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Great Money Tips That Will Help Pet Owners

Being a pet parent brings many joys to life:  unconditional love, companionship, and stress relief, to name a few. Multiple studies have indicated that pets can help offset depression and loneliness, which, in turn, can contribute to better mental and physical health.

But as any pet owner knows, caring for a dog or cat – or any animal, for that matter – can be costly. Food bills add up. Veterinary visits are expensive. Toys, equipment, and medications can take a bite out of a budget in no time. Fortunately, there are some ways you can save them, all while providing Fido and Fifi the wonderful life they deserve.


Save On Pet Food

Pet food can be expensive, especially if you’re purchasing quality food that offers your four-legged friend a healthy and nutritious (and don’t forget tasty!) diet. The free app Fetch Rewards rewards you with gift cards to places like Walmart and Amazon when you buy pet food, and more than 250 other items, at the grocery store. Snap a picture of the receipt showing you purchased an item from one of the brands listed in Fetch and you’re done.

If you buy your pet food online, the free browser extension Capital One Shopping can alert you if you’re about to overpay. Before you check out, it will search other websites to see if your selected items are available elsewhere for less, and it will also automatically check for any applicable coupons.


Purchase Pet Insurance

Pet insurance isn’t much different than other insurance plans:  You pay a monthly fee, and, in this case, the insurance covers any qualifying future veterinary bills. Although it’s never definite that you might need to use it, there’s a high probability that you’ll need to deal with at least one expensive vet bill during your pet’s life.

Finding a plan with comprehensive coverage can prevent you from having to pay a costly, unexpected bill that isn’t covered by your insurance policy. Read the fine print on your policy carefully, and opt for a plan that covers everything from accidents and emergency visits to lab tests and hereditary conditions.

Photo: Shutterstock/Vitalii Vodolazskyi

Establish A Pet Emergency Fund

You might have an emergency fund that includes enough money to cover your essential bills during a crisis such as an illness or job loss, but do you have a fund that will enable you to provide for your pet if an emergency strikes? Even during difficult times when your budget might be stretched to its limit, your pet will still need to eat quality food, visit the vet, receive medical care if needed, and be groomed.

Establish a fund that could cover six months’ worth of costs, including food, grooming, and routine check-ups at the vet.  Having a pet emergency fund will allow your best friend to remain healthy and happy, even when life has thrown you a curve ball or two.