Pet ownership in an economic recession – Part 2

Is your pet’s extravagant lifestyle busting your budget? Are you dining on fast food and putting off utility bills in order to pay for Fido’s gourmet kibble? In today’s economic environment, it might be a good idea to find some ways to save money on pet care without excessively reducing your furry friends’ standard of living.

Dog and cat foods are a good place to start cutting your pet care budget. Many pet owners, having heard that the cheap stuff is mostly filler, buy specialty dog and cat foods with impressive price tags. In fact, not all cheaper food is bad for your pet. Next time you are in the kibble aisle, check the ingredient lists on the bags of foodif it lists “chicken” rather than “chicken byproduct meal,” then you needn’t feel bad about offering it to Fluffy.

Grooming is another area in which many of us can save some money. Rather than taking your pet to a professional groomer, toss him or her into the bathtub and do it yourself. Bear in mind, however, that human shampoo is too harsh for dogs, so you should buy a bottle of dog shampoo. With a little practice, you will be shampooing, clipping nails and trimming fur like a pro, or at least well enough that your dog won’t be embarrassed to be seen at the dog park, and you’ll be saving a bundle.

With some careful considerations, the costs of veterinary care can also be reduced in economically tight times. If necessary, a young, healthy pet might need a veterinary checkup every two years instead of annually. Ask your vet if your pet is healthy enough to skip a year. Also, tell your vet that you don’t want to pay for any unnecessary vaccinations. For example, if you don’t plan to board your dog any time soon, you don’t need to immunize him or her against kennel cough. For medications, discount online pet pharmacies offer a cheaper alternative to the vet’s office. Finally, if you find yourself unable to pay for vital veterinary care, talk to your vet and see if you can pay over time.

These tips might just help you and your pet weather the current economic recession. If you can, donate a bit of time, food, or money to your local animal shelter as well, since hard times have left many shelters understaffed and overcrowded.

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