Money Saving Tips for Pet Owners #2

We’re continuing our series on money saving tips. Here are 4 more suggestions:

1. Feed the good food.

Higher quality pet food may be more expensive per unit than those less-than-the-best brands, but it ultimately saves you money. Because the ingredients are more nutritious, pets eat less of it –meaning one bag of the good stuff will last longer. Because there are fewer “fillers” involved, you’ll have to scoop less from the litter box or backyard as well. Even better, high quality dog food or cat food reduce your pet’s chances of developing health issues and diseases down the line, so you’ll save on vet bills as well.

2. Whip up homemade treats.

Did you know that you can grow your own catnip? Search for seeds online or at your local home and garden store. For a couple dollars in supplies (seeds, dirt and a planter), you can keep your cat in fresh, enticing catnip year-round! And for those who enjoy spending time in the kitchen, Petfinder has great recipes for homemade dog treats, and for cats, horses and pocket pets.

3. Get creative with toys.
Your house is full of virtually free pet toys; you just need to look for them. Cats love a pinch of catnip tied inside an old sock or balled up in a bit of aluminum foil. They also adore wooden spools, milk carton rings, twist ties, and boxes –lots and lots of boxes. For days of fun, tape up a cardboard box and cut a cat-sized hole in the side. Sprinkle the interior with catnip and toss in a milk carton ring. This will keep many cats entertained for hours at a time.

Dogs love tennis balls tied up in old socks (just make sure they don’t eat them). Hunks of plain rawhide are inexpensive and provide days of chewing fun. If your dog is particularly tenacious, invest in a Kong. This $10 rubber ball is indestructible. Stuff it with kibble and you’ll have a happy dog for hours.

4. Don’t skip the vet.
Americans spent more than $14 billion on vet care in 2011. When times are tough, it can be tempting to postpone your companion’s annual exam and vaccinations. However, preventing illness is almost always less expensive than treating illness –and safer for your pet as well. If money is tight, schedule an appointment on a low cost vaccination day at the local animal shelter or watch for low cost vaccination clinics at area veterinarians.

For the first article in this series, click here.

Do you have any money saving suggestions? Share them below in the comments and look out for our next and last article in our money saving series!

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