At the end of the month I am always surprised how much money we spend on our pets. It can be expensive, making sure your pet has the very best. So I thought it was time I created a strategy for how I could save money without depriving my pets of the things they deserve. Health Care is one of the most financially tasking expenses so I spoke with my Vet and asked how I could cut costs? He said that the best way to cut pet costs is to actively participate in a preventative care plan.
Here were some of his recommendations…
1) Brush your pet’s teeth. Teeth brushing can be as simple as using a cheap toothbrush and water. You can mix bouillon cubes and baking soda for homemade toothpaste as in this easy recipe.
2) Keep your pet’s fur clean! Bathe your pet once a week and brushing them every day. Weekly baths give you the chance to spot any problems on your pet’s coat and brushing ensures that your pet doesn’t develop painfully matted fur or hot spots.
3) Help eliminate unwanted germs by making your own doggie wipes. In a zip bag or glass jar, fold up several paper towels. Mix a cup of water and a few drops of doggie shampoo in a cup and then pour over the paper towels. Seal them in a plastic bag and then you have some ready to use wipes for quick clean ups.
4) Eliminate harmful food additives by making your own dog treats! Rachel Ray has some fun and easy recipes like these Pumpkin Biscuits that I can make up and then freeze so that my pups have some great treats available all the time.
5) Look in your veggie drawer for treats. My dogs love baby carrots, broccoli, and green peppers. Chat with your veterinarian and check a site like Dog Heirs to make sure that the veggies you are sharing aren’t toxic. This will add antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to your pet’s diet, helping ward off free radicals that may do your pet damage.
6) Know what is in your pet food. Healthy pet food doesn’t have to break the bank, there are nutritious pet foods that are budget friendly. I used Pet Food Talk to find more about the food I fed and other choices available. This helps my pet get the nutrition and fuel they need for a healthy system.
7) Concentrate on protein by making your own jerky treats! Most pet foods are high in carbohydrates and don’t include enough protein to support strong, healthy muscles (remember the heart is a muscle too!). Purchase an inexpensive cut beef roast and cut it into thin strips. Bake those strips in an oven at 145 degrees for six hours. Store in a cool place sealed in an airtight container.
8) Keep your pet’s mind busy with “work to eat” toys. They can be as simple as putting treats in a muffin tin and covering them with tennis balls to using a large cardboard box with some scrunched up newsprint or butcher paper. Inside the box hide pet food, treats, and maybe even a Kong filled with peanut butter. This will help your pet with some much-needed mental exercise and also provide them with a nutritious treat!
9) Maintain your pet’s exercise routine by creating a dog walking group. I got together with a couple of my friends and we do a dog walk together three times per week. Regular exercise will help keep your pet’s weight under control, warding off disease like diabetes and heart disease. If you don’t have time for a daily walk, get the help of a local dog walker to ensure your pet gets out and about!
10) Make sure your pet has companionship. Lonely pets experience more health related issues then those with a “pet sibling”. Add to your family by adopting a shelter or rescue pet and make sure your pet has constant companionship!
What is your favorite money saving tip for pet care?