Animal lovers abound, especially here in the United States where almost 70% of American households have some sort of pet accounting for over 82 million families with these lovable critters living in our homes. We spend a pretty penny on our pets, shelling out over $55 billion annually on their care in the form of food, supplies, medical attention, grooming and boarding.

 For families on a tight budget, we can do a little more than shopping online for pet coupon best deals when it comes to quality health care, food and other supplies. Check out these five tips on saving some extra money when it comes to caring for our beloved canines:

 #1 – Homemade Treats for Your Hound

Taking Care of Your Dog On a Budget
 Treats are not only expensive, we never really know what they contain, especially considering all the recent headlines about poisonous jerky chews from China suspected of killing and poisoning thousands of animals. When we make our own treats and food for our pets, we know exactly what ingredients we’re including like frozen pumpkin pops or chicken and rice dishes. You can find these and more healthy recipes here.

 #2 – Other Food Finds

Dogs shouldn’t live on human food alone and when shopping for pet food, try to stay in the middle of the road. In other words, you don’t want the cheap stuff that contains mostly byproducts, but you don’t want to spend upwards of $50 bucks for a bag of food either. Read the label and make sure that the first four ingredients are protein and not corn which can be unhealthy for dogs in large quantities. You should see healthy ingredients like poultry, beef, rice, soy and grains are in the top tier.

 #3 – Tackle the Toyland

Dogs need toys, especially something to gnaw on to help keep their gums and teeth healthy and strong. But you can skip the overpriced playthings at big chain pet stores and opt for cheaper alternatives at discount stores like Target or Walmart. For larger and more active dogs that tend to destroy their toys quicker, try something a little more indestructible like something from the Kong ® product line that you can buy online cheaper at places like Amazon.

 #4 – Prescription Prices

 Veterinarians mark up their prescription prices an average of 150% or more and add on even more costs, sales tax, shipping and dispensing fees. With places like PetCareRx, you can save big on these medications. If you go to a regular website for these purchases, consider joining a rebate site where you can earn cash back when you buy repeatedly.

 #5 – Preventative Care

 The best way to avoid unexpected medical bills is to have your pet seen regularly by their veterinarian and keep their vaccines current. Speaking of vaccinations, don’t let your vet bully you into getting too many shots, especially yearly since most of them can last up to three years. The exception is rabies, which should be administered once a year.Taking Care of Your Dog on a Budget

 Another item often overlooked by many dog owners is dental care. Sure chew toys and treats help, but canines should have their teeth brushed daily. They are susceptible to the same dental dilemmas as their human counterparts including gum disease, gingivitis, the buildup of plaque and tartar which can cause a variety of expensive health problems.

 Keeping our dogs happy and healthy doesn’t need to break the bank. More than expensive toys and treats, they’d much rather spend time with us playing and petting them.

 

Filed under: Dog Care

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