Generic flea treatments and grooming your pet yourself can help you save money.   (c)iStockphoto.com/Shenikeyev
Generic flea treatments and grooming your pet yourself can help you save money. (c)iStockphoto.com/Shenikeyev

With the National Pet Health and Wellness Month occurring recently, now is an ideal time to check out ways to save costs on veterinary, drug, insurance, diet, and grooming choices.

Here are some of our favorite tips for keeping costs down while keeping your pets healthy.

Learn how to save money on veterinary care

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The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend $13.59 billion on veterinary care in 2012. Advances in veterinary medicine may mean more extensive and expensive treatments for animals. And whether you have one pet or two, costs for vet visits can add up quickly.

Even with rising costs, don’t avoid the vet. Keeping up with a pet’s vet visits will save money, not to mention misery, in the long run by preventing many serious illnesses. Check out the Wellness program of Banfield Pet Hospitals. The group developed this preventative measure to make caring for pets simple and affordable. Also, Banfield’s online price calculator can help pet owners gain a better understanding of costs involved with veterinary procedures.

Investigate drug discounts

As pet owners know, medicines for four-legged family members can be expensive. The APAW (Advocacy for Pets and Affordable Wellness) promotes health and wellness by bringing to light the financial challenges associated with pet ownership. This coalition also enlightens the pet community about significant cost savings through such methods as purchasing medications from alternate sources. For example, pet owners can purchase generic flea and tick treatments at Walmart, Sam’s Club, or a local pharmacy. Just make sure to read about the retailer’s pet pharmacy program before you drop off your pet’s prescriptions.

Pet insurance helps owners save too!

In addition to protecting your pet, getting pet insurance coverage can help you save money. Studies show that 92% of all pets may suffer from an emergency within their lifetimes. That’s why insurance companies like Protect Your Bubble can be beneficial. This company offers pet insurance for dogs and cats, covering vet charges for eligible accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions and behavioral treatments. Moreover, Protect Your Bubble covers many new, alternative therapies like acupuncture and hydrotherapy that pet owners may want to try before costly, invasive surgery. Visit the website for a quick quote.

A healthy diet can save pet owners money

Did you know that one of the top reasons pet owners visit the vet is digestive problems in their pets? If your pet has a digestive system that isn’t working properly, he might not be absorbing the nutrients he needs. Brands like Holistic Select Natural Pet Food feature a complete digestive health support system with ingredients like pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes, herbs and botanicals to help your pet better absorb nutrients and soothe the digestive tract. And by feeding your pet a proper diet, you can help to limit your vet visits, keeping more money in your pocket.

Home grooming helps to save big bucks

Grooming your pet gives you the ability to examine your pet’s body on a regular basis. Take the opportunity to get to know his body so that you can identify potential problems before they become serious. If you need help learning how to groom your dog or choosing the right tools to get the job done, check out the new edition of the All Breed Dog Grooming Guide by Sam Kohl. Save as much as $500 each year—the average cost of grooming—by doing it at home. Or, if you have a dog that needs an experienced groomer for that fancy clip, limit trips by bathing at home some weeks. Just make sure to brush and comb out tangles and mats before putting your dog in the tub.