Written by Amber Kingsley
Just like kids with special needs, our four-legged children with disabilities or special medical conditions can be costly, but they’re certainly worth a little extra money. But many of us are already on a tight budget and it’s difficult to keep up with these added expenses. While there are financial resources out there to assist our furry friends with differing abilities, there are also many ways we can trim some fat from our animal’s budgetary requirements.
One of the easiest ways to save money at the vet’s office is by filling our pet’s prescriptions elsewhere. A veterinarian’s markup on medications averages around 100% and could be high as 200% or more. In some cases, especially for common medications like heartworm, flea and tick prevention, better deals can be found online. If you are unable to get your pet’s medications elsewhere, just like people’s pills, ask your vet if there is a more affordable generic version.
The Toy Department
Every dog deserves some toys, especially chew toys and gnawing treats that keep their gums and teeth healthy, but many pet stores often charge a small fortune for these items compared to other alternatives. Discount stores like Target and Walmart carry a wide selection of these playthings at a fraction of the cost compared to most big chain pet stores.
Slimming and Trimming
Keeping a dog at their ideal weight, especially for those with mobility problems can be difficult. But monitoring their diet can aid in this dilemma. Check with your vet to be sure you’re feeding your dog the appropriate amount of food according to their breed and size. See if switching to another food will help them to keep off unwanted extra pounds. Just like humans, being overweight is associated with many costly health problems that can be avoided by being thinner.
Only the Necessities
Although they’re cute, dogs don’t need a bunch of doggie outfits and other expensive accessories that put a big dent into our tight pet care budget. Stick with the necessities, a good collar, strong leash and ID tags are all they really need in their wardrobe.
There are many things that responsible pet owners need to perform on a daily level and most of them will cut down on costs in the long run. We all know to brush your dog regularly, but their teeth and gums are also need of daily attention. While it might seem silly to perform dental hygiene on dogs, they are susceptible to the same, expensive dental dilemmas that we humans face including gum disease, gingivitis, the build-up of plaque and tartar along with other problems that could require costly medical procedures in the future.
Understanding medical information associated with your dog’s particular breed could help to prevent some problems in the future. For example, brachycephalic breeds, those with short snouts like pugs, often have breathing problems and are at a higher risk for heat stroke. This type of breed-specific knowledge can help us to avoid issues before they arise.
You can still pamper your pooch without breaking the bank. After all, more than buying them toys and treats, they’d rather play fetch with us at home for free. Many dogs are perfectly content just enjoying some quality lap time with their beloved master.
About the Author Amber Kingsley is a journalist as well as a lifetime pet lover. When she’s not traveling the world, she’s usually spending time at home with her pets, and wants to help others make sure that their pets are as happy as they can be.