Many of us are curbing our spending in this economy and that includes spending on our pets. Although the pet business is BIG business with an estimated 48 billion dollars spent in 2010 on vet care, food, supplies and services, consumers are looking for more affordable ways to keep their pets healthy, well fed and active.
1. Vet Care
a. Talk to your vet about a payment program, pet insurance and what is medically necessary right now and which medicines and procedures can wait.
b. Ask your vet about generics especially in the area of non steroidal anti-inflammatories. Generics that rival the popular topical flea medications are on the market as well. These may offer you great savings.
c. And take good care of your pets between visits. Example: Teeth cleaning! Most veterinarian offices charge at least $200 for teeth cleanings. You might be able to save this money by being diligent about cleaning your pets teeth every week and feeding crunchy treats and bones. Now cleaning is easier than ever: cleaning gels and water additives provide the pet owner with clean pet teeth without the struggle of brushing.
a. Many brands of food offer a frequent feeder program. Buy 12 bags get the 13th free is the most common. Innova has a great program that offers a free bag after 10 bag purchases. Make sure to get a frequent buyer card from your retailer AND save your UPC codes. Most programs require these.b. Contact food manufacturers and ask for coupons! Or at least get on their mailing list and you will receive discounts in the mailc. Social Media- friend your pet food manufacturer or retailer on facebook or twitter and get discounts that way too!
3. Toys and Bedding
a. Toys- many toys manufacturers offer a product “guarantee” their products. If your dog punctures or destroys the toy, you can take it back to your retailer or send it in directly to the manufacturer for a free toy. It may be worth it to spend a little more up front for a longer lasting toy that can be replaced.
b. Bedding- In my opinion the best deal on the market is the doggie duvet cover concept vs. a bed. You can “stuff” the duvet with an old bed, towels, clothes, foam, you name it and your dog will love it because it smells like you. They are cute, durable and affordable