Tips on Saving Big Bucks on your Furry Little Friend

Responsible pet ownership requires an investment that lasts the lifetime of your pet. In this regard, owning a pet is similar to caring for a child. There are many ongoing costs associated with caring for your dog or cat, but there are easy things you can do to help keep some of these costs down.

Shop Around for Vets: When you’re choosing a vet, call several local veterinary offices and ask them the cost for a routine exam. Often, vets will use this price as a base price for all other procedures. Vets who charge less for a routine exam tend to have lower prices overall. Don’t wait for an emergency to choose your veterinarian; you will be more stressed in emergency situations and may not be as concerned with cutting costs.

Compare Prices Online for your Pet’s Medications: If you buy your flea preventatives and other pet medications at your veterinarian’s office, you are likely being charged a mark-up of over 100% of the wholesale price. Shopping online for your pet’s medication can lead to huge savings, plus the added convenience of receiving your pet’s medications delivered to your door. When you’re comparing prices online, you can often save money by ordering more doses in one time. Make sure you order discount pet medications only from secure sites based in the US that are certified by either LegitScript or Vet-VIPPS like vetdepot.

Don’t Let Fido Eat You out of House and Home: No matter what, your furry friend is always going to want to eat! The biggest ongoing cost pet owners pay is food. Many pet foods labeled as “Premium” or other special diets cost more than double what other pet foods cost. Be aware that there is no legal standard pet foods must meet to be labeled as “Premium”, but any food that is labeled “complete & balanced” or “total nutrition” meets the minimum legal standard required for pet foods. Unless your pet has a medical condition requiring a special diet, you probably don’t need to spend extra on pricey foods that may offer no extra benefit to your pet’s health.

Invest in Preventative Care: You’ve probably heard the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping up with your pet’s routine exams and vaccinations can prevent a wide variety of serious and costly health problems. Clean choppers also make a big difference in your pet’s health. Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth and feeding them dental treats can help prevent periodontal disease, a common cause of kidney and lung problems. Finally, make sure your pet maintains a healthy weight. Have plenty of playtime and don’t overfeed your furball. Obesity can cause diabetes and arthritis, among other expensive problems. Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet, and a healthy pet costs you less!

Is your Four-Legged Friend Going on a Raw or Organic Diet?

In recent years, Americans have been spending more money than ever on organic and natural foods.  It should come as no surprise that many people are also beginning to buy natural or organic foods for their animal companions. Many of us feel like our dogs and cats are members of our family. As we begin to think more about finding healthy foods for ourselves, many of us are also becoming interested in feeding our pets better foods too. At pet stores around the country, new foods are cropping up featuring specialty ingredients like blueberries, alfalfa and brewer’s yeast.

There is some debate, however, as to whether these more costly “natural” foods actually have health benefits for your pet. It certainly can’t hurt your pet to keep them on a diet made from higher quality ingredients however some brands may be lower in important nutrients such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Grain-free foods also promise many benefits but there is debate as to the truth of these claims. According to some veterinarians, grain-free foods mainly benefit pets with specific food allergies.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a natural diet would be a good thing to try with your pet. If your pet has allergies or suffers from any feline or canine digestive troubles, paying more attention to their diet might help improve their overall condition. Rest assured, even if you can’t afford the additional cost of organic, specialty pet foods, more traditional brands are still a safe and cost effective way to fill up that furry little tummy.

July 4th Safety Tips for Every Pet Owner

For many, the 4th of July means barbeques with the family, fun in the sun and of course- fireworks! While firework displays provide us with plenty of entertainment, they can be downright scary for our pets.  It’s not uncommon for cats and dogs to go to great lengths to escape upon hearing those booming noises and seeing those flashes of light. Because of this, shelters see an influx of runaway pets every year after 4th of July festivities.

Below are a few tips for keeping furry family members safe this 4th of July:

Keep pets inside during local fireworks displays: Keeping dogs and cats inside will not only reduce chances of them running away, but will also minimize stress due to unfamiliar sounds. If at all possible, it’s best to stay home with your pets.

Close windows, curtains and doors: This will help keep out as much sound and flashing light as possible.

Turn on the TV or some music: These more familiar noises might calm a pet’s nerves and drown out some of the loud noise from outside.

Make sure all pets are wearing secure collars with proper identification: It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Pets have been known to dig under fences, pop out screens and perform other tricky escape attempts upon hearing fireworks. Just in case your beloved pet does manage to get out, up-to-date identification betters your chances of  a quick homecoming.

June is Adopt a Cat Month!

If you’re considering a feline addition to the family, don’t forget to check out your local shelter before opting to buy. The ASPCA has declared June to be “Adopt a Shelter Cat Month” to raise awareness for the growing number of cats in need of forever homes.

Sadly, an animal is euthanized every 8 seconds in shelters across the United States. Choosing to adopt a cat helps save two lives; the animal you take into your home and the animal that is able to use the empty space in the shelter. However, it’s important to make a responsible decision regarding the adoption of a new pet so that it never ends up back in a shelter. If you rent your home, make sure pets are allowed. Also, be aware that pets require both a time and a financial commitment.

If you feel prepared for adoption, you’ll be sure to be repaid with plenty of love and companionship. So, don’t hesitate to participate in Adopt-a-Cat month if you’re ready for a new feline friend!


Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Pets rely on us for everything. We provide them with food, water, attention, veterinary care, pet medications and everything else their furry little paws aren’t able to provide for themselves. But what recent studies show pets can give us in return is invaluable- our health.

Owning a pet is linked to a variety of health benefits including lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, a slower heart rate and less stress. Thanks to plenty of walks and play time, pet owners also typically lead a more active lifestyle than those who don’t own a furry companion.

Pet owners not only usually experience better physical health, but also benefit mentally. The love and companionship provided by a pet has been shown to decrease feelings of loneliness and depression, outbursts, and instances of mood disorders. It’s no wonder why therapy dogs are now specifically being trained to comfort the elderly, Alzheimer’s patients and even cancer patients.

Pets  improve both our physical health and our quality of life. So the next time your sweet pup is not so sweetly chewing up something he’s not supposed to, remember all the benefit you’re getting from his tail wagging companionship!