Six Simple Ways to Reduce Your Pet Care Costs
With their adorable faces and quirky personalities, pets quickly become integral members of our families, providing love, companionship, and a reason to live every day to the fullest. You naturally want to do all you can to keep your beloved pet healthy and happy.
Unfortunately, you may not understand the potential costs of caring for a pet when you pick up a puppy or kitten at your local shelter. There are certainly known costs you can roughly calculate, such as the cost of food, annual vet visits, needed shots, and spaying/neutering, just for example.
What about the costs you can’t anticipate? What if your cat swallows a length of yarn? What if your dog develops tumors? What if the animal you’ve brought home has worms, or parvo? What if your pet develops diabetes?
The costs of pet care can be high, and as a responsible pet parent, you need to be prepared to cover the costs of care. It is your obligation to make sure your pet remains healthy and well. How can you prepare for potential costs, but minimize them as much as possible? Here are a few simple tips to help you reduce expense while maintaining your pet’s health.
Spay or Neuter
The main reason to spay or neuter pets is to help keep animal populations low. To this day, there are more pets in the world than people willing to adopt them, and the sad outcome is that many animals end up being euthanized. According to the ASPCA, nearly 1.5 million unwanted animals (dogs and cats) are euthanized in shelters each year. You don’t want to contribute to this number out of negligence, so plan for the cost of spaying or neutering.
Of course, there is also a health benefit to spaying or neutering animals. Studies show that animals who are spayed or neutered have less risk of developing certain cancers, which could save you both the cost of care and the heartache of watching your beloved pet suffer.
Choose Healthy Food Options
There is no shortage of pet food options to choose from these days, with kibble featuring organic meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables (as opposed to dubious ingredients like chicken byproduct meal or fillers like corn, for example), as well as fresh dog and cat food showing up at many animal supply stores.
Choosing the right options starts with speaking to your trusted veterinarian, as well as reading labels to understand exactly what you’re putting in your pet’s bowl. Don’t forget to follow portion sizes so as not to overfeed your animal. Obesity can lead to all kinds of health problems for your pet.
In addition to feeding your pet right, make sure to incorporate a regimen of daily exercise. This is a great way to help control weight and ensure that your pet enjoys a healthy, happy, and stress-free life.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
This is a must. Without regular checkups, your pet’s health could decline without you knowing until it’s too late. Regular vet visits ensure that a trusted professional keeps an eye on your pet’s health in order to catch potential problems early, helping to stave off major costs associated with emergency care.
This will also help you to stay on top of necessary vaccines. While there are many vaccines your pet could receive, the particular regimen you subscribe to will depend on laws in your area (certain immunizations may be required), as well as your pet and your lifestyle. For example, indoor animals may not need the same vaccines as those exposed to outdoor elements.
Follow a Proper Grooming Regimen
Washing and brushing the coat, brushing teeth, and trimming nails are all essential to supporting good health for your pet. If your dog or cat is an outdoor animal, you also need to remain diligent about checking for parasites like fleas or ticks that could cause a wide range of health problems. Regular grooming can help you avoid such issues.
Insure Your Pet
Pet insurance is not cheap, but it can be worth it if you start insuring your pet early. Preexisting conditions are often not covered, so it won’t necessarily help to get it after your pet becomes ill, but when you maintain pet insurance, it can pay off if unexpected injury or illness occurs. Some employers are even including options for pet insurance as part of their benefits package nowadays, so ask your employer if this option is available.
To learn more about the team at Central Texas Animal Hospital, view our team page or contact us today to schedule an appointment! We offer veterinary services for cats and dogs in the Pflugerville/Austin-Round Rock, TX area.