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Pet Hacks on a Budget

It might be true that love don’t cost a thing, but being a responsible pet-owner sure does. Whether you’re temporarily strapped for cash, or frugal by nature – you can still do the best by your pets and your wallet with these six pet hacks.  

  1. Pet Food: You can’t “tighten your belt” when you don’t wear pants.

Save up to 15% on your pet food by bundling it with other household items on Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program . Amazon carries many different brands (even premium and specialty brands), and you can tailor delivery frequency and get it shipped free right to your door.

2.  Homemade Food: You don’t need to be Betty Crocker.

If you have a smaller dog or a cat, a great way to save money is to make it yourself. Check out some easy recipes here, and remember to get your vet’s ok before significantly changing your pet’s diet. Not a master chef? By most pets’ standards, you’ll deserve a Michelin star. Or three.

3.  Buying in Bulk: Good for your budget and the Zombie Apocalypse.

Save on flea meds, joint care, shampoo and the like by shopping online with companies that buy in bulk directly from manufacturers. One such company is Budget Pet Care, where we found the lowest price on Frontline Plus (a flea control combo medication) at $18.99 for a three-month supply.

4.  Veterinary Bills: You shouldn’t have to choose between your pet and your pocketbook.

Some vets will let you work out a payment plan directly with them — ask about this first. If not, Care Credit issues instant credit for medical services, including veterinary. Just remember - easy credit is not cheap credit. Make sure you’re comfortable with the payment arrangements and try to pay it off as quickly as possible, or it could end up costing you significantly more in the long run.

5.  Pet Insurance: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as your mom would say, if she says annoying stuff. Or if she's a man named Benjamin Franklin.

To avoid huge vet bills in the first place, get a pet insurance plan. Plans start at very reasonable monthly rates, and most prove less expensive over the life your pet than paying out-of-pocket for every bill.

6.  Pet Microchip Registration: Because the NSA only cares about your movements.

You need a way to keep track of your pet so you can be reunited if your pet is ever lost. Keep an ID tag with your current phone number on your pet at all times, and make sure your pet is microchipped and registered in a searchable database. Found.org is the only microchip registry that’s totally free. This means that no matter how many pets you have, or how many times you need to update your information, you can do so for free.

Not sure if or where your pet’s microchip is registered? Get answers here

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The Michelson Found Animals Foundation's mission of saving pets and enriching lives is made possible by the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson.

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