People Who Abandon Pets Are Not to Blame

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Want to hear something seriously sad? It's this: Animal shelters are full to bursting right now, and not because of irresponsible pet owners who won't spay and neuter or return animals like they are a sweater that's the wrong size. No, it's because the economy is making it difficult for people to keep their pets.

Sometimes they can't afford to feed them and provide vet care, or they have to move in with relatives or into a place that doesn't allow pets because of a foreclosure.

But it doesn't have to be that way: there are ways to trim pet expenses that can make the difference between giving up your furry friend or keeping him with the family if hard times strike.

First, the big duh! tip: Skip all the dumb, expensive extras. Your pet does not need Halloween costumes or Christmas presents. They don't even need treats; many dogs will respond to a bit of their regular food as a reward. Dogs love peanut butter, that vile spray cheese stuff, or even Spam. And toys can be as simple as the ring from a jug of milk (cats love these ... mine come running now when I open a new milk jug) or an old sock or stuffed animal.

Here's a tip: Always look in other areas of the store before you hit the pet aisle to meet a pet's needs; much like with babies, tacking the word "pet" onto something makes people open their wallets indiscriminately. Of course this won't work for food or litter, but you can find shampoo, toys, and even brushes must less expensively elsewhere. Also, comparison shop when you're looking for gear; we made the mistake of going to a big chain for much of our dog's gear and ended up returning all of it when we saw it was about a third cheaper at a less fancy store.

Of course, vet bills take the biggest bite out of the budget for most pet owners. You can find low-cost vaccination clinics ... many local pet supply stores sponsor these once or twice a year, and many humane societies have low-cost vet clinics for routine care that operate on a sliding fee scale.

Pet insurance can provide protection against huge vet bills, but many financial experts say you'd be better off putting that monthly premium into your savings account: then it's there if you need it and you keep the money if you don't.

As far as food, make sure you're not overfeeding your pet (no matter how much they sit in front of their dish and stare pathetically at you) and that what you give them is high quality. Good-for-them food will support their health and probably save you money on vet bills.

Pets can cost money, but what they give us back in unconditional love is priceless ... and you can keep your furry pal happy without breaking the bank!

 

pets, home finances

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Dannielle Richins

I don't agree with the title of this article at all. Just sayin'

poshkat poshkat

i agree with the PP i dont like the title. as for cutting back costs, i agree. my pets are my babies, my family, if you are moving find a pet friendly apartment (they are more popular right now than ever), like your cats amy, my cat's favorite toys are the milk jugs plastic thing and my hair bands, i found a big stash of them under my couch the other day. also buying food and litter in bulk is always a good idea and getting a big plastic bin for dry food to keep those nasty bugs out is not too expensive either and in the long run it beats running to the store every week to buy that small expensive bag of dog or cat food.

nonmember avatar Christine

I can not work due to illness and my husband has been out of work since November, that being said we have 3 children ~ one human daughter, one fur daughter, and one fur son. Our two cats are part of our family and will always be treated a such. We feed them a "cheap" cat food...dry Meow Mix (my childhood cats lived to be 18 and 20 eating that their whole lives) so buying their food does not cost that much. We buy their litter in bulk and by cleaning it several times a day we do not have to full out change it as often. My cats' toys are my daughters hair bands and milk jug lids, oh, and shoe laces LOL (while you are trying to tie them). We did have to switch vets. We LOVED our vets (a husband and wife team) but they became to expensive for us. We found a new vet who we like who charges on a sliding scale according to income. Taking care of your pets CAN be done even when almost no money is coming in.

By the way, we have our darling female cat because someone in our apartment building moved and left her :( Poo on them, but great for us because she is an awesome cat AND she was pregnant when left so we have our male cat because of her too (on of her sons) Her other two sons went to live with a family where my husband used to work; the family that used to live in the house that we now live in. So does that mean we have our house because of our cats??!! ^~^

Mary Ellen Harman Brisley

Stop making excuses. Animals are not that expensive to care for.  buy a cheap coffee for yourself. shop in dollar stores  and thrift stores,cut coupons.  Don't eat out every night.  You took on the responsibility of a living creature LIVE UP TO THAT RESPONSIBILITY.  Trim and bath your own dog,learn to cut nails,and clean ears.

ILove... ILoveKamNKate

Pets are like your children and you don't see people giving their children up for adoption because of the economy!

frysh... fryshannon34

The title of this article sucks

sodapple sodapple

I do agree there are people that go insane buying things for their pets but some don't have children and the pets are their children, therefore

sodapple sodapple

I do agree there are people that go insane buying things for their pets but some don't have children and the pets are their children, therefore they spend a lot.

Peajewel Peajewel

You can make your own dog food, treats and toys too.  I would not suggest letting a dog play with a plastic ring, they can chew it up and swallow it and plastic is super bad for a dog.  They cannot digest it properly.  I would not trust it. 

KTMOM KTMOM

This article is a bit... strange... considering the title and then the actual topics in it.  The topic is good at the heart,  ways to be a frugal and smart pet owner,  so I do appreciate that.  I also appreciate your mention of feeding high quality foods,  that is one of the BEST ways to keep an animal healthy.

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