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10 Ways to Save on Vet Expenses
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10 Ways to Save on Vet Expenses

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Jan 17, 2023

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Owning a pet brings many joys, but health emergencies aren't one of them. Although you love your pet like your own child, vet bills can certainly cut into your budget. Pet owners often have many medical expenses to budget for, like vaccinations, medications, procedures, and emergency visits. Taking a proactive approach to preventive care can save you money and keep your pet healthy and happy for a long time.

1

Feed your dog apples

 woman talking to her pet french bulldog at the kitchen counter who is waiting for his pet owner to feed him Edwin Tan/ Getty Images

Proper nutrition goes a long way in keeping your pets healthy. Try feeding your dog apples occasionally if you're looking for a way to mix things up with traditional dog food. Apples contain many nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, that can help support good dog health. Be sure to remove the core and all seeds first. Apple seeds contain a compound that's toxic to animals. Also, cut the apple down into bite-size pieces to ensure your dog can chew it.

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2

Keep your pet at a healthy weight

The pet owner feeds the cat with dry pellets of feed from the palm of his hand. Ekaterina savyolova/ Getty Images

Obesity is a big problem for pets, leading to chronic diseases. Caring for a pet with diabetes, kidney problems, or other diseases means more vet bills. Based on your pet's size and activity level, your vet can help determine how many daily calories to feed your pet. A free online pet calorie calculator can also help you estimate how many calories your pet needs to maintain a healthy weight.

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3

Stay up to date on vaccinations

Young nurse in medical scrubs and gloves looking at labrador and touching him while veterinarian making injection SeventyFour/ Getty Images

During a regular exam, your vet will tell you about vaccinations your pet may need. Treatments for deadly diseases like distemper, parvovirus, and leptospirosis can come with hefty vet bills. Rabies is another dangerous, often fatal disease and rabies vaccinations are required in most U.S. states, counties, and municipalities. Preventative vaccinations are the best way to keep your pet healthy and avoid expensive medical treatments.

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4

Keep up with good grooming

woman comb brush the Persian cat anurakpong/ Getty Images

Regular grooming makes your pet look great and is part of staying healthy. During a grooming session, you can visually inspect your pet's skin and coat. Feel around for lumps and bumps, and look for scratches, wounds, and anything unusual. Catching potential problems early can make treatment easier and keep down vet expenses.

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5

Skip poisonous plants

Adorable cat and houseplant near window at home Kseniya Ovchinnikova/ Getty Images

Houseplants may look great in your home, but wide varieties are toxic and deadly to pets. Common house plants that are dangerous and even fatal for dogs and cats include dieffenbachia, sago palm, lilies, aloe vera, snake plant, and many more. Save on vet bills by choosing plant varieties generally safe for animals, such as rattlesnakes or spider plants.

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6

Keep your home safe

two women in kitchen with their dog Obradovic/ Getty Images

Accidents happen, but regular home safety checks can protect your pet from harm and avoid costly vet bills. Keep cleaning products hidden in cabinets or high on shelves. Don't forget to put away chocolate, coffee grounds, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, and avocados, among other human foods dangerous to pets. Hide electrical cords, keep washing machine and dryer doors closed, and lock up the anti-freeze.

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7

Don't miss regular health checks

A veterinarian is checking on a a kitten at her office. FatCamera/ Getty Images

Staying on top of annual health checks can help keep your pets healthy by identifying problems before they become unmanageable. Your vet will comprehensively check all your pet's organ systems, allowing them to catch potential problems early. Preventative health checks can go a long way in helping to avoid costly medical expenses down the road.

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8

Keep your pet active

Little boy is playing fetch in the garden with his pet dog and a ball. DGLimages/ Getty Images

Exercise provides the same benefits for animals as humans, such as improving muscle tone, maintaining heart health, and lowering blood pressure. Taking your dog on a daily walk or playing catch in the yard is excellent exercise for both of you. Cats also need exercise; most love chasing small balls or toys indoors. Some even learn to fetch!

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9

Feed them homemade pet food

Domestic Life With Pet. Cute Cats Eating From Bowl Together. Jaromir Chalabala / EyeEm/ Getty Images

Many mass-produced pet foods you can buy in a grocery store contain artificial dyes, chemical preservatives, and low-quality ingredients. Plus, it's often overprocessed and includes fillers that may not be easy for your pet to digest. Investing in quality ingredients to make homemade pet food can help keep your pet healthy and save money. Be sure to follow your veterinarian's advice on proper nutrition in homemade pet food.

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10

Brush their teeth

Cleaning your dog’s teeth for maintaining a good dental hygiene. Oscar Wong/ Getty Images

Although it might not be the most straightforward task, brushing your pet's teeth and gums can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Fighting gum disease before it occurs can help keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy while saving money on costly oral care products.

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