Pet care costs may be rising, but it is possible to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your family budget without shortchanging the health of your pet.
“We need to be smarter than ever on how we unleash our dollars,” says Marty Becker, DVM, veterinarian in Bonner’s Ferry, ID and veterinary contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America. “Five years ago, the question posed by pet owners was, ‘Do you take credit cards?’ and now, we are seeing more people coming in with $300 in cash and asking, ‘What can you do for my pet for $300?’ Today, we must look at people’s budgets and prioritize our recommendations of care for their pets.”
Bernadine Cruz, DVM, veterinarian in Laguna Hills, CA and host of The Pet Doctor on Pet Life Radio, agrees, adding, “Practicing preventive medicine at home is a great way for people to save money.”
Becker and Cruz identified 10 money-saving strategies:
1. Practice portion control and serve quality, commercial pet food.Use a measuring cup at meal time and select pet food that lists a real meat as the first ingredient—not corn meal or wheat. Doing so can keep your pet at a healthy weight and that translates into fewer vet bills to deal with pancreatitis, diabetes and a host of other health conditions triggered by obesity and poor nutrition. Sniff out store coupons or contact your favorite pet manufacturer and request coupons. Estimated annual savings: $200.