How To Save Money On Dog Ownership
Some people walk into dog ownership (or to being a pet parent) without knowing what costs are involved in shareing their lives with a dog. In the first year of a puppy’s life, they spend inordinate amounts of time at the veterinarian’s office for health check-ups and vaccinations.
As your dog ages, as long as she remains healthy you may only need to visit the vet annually for a health check-up. However, as any pet parent will tell you, accidents happen and you may also need to invest in prescription foods, buy flea and tick medications or any number of other unexpected healthcare costs.
How To Save Money On Dog Ownership
Pet health insurance, many say, is a great investment to help pet parents easily afford both routine vet visits as well as alleviating the costs of major health, or ongoing health, issues.
Factor in these costs:
- Buying toys
- The cost of food
- Veterinarian care. Preventative care and annual check-ups will help alleviate some of these costs.
You can see how quickly these costs can add up, but savvy pet parents know there are ways to save money on the items that Fluffy and Fido require for the length of their lives.
Don’t skimp, but shop around. Not all veterinarians charge the same amount for the same service. You certainly don’t want to skimp on the medical care for your pet, but you can certainly ask your veterinarian to recommend free or low cost vaccination clinics. Some areas of the country have free or low cost spay and neuter clinics for responsible pet parents who simply can’t afford the full price.
When shopping for a veterinarian, look for one whose hours and location are convenient for you. Meet the staff and make certain you’re comfortable with them as they will be caring for your fur baby. Check out the facilities and make note of how they interact with your dog.
Don’t skip appointments. You may believe you’re saving money by skipping your dog’s annual examination, but you could be compromising his health. If your dog is only seen annually, there could be health changes taking place that you simply cannot or have not noticed. A thorough examination is the best way to assure your dog is healthy.
Your vet will likely recommend:
- Dental evaluations
- Heartworm testing
- Other testing unique to the area of the country in which you live. For example some areas are more prone to ticks than others.
You are doing your dog, and your pet budget, a favor by practicing preventative care.
Don’t skip spay and neuter. Yes, it costs money to spay and neuter your dog, but you may save them from preventable diseases and you can certainly prevent unwanted litters of puppies who may end up in the already-overcrowded shelters.
Care for your dog’s teeth. Introduce your dog to tooth brushing when she is young. Ask your veterinarian for tips to make this a pleasant experience for the two of you and ask how often you should do this. Brushing and feeding dental chews can help prevent loose teeth, gingivitis and tartar build up. When you brush your dog’s teeth he may be able to avoid potentially costly dental cleanings.
Feed high-quality foods. You don’t have to break the bank on dog foods, but when you purchase food that is as high a quality a you can afford, you’re feeding your dog higher quality ingredients that are less likely to be made with “fillers” and carbs and are more nutritionally-balanced.
Keep your dog in shape. Obesity can lead to hip and joint health issues and to the potential of diabetes. Take your dog for walks. Buy him toys that will keep him busy and active. Avoid table scraps. When you take your dog for a walk it’s benefiting both of you!
Invest in dog bite insurance. No one wants to think that their dog has the potential to bite another human, but accidents happen. Fear, aggression and many other reasons may lead to your normally mild-mannered dog to lash out and bite someone. When you invest in dog bite liability insurance you can protect yourself if your dog bites someone.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.