15 Affordable Pet Care Options You Probably Didn’t Know About petscentral January 20, 2016 Pet Care Truth be told; owning a pet can be as costly as it is rewarding. For most people, it is quite difficult to stay on top of what’s best for their own health and well-being, so knowing what’s good for their pets may seem even more confusing. Thankfully, taking proper care of a pet doesn’t have to be a costly affair. There are ton and tons of ways to save on pet care and some occasional splurges pet owners should make to avoid costly problems later on. If you have a pet/pets at homes, here are top 15 affordable pet care tips you probably didn’t know about. Invest in preventive care Just like us humans, taking your pets for a routine checkup is essential. That single checkup visit to a vet’s office every other year will not only help avoid expensive procedures but also very costly illness later on. In any case, annual vet visits should actually touch on weight control, nutrition among other things. However, when it comes to choosing the right veterinarian for your animal, be sure to shop around. This is important for the cost of this kind of preventive care can vary from one place to another. You could also talk to your friends and you ask for some of the best recommendations in town, and once you find the best clinic, stick to it. Get your pet vaccinated against diseases For optimal health, pet owners are always advised to take their animals for regular vaccination against common illness such as feline, rabies, leukemia and canine hepatitis. How often should you have your pet immunized? This will largely depend on a number of factors such as age, health, risks and lifestyle. Again, make sure you talk to your vet about the vaccinations that make sense for you pet. Overall, vaccinating your pet against major illness and disease is much cheaper than treated an already sick animal. Research and shop around for medication Yes, buying the medication directly from a vet’s office is convenient. However, did you know it is also one of the most expensive options? Thankfully, there is something that can be done about it. For the world where everything is going digital, there are tons of online pet drug stores. Comb through a good number of them as you compare their product and prices. At the end, go for the best, but cheap medication for your animal. It does not even stop there; pet owners also may be able to save on vaccinations by attending a vaccine clinic, normally held several times each year at a local animal shelter. Evaluate the environment and make sure it is safe for your animal Assessing their living conditions is probably one of the easiest ways to keep your pet out of vet’s office. Keep any kind of toxic chemical as well as, cleaners out of reach. Pick those small items like toys that can be swallowed and keep dust as a minimum. These few things can actually lead to medical problems and interestingly they can be avoided with a thorough and preventive sweep of the house. Moreover, pets need mental stimulation and this may include scratching post, window perches, and toys for your cat. It means play time with you, does not only keep their muscles toned, but also help strengthens your bond with your 4-legged companion. Neuter or spay your animal Not only will neutering and spaying help prevent unexpected litters of kittens and puppies, but also save you a lot of money in the long run. From studies, spraying and neutering come with a whole range of health benefits for your pet. While there is a very strong indication that sterilization can increase the risk of health issues in specific breeds, spaying or neutering a pet eliminates the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer and reduce the chances of the prostate or breast cancer. Research on food option and pick the right diet for your pet Even for an industry that has seen different types of pet food being made, many store-brand pet foods are just as nutritious as brand-name alternatives that cost up to 6 times as much. As a way of saving money and at the same time making sure your pet stays healthy, look for natural varieties that have a whole food and fewer filers. Also, if it is something you can do, learn more about pet nutrition and bake your own treats and spice up your pet’s daily life with healthy and nutritious veggies and fruits. Additionally, when it comes to pet food, if your pet is a bit old, you may want to consider a different diet. Since older pets tend to be less active, pet owners are advised to look for low-fat options that containing high-quality proteins and another supplement like glucosamine for joint health. In short, make sure the diet you are giving your animal is on point and you are actually feeding them calorie laden foods. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight Just like us, our pets need regular exercise to help them keep fit and prevent a number other health complications. So if you have a pet at home, encourage them to move. You don have to make them run, but you can take a walk with them when you are free or even over the weekends. Obesity is also one of the biggest problem facing our pets; just like in human, obesity in pets come with a lot of health risks that include, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. One of the biggest causes of obesity among pets is overfeeding. If you don’t know how to maintain a proper weight for your animal, talk to your vet; he or she can make feeding suggestions based on your pets, weight, age, and lifestyle. Prevent parasites Fleas are the most common external parasites that can bring a whole new range of health issues for our pets. They can lead to hair loss, irritated skin, or even infections. Plus, fleas can also introduce other parasites into your dog or cat. All it takes is for your animal to swallow one flea and it can end up with tapeworms, one of the most common internal parasites affecting cats and dogs. Year-round prevention is key and regular flea and intestinal parasite control should be practiced at all times. When it comes to parasites, consider using the best products to eliminate a problem before it starts. Go for natural remedies If today your pet contracts fleas, instead or rushing to a pet store near you for those expensive shampoos learn how you can make your own flea shampoo. For example, you can take 1 cup dish soap, 1 quart of warm water and 1 cup of vinegar and you mix it. Take your homemade shampoo and you rub it on your pet’s fur and leave it there for approximately 5 minutes before rinsing it with clean water. In other cases, coffee grounds have also shown to be highly effective in fighting fleas and ticks without special shampoo. In others case, dogs sometimes develop eye issues some of, which can be treated with simple home remedies. Learn about them, but always check with your veterinarian first. Proper restraint in a vehicle You always buckle up when you are in the car, so should your pet. Unrestrained pet inside a car are a distraction to the driver and put the driver and pet at risk of serious injuries. To help them stay safe, never allow your pet to travel in the front seat. Secondly, don’t allow your dog ride with their head out of the window and lastly, make sure your cat is confined to carriers at all times when you are on the road. Some pets are known to have a knack for finding trouble, but safety and proper preparation helps prevent injuries. Do the grooming yourself When it comes to pet care, there are a number of things you could do yourself; for example, grooming your animal. This is important for grooming does not only keep your pet healthy but also reduce the amount of animal hair inside your home. If you don’t know how to go about the whole thing, talk to a veterinarian and ask for tips on brushing teeth, fur, as well as, cleaning your pet’s ear. Though nail should be trimmed by a professional, you could also learn a few tricks on how to pull off the whole process without hurting the animal. Take brushing teeth seriously Despite the amount of good things it comes with, brushing of your pet teeth is probably one of the most overlooked things when it comes to affordable pet care. Just like us, your pet’s dental hygiene is crucial to their overall health and wellbeing. Not taking your pet’s teeth seriously can lead to kidney disease or even heart failure. As a matter of fact, from research and studies tat have been done, it now evident that cleaning a dog’s teeth on a daily basis can add up to 4 years to the animal life. Unbelievably isn’t? Don’t count out pet health insurance Even though you will be required to submit monthly premiums, this kind of plan for your pet can cover expenses should your animal need emergency care or treatment for a very serious illness. The best part, for an industry that has continued to witness some of the biggest competition from different service providers ever, there are a good number of insurance plans that are affordable. However, make sure research to see what is covered and what is not. Ways to get cheap or even free vet care for your pet With the way things currently stands, office visits for you animal can be costly, but you don’t have to roll over. Here are great ways to take a bit out of vet bills. a) Try a vet school Truth be told, vet school are typically cheaper that vet clinic, as well as, animals hospital. While every procedure is performed by students, they are supervised by a vet. b) Keep an eye out for specials and shop around As a way of luring pet owners into their pet’s clinics, just like human-centered business, vets offer specials. Be on the look out for such amazing offers and take full advantage of them. You will be surprised with the amount of money you will be able to save in the long run. It does not even stop there; vet prices can vary widely and it is because of this you may want to check around. The cost of treatment often depends on the pets’ clinic location or the kind of equipment used. c) Go for cheaper prescriptions If you normally buy prescription medication directly from your vet, you may be overpaying. Get your PC and hit the internet and compare prices online. However, just like with the human drugs and medications, be careful when buying pet medication online. Deal only with reputable sites. You could also talk to your vet about some of the best recommendations when it comes to online sites. d) Find a charity If your vet is not in a position to help and you can’t afford an expensive and necessary medical procedure for your pet, you may actually get help from a charity. There are a ton of charities, some of which help with the cost of life-saving medical care for pets. Helpful isn’t? e) Talk to your vet and ask for help If your pet needs a very costly medical treatment and you are struggling to cover the cost of care, talk to your vet; a good number of vets may offer payment plans or even discounts if you are one of their steady clients. Developing a good relationship with your veterinarian is actually the first step toward a healthy pet. At the end, when it comes to affordable pet care for your animal, the amounts of options you have been virtually endless. Always practice the above and you will be surprised on how healthy your pet will be for years to come. The best part, that will help you save a considerable amount of money that you would have otherwise spent on pets’ clinics and medications. Remember, with a loving and caring owner, our pets can thrive and possibly live for the longest time possible.