3 Key Things You Can Do to Save Money on Pet Care

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  • A pet can bring you a lot of joy, but also be a strain on your finances.
  • There are steps you can take to lower your pet ownership costs, from buying food and medication strategically to setting yourself to avoid sky-high vet bills.

These moves could go a long way.

Adopting a dog has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. But let's face it -- owning a pet can be expensive. Within months of adopting my current dog, I found myself raiding my savings account to the tune of $3,000 to cover medical testing. And that was on top of the many hundreds of dollars I spent on an initial vet checkup, food, and supplies.

If your pet has been putting a bit of a strain on your finances, you should know that there are steps you can take to lower your pet care costs. Here are a few to look at.

1. Buy supplies in bulk

Buying food in bulk can help keep your grocery bills down when you're feeding a family. The same holds true for pet supplies. If you purchase food, treats, and other supplies in bulk quantities, you're likely to reap some savings.

That doesn't mean you have to physically haul mass quantities of pet food around yourself, though. Sites like Amazon and Chewy have auto-ship programs designed to not only deliver pet products to your door, but also save you money in the process via lower prices. It pays to do some comparison shopping to see which site has the best deal on the specific food and supplies you use.

2. Do your own grooming

Holding an animal down to bathe them and dry their fur can be unpleasant. But if you're willing to endure the struggle every so often, you could save yourself a lot of money by skipping the professional grooming appointments.

That said, some animals can be exceptionally hard to groom. And if you live alone and are tasked with holding down a 130-pound dog every time they need a bath, well, that may be a task you need to outsource. But if grooming your pet is doable, it could save you a lot.

3. Put the right pet insurance coverage in place

Although pet insurance is technically an added pet ownership expense, it could save you a lot of money in the long run if your pet falls ill or gets injured and needs extensive medical care. In fact, without insurance, a single incident could cost you thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.

You'll want to shop around for the right pet insurance, though. Some plans might offer certain wellness benefits for your pet but premiums cost a lot more. And some plans might cost less but offer less comprehensive coverage for illnesses and surgeries, so you'll need to do a thorough comparison before buying insurance. It also pays to check with your employer and see if it offers any type of subsidized pet insurance.

It's important to have plenty of money in savings before adopting a pet in case your costs end up being more than you bargained for. At the same time, it pays to put all these strategies to work so you can lower your pet care costs and avoid the financial stress so many pet owners experience.

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