Cost-Cutting Tips for Pet Owners

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These days, everyone is searching for ways to save money and stretch budgets. For pet owners, it can feel challenging to cut costs without compromising on care.

Being vigilant is key, according to Charlotte Reed, a New York-based pet expert. She suggests using these five tips.

1. Join the America Automobile Association. You might think of AAA as being strictly for roadside assistance, but pet owners can enjoy additional discounts, which most people never take advantage of.

2. Investigate discount pet medications. Pet owners can enjoy significant cost savings simply by asking their vet for a prescription, and then purchasing that medication from their local retail pharmacy. Just be sure to confirm the retailer's pet pharmacy program before dropping off the prescription.

3. Deep discounts on pet necessities. Purchase pet food or cat litter online. In most cases, consumers not only get the discount prices of online purchasing, but they frequently get other discounts that can more than make up shipping costs.

4. Get pet insurance. Americans spent $50.96 billion on pets in 2011, and $13.41 billion of that was on vet care, according to the American Pet Products Association. In recent years, treatments once reserved for humans, from radiation therapy to kidney transplants, are now available for pets. For pet owners willing to spend the money to treat their pet, insurance can be a viable option. Carefully reviewing deductibles and monthly payments will ensure insurance can fit into your budget.

5. Do it yourself and keep money in your wallet. Bathing and grooming at home can help save money, as opposed to going to a dog wash or paying a groomer.

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