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Shop smart for pet care items

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Bargain shop for pet products

Pets have become a natural extension of the family. They're no longer sleeping on the porch but in the comfortable burrow of your pillows and sheets, nestled alongside you both as you doze off each night. Some pets have health insurance and the latest toys, and many are dressed better than their humans. Spoiling your four-legged friend isn't a bad thing, but why spend ridiculous amounts of cash? Here's how to keep your pet pampered with the coolest, trendiest items without making your wallet howl.

Dog Food and Bones

Comparison shop

Be a smart consumer and look at all products with a critical eye. Does your cat really need another mouse-shaped scratching toy? Can you find a similar product at another store for a cheaper price? Comparison shopping is one of the most effective ways to save. Many times, independent retailers and discount department stores offer lower prices than pet specialty stores. Sure, you might save when buying food in bulk at a pet shop, but those little knickknacks your dog loves probably go for less elsewhere. Don't buy on impulse. Your wallet will thank you for it.

Save on meds

The same applies to prescription medications for your pet. Trust your veterinarian with diagnoses and treatment options, but remember: Her office typically doesn't have the best deals on pets meds. Once again, shopping around is imperative. Humans aren't the only ones who can benefit from cost-effective generic brands; many drugstores offer generics for pets. Yes, that's right: Your local pharmacy just might fill prescriptions for Fluffy. Or, ask your veterinarian if he provides generic medication. You'll be surprised to find that many of them do! We promise, your bird won't care whether he's getting a name-brand drug or not.

Shop smart and save

Consider your pet's personality when buying goodies for her. She doesn't need a whole slew of toys -- just three or four different products that are both fun and beneficial. Does your dog like to chew? Opt for a rope toy that will keep him entertained and serve as a great way to release energy. If he likes to nurture and cuddle, choose a soft toy that's made of fleece or fabric. He'll feel like he's really taking care of something and will have a snuggle partner when you're not at home. Start by throwing one new toy into the mix; rotate it out for a new one when it starts to wear.

Of course, you want the best for your pet -- but don't go bankrupt over it. Think strategically the next time you're stocking up on supplies and toys, and you might even have some extra cash to drop on yourself!

More pet care ideas

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Bret Michaels Launching “Pets Rock” Line Of Pet Products
Natural pet grooming

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