Frugal Living with Pets
Homemade Pet Food & Other Tricks
There are lots of tips, including making homemade pet food, that can save you money. Owning a pet can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. They bring such benefits as companionship, stress reduction and having a true friend.
However, buying and owning a pet can be anything but frugal. The good news is that with planning and a strong emphasis on preventive care, there are many frugal ways to keep the costs of your best friends under control.
Here are some ways that you can consider in taking care of your pets without straining your monthly budget:
Homemade Pet Food
Making homemade pet food sounds time-consuming, but creating your homemade dog food or cat food is no more time-consuming than making a meal for yourself. Most commercial pet foods have many shortcomings including chemical additives, indigestible grains or cereals and lack of adequate nutrients. They can be thought of as a pet’s fast food. By searching various websites and pet forums, a nutritious, well-balanced raw, vegetable and grain-free homemade pet food can easily and economically be put together. To get some idea of what goes into a raw diet, visit some of the commercial websites that sell the raw diet food products such as primalpetfoods.com and naturesvariety.com. The major savings you will realize from making your own homemade pet food is from having fewer vet bills.
Buy Insurance for Your Pet
If you’re the type of pet owner who would gladly pay for an operation should your pet require it, then it is definitely a frugal strategy to buy insurance for your pet. Sure you pay a small premium each month but it is better for managing your budget if you have a series of small monthly payments. When you are evaluating your pet expenses in your monthly budget for expense reduction, think carefully about eliminating the pet insurance expense. It will do you no good to save a few dollars this month only to be hit with an overwhelming vet bill later on.Think about Vaccinations and Vet Bills
Pets need vaccinations to protect them from all sorts of parasites, illnesses and diseases. Shop around to see which vet offers the lowest price for these vaccinations. You might also want to check out animal shelters, since they can sometimes offer discounts on vaccinations and other pet services like neutering or spaying. You may want to talk to different veterinarians about the wisdom of vaccinating your pets every year. Many veterinarian teaching universities are beginning to recommend different vaccination protocols that would suggest vaccinating every three years.
Groom your own Pet & Make your own Pet-Grooming Products
Certain animals like long-haired cats or dogs require more grooming
compared to the average pet. Some pet-owners send their animals to professional groomers, but the monthly cost of doing so is not cheap
. You can definitely shop around to find a groomer that offers lower rates but another option would be to groom your pet yourself
Inexpensive pet brushes can be bought easily and doing so will not only save you some money but your pet will love the bonding time! When it comes to cleaning your pet, try using baking soda between baths. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda into their fur and rub it in with your hands. After that, gently brush the soda out of your pet’s fur. Not only does the soda get rid of any unpleasant odor, but its gritty texture allows it to bond with the dirt and oils making the brushing process much more effective. Mix baking soda with warm water and you’ve got your own pet shampoo, which will be significantly cheaper than the pet shampoos you find at the stores.
Make your own Pet Shelter and Essentials
Making sure your pet lives in comfort and safety doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy the nicest pet-bed or kennel for them. There’s no need for posh, cutesy, bling-bling designer cages and beds; your pet couldn’t care less about the aesthetics of its home and bed.
There are a lot of items in your house that you can use to make great pet shelters: old pillows and blankets, boxes, crates, odd pieces of wood, plastic sheeting, and so on. All pet shelters and beds really need are to be warm and comfortable.
If the shelter is outside, then you should also make sure it’s watertight. So yes, it might take a little time to scrounge for all the materials and to construct the shelter, but by using things that can be found around the house, you’ll save quite a lot of money as compared to buying some designer pet shelter from a reputable pet store.
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