smart spending

Cut the high cost of pet care with these easy tips

So let me tell you a little story. Teddy has an itching problem. Like a lot of dogs he has allergies, so I called my vet because I heard about this new pill for dog allergies and I wanted to get my hands on some.  Vets aren’t allowed to actually prescribe it. I had to make an appointment with the doggie dermatologist, which I did. Got the pill … $350 later.

You can love your pet to the moon and back, but that doesn’t mean that being a pet owner has to break the bank.

Start at the big-box stores. Places like PetSmart and Petco actually offer discounts quite frequently. There are coupons, there are loyalty programs for frequent customers. And don’t forget the warehouse stores -- places like Sam’s Club and Costco if you buy things like dental chews and rawhide, or even food in bulk. It's substantially cheaper.

Vet bills can get very high, very quickly, but there are ways to save. Check out local schools and clinics, the ASPCA for things like routine visits, spaying and neutering --even vaccinations.

Just like you’d go generic for medicines for yourself you can go generic for medicines for your pet. Ask your vet if there is a generic available.

Finally, ask if there is a human alternative for those pet medicines. Sometimes there is and sometimes it’s much cheaper.

And one last trick: Check out Groupon, LivingSocial and other daily discount sites for things like grooming and other pet discounts.

Hope this information helps you. Go ahead and share it with your other pet-loving friends.

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