This post has been sponsored by Entirely Pets. I have been compensated to share the value of Entirely Pets Pharmacy. Entirely Pets is not responsible for the following content and my honest opinions. I only share products and services that I use or believe in and think will be useful to my readers and their pets.
Let’s face it, keeping our dogs healthy, happy and livin’ large isn’t cheap. Food, toys, regular visits to the vet…it all adds up.
The ASCPA recently released its estimates for what pet parents are likely to pay each year for routine products and services. The national average ranges from $1300 to almost $1900 a year depending on the size of your dog, and that doesn’t include emergency veterinary care, grooming, pet sitters or dog walkers. Cha-Ching!
My husband and I happily fork over our hard-earned money to make sure that Edison and Co. eat the best, stay current on vaccines and other preventative medical care, have toy boxes (yes, plural!!) spilling over with toys and whatever else that will keep them healthy and make them feel loved, cared for and important in our lives.
That said, I’m a blogger whose 9-5 is in animal welfare. I’m not made of money and I’m always looking for ways to safely save money where and when I can. Our Paris, Fall 2015 fund isn’t nearly as fat as I had planned!
Here is a list of my top five favorite ways to save money on pet care safely and easily.
1.0 Low-cost clinics: Many local humane societies and animal shelters have clinics that offer basic preventative care at discounted prices. These clinics offer low-cost vaccines, heartworm tests, fecal examination, spay/neuter surgeries and other services. I personally use our local humane society for our boys’ annual vaccines, rabies tags, heartworm tests and other basic preventative care. As valuable as these clinics are, they should never replace regular check-ups with your super-hero veterinarian. However, using these clinics for some basic prevention may be a good option for you and will likely save you some dough.
2.0 Reputable Online Pharmacies: A licensed, reputable online pharmacy based in the United States is a great option for many people. I recommend Entirely Pets Pharmacy for several reasons:
- Purchasing medication online from Entirely Pets is significantly cheaper than buying from my veterinarian’s office. Veterinarians have extremely high overhead- that X-ray machine, licensed veterinary technician, AAHA accreditation and liability insurance ain’t cheap!- and the cost of medication through a veterinarian’s office is typically marked up 100-150% or more. Your veterinarian isn’t trying to gouge you, they’re just trying to stay profitable. By purchasing online through Entirely Pets Pharmacy, you can save more than a few dollars.
- For ongoing medication, you can select the auto-refill option and save additional money on each shipment. This is perfect for monthly flea/ tick and heartworm prevention. It should be noted that any prescription medication will require a prescription from your veterinarian, but Entirely Pets Pharmacy makes this process simple and easy. For more information about transferring a prescription, look here.
- A licensed pharmacist is available to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. I love being able to consult a pharmacist if I have any questions about side effects or interactions.
- All medications purchased through Entirely Pets Pharmacy are shipped free of charge!
Here is a good infographic provided by Entirely Pets Pharmacy that has even more helpful information for you.
3.0 Use Store Reward Cards and Shop Online: All the major pet supply store chains offer rewards cards that get you access to special discounts and other ways to save money and many local, independent stores and boutiques have customer loyalty programs. If you have a favorite store, sign up for their program and use it wisely to save as much money as possible. If you don’t have a favorite store, research several rewards program and sign up for one or all of them
Don’t forget that you can often find cheaper prices when you shop online. If you do some research and shop around, you really can save more than a couple of dineros.
4.0 Invest in Pet Insurance: Pet insurance is not exciting and it’s not at all sexy. It’s the collard greens of pet parenthood. No one wants it but we should purchase it because eventually Fluffy or Fido is going to get sick and we’re going to need it- or wish we had it! With a good pet insurance policy, you’ll be covered in an emergency or if a serious health issue pops up.
Unlike our own health insurance, pet health insurance policies don’t pay your veterinarian directly. Rather, you pay your vet at the time of service and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
Most policies have pre-existing condition clauses, which means that if your dog or cat has an on-going medical issue when you purchase the policy, the insurance company probably isn’t going to pay. The key here is to get coverage as soon as possible, like when he or she is a puppy or kitten. By buying a policy when Fuzzy is young, you’re going to get more bang for your buck.
Shop around and compare different companies and their policies. Think about the type of coverage you need, purchase one that meets your needs and commit to it. Keep your policy current and you will save money in the long run, not to mention the peace of mind it will provide.
5.0 Adopt, Don’t Shop: It’s kind of obvious that adopting a homeless animal from a shelter or private rescue organization will be a lot cheaper than buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store. What isn’t always so obvious is that these shelters and rescues almost always have purebred animals, including puppies. Many shelters also have programs where you can get on a waiting list for a specific breed of dog.
So, if you’re looking for, let’s say, a deaf Boxer, check your local shelters. They may very well have a Deaf Boxer that will be perfect for you. If not, ask them if they can put you on a waiting list.
You can also search online for a Boxer rescues in your area. I guarantee that there are tons of rescue organizations that work with specific breeds in every single state. Google “Boxer rescue in Florida” or whatever breed you’re looking for or state you live in. You’ll be surprised at how many there are.
A secondary benefit to adoption is that you are literally saving two lives: the dog you adopt and the one who takes his place in the shelter or rescue.
These are just a few of my suggestions. I’m sure you have some favorite tips for saving money without sacrificing safety or quality and I’d love to hear them. Share your ideas in a comment below.