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Is having a pet costing you too much?

Fido on a budget

When it comes to cutting back in an uncertain economic times, we know that virtually no area of life goes unexamined - even when it comes to your pets. Of course for many of us, our pets are like our kids, and they are members of our family. It's difficult to imagine doing anything less than pampering them. Fortunately there are still ways to provide a high standard of life for your animals while saving some cash.

Dogging Holding Money

1.    Day care or dog walker

What does your pooch do during the day? If you're working all day, you may have opted to take them to day care or invest in a dog walker. Of course, I'm not advocating that your pup sit at home all day by themselves to save you money, but you can reevaluate where this money is going, and how much is being spent.

Many day cares offer options to buy sessions in bulk, which cut down on the cost of each individual day. If you have a dog walker you may be able to recruit other dogs in the neighborhood to be part of a dog-walking co-op,  and that may mean the dog walker would charge less per walk. Or ask about discounts if you refer new clients to them.

Think outside the box. Can you work from home some days? Are you gone for only a few hours at a time and could you pay a neighbor kid to come let your dog out? Can you come home at lunch to walk your pup yourself? Perhaps you may have a friend or family member nearby who is retired or works from home who would love to get some fresh air with a four-footed pal in the park. All these are potential solutions that could end up saving quite a bit of money in the long run.

2.    Buy in bulk

Getting a lot of, say, dog food at a time can mean less money spent in the long run. If you're concerned about carting giant bags of dog food to and from your downtown apartment, look into ordering online and having it delivered. Although sites such as petco.com aren't discounted, the doorstep delivery helps to save on gas and is especially convenient if you use public transportation. Petfooddirect.com and pets-warehouse.com are also great with providing bulk orders and shipping!

3.    Investigate your pet insurance

If you have insurance, do you frequently use it? Are you paying more for coverage than you're receiving in reimbursements? If so, consider reducing the insurance to catastrophe only, or to the lowest plan offered. This will often help you save a bit on you monthly bill while still keeping your pet covered should something happen to him or her!

4.    Use discounted medication providers

Whether your dog requires routine medication or you simply treat them for fleas once a month, chances are you can find medications at cheaper prices than what you pay at the vet.
Check out these online resources:
discountpetmedicines.com
discountpetdrugs.com
1800petmeds.com

All of these steps may not save you a bundle all at once, but added together, and taken over a period of several months, you'll start to notice a difference, especially at a period where every little bit helps!

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