines
The best way to keep from paying large medical bills is to keep your pet protected against diseases that will be costly to treat. Take action by making sure your pet is up-to-date on all preventive care, especially vaccinations.
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