Dog Blog - May 23, 2022

How To Save Money (And Time) On Pet Costs

By Guest Author Sadie Cornelius, Canine Journal

Pets bring so much joy and energy to your home. But with them comes expenses. Here are some tips for shaving a little cost on your fur baby.

Subscribe And Save

Food and treats can eat up your wallet. Food subscription services can help you save on your pet’s meal plans. There are a growing number of dog food delivery companies entering the market. Or, if you have a brand you already prefer, you can use the “recurring delivery” feature for most products on Amazon or Chewy to get a discount (including treats). Subscribing to a dog box service delivers a variety of snacks and toys to your doorstep monthly at a fraction of the retail price. That way, Fido will never get bored (or hungry). and you’ll never run out or have to make extra trips to the pet store.

Buy Pet Meds Online

Pet parents must budget for medications like heartworm and flea and tick preventatives. Buying direct from an online pharmacy can have significant savings. Make sure you use a licensed and accredited service that requires and confirms your prescription. Check with your vet as they might have a partnership with an online retailer. Plus, shipping directly to you eliminates extra visits to the vet’s office.

Author Sadie Cornelius with her Cavalier KC Spaniel
Author Sadie Cornelius with her Cavalier KC Spaniel

Use An Online Vet

If your dog ate something they shouldn’t or isn’t feeling well, you should immediately take your dog to the vet. But what if it’s after hours or you aren’t near an animal hospital? For many situations, online vets can assist with questions and offer advice on treating your dog’s symptoms from the comfort of your home (or wherever you may be) 24/7, at a fraction of the cost and with limited wait times. The Pet Poison Helpline is also a valuable resource. For a flat fee of $75, they offer unlimited follow-up calls to address your incident. Their trained toxicology specialists even speak directly to your vet if your pet requires further diagnosis or treatment. Some microchip registration companies waive the fee with an annual membership, saving you even more.

Get Pet Insurance

Like insurance for humans, pet insurance is a nominal monthly fee to make sure your bills are covered when you need it most. A typical pet insurance plan covers unexpected accidents and illnesses. Some providers also offer wellness plans for annual checkups, vaccinations, and other preventative costs. Your premium price depends on your pet’s age, location, and breed. So shop around for at least three quotes to compare pricing and coverage, as both can vary widely. The higher the deductible and lower the reimbursement rate, the lower the premium typically is. The monthly fee is a small price compared to the potential out-of-pocket expenses from an emergency health concern. A stomach issue, the top reported health claim at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, can cost over $29,000 to treat. Learn more in our Best Pet Insurance article, where we share our recommendations based on overall value, specific needs, and more.

Other Financial Assistance Resources

There are several organizations that may be able to provide you with vet bill assistance. You could also discuss possible payment plan options with your vet. If your dog needs routine care like teeth cleaning, grooming, and nail trimming, ask your provider if they can work out a discount for bundling or buying multiple services at once.