Money-Saving Tips for Pet Lovers

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Money Saving Tips for Pet Lovers

Money Saving Tips for Pet Lovers

Americans keep 71 million dogs and 81 million cats as pets.  The pet industry is huge, and filling a shopping cart in a pet store can ruin a budget.  You pay attention to the big picture like your credit score, budget planning, and great deals on home loans.   If your pets deserve a good budget checkup too, try these tips:

1.   Start with a bargain pet.

If you’ve just decided to open your home and heart to a pet, consider adopting an animal from your local shelter or an animal rescue group.  You’ll save big, and you’ll give a needy dog or cat a great “forever” home!

2.  Check out used pet equipment.

Maybe you wouldn’t buy used furniture for yourself.   But do you really think your pet knows (or cares about) the difference between a used crate or carrier and a new one? Craigslist is a great place to find used pet equipment locally.  Look in the classified ads in your community newspaper.  Cruise yard sales and thrift shops.  For rock-bottom cost (zero), try a local Freecycle chapter.  Of course, be sure to clean used equipment with disinfectant before introducing your pet to it.

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3.  Learn to groom.

This depends on your pet’s temperament (and yours too!).  If you’re patient and your dog is laid back, get out the pet shampoo for an at-home bath.  If at-home grooming stresses out you and your pet, maybe it’s a better plan to budget for occasional professional grooming.

4.  Make it yourself.

Dogs just want something to chase, retrieve, shake or chew.  Cats love to play games that let them attack and “kill.”  If your dog plays retriever-style, collect tennis balls that are too dead for court play.  There’s plenty of life left in them for your pup.  If your pooch likes tug-of-war games, twist a thick piece of cotton roping, tie the ends, and you’ll have an instant toy.  Here are some great ideas for sturdy toys for your dog.

As for cats, there’s not much that can top a gently crumpled ball of aluminum foil or almost anything tied to a string and dragged or dangled in front of your favorite feline.  You can even make your own pet treats at incredible savings – and they make great gifts for other pet owners, too.

5.  Trade pet sitting with a trusted friend.

Going away for the weekend?  Get a pet-loving friend to care for your pet while you’re gone.  Then do the same for your friend in return.  Make sure your friend agrees to spend some time with your pet while you’re gone so he won’t get lonely.  Instead of being hauled off to a kennel, your dog or cat will be far less stressed staying at home.  You’ll save on kennel fees, and so will your friend.

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For more ideas on how to improve your financial health, check out, where you’ll learn how to achieve your credit potential and get home loan recommendations tailored to your unique situation.

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