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    14 Money-Saving Tips That Pet Owners Swear By

    Pet parents, get ready to take notes.

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    Having pets has seriously enriched my life — but I can't say the same thing about my bank account, 'cuz I'm sure I've spent a small fortune on my cats over the years. I definitely don't regret it, but sometimes I wish I'd figured out some ways to spend a little less, you know?

    So I asked the BuzzFeed Community to share what helps them save money on the things their pets need. Here's what they had to say:

    Remember, just like every pet has different needs, what's worked for one person's budget might not make sense in yours. So look at these tips as inspiration, and do what works best for you.

    1. First things first, if you're thinking about adopting a pet, take a good look at your budget and lifestyle to make sure you're really ready to make the commitment.

    2. And it's a good idea to make sure you've got the essentials covered (like food and medicine) before you drop any cash on toys, beds, or treats.

    A big dog chilling out in a comfy armchair
    Justin Paget / Getty Images

    "I’d say cutting down on the amounts of fancy pet supplies you get them. Prioritize their medical care and grooming and the necessary stuff, and then use some leftover money for toys and special beds and special treats. Dogs are just as happy with a tennis ball that they found on the side of the road as with an expensive dog toy."

    stargirl64

    3. Sometimes your pets will get more enjoyment from playing with (or sleeping on) things that you already own than they will from the things that you buy for them.

    4. You can make your pet's meals or treats yourself; just check with your veterinarian first to make sure you're only using safe and healthy ingredients.

    5. Feeding your pet a healthy diet and taking care of their teeth can help prevent costly problems down the road.

    Person feeding broccoli to their pet rabbit
    Marcus Lindstrom / Getty Images

    "I feed [them] high-quality food but keep them slim. Being overweight can lead to health issues. I also only have rescues. Purebred animals are riddled with problems. And brush their teeth!"

    smeagolrattus

    6. For dental care, see if a specialist can offer their services for less than your regular vet.

    Veterinary dentists checking a dog's teeth
    Aleksandargeorgiev / Getty Images

    "Look for businesses that specialize in pet dental work. I saved hundreds of dollars by having my dog's teeth cleaned at [a] place that only does dental work instead of our regular vet."

    becktronic

    "This! My vet quoted almost $1,000 for TWO TEETH to be extracted. Next month I’m taking my dog to a place two states away that specializes in dental work, and the entire package will cost me $355 with all costs included, plus no cost for any additional teeth they think should go. The reviews are really good too."

    mk1989

    7. If your pet needs regular grooming, see if you can do some of it yourself. Trimming your cat's nails or giving your dog a bath at home can help you cut grooming costs.

    8. Autoship can help you save on items you buy regularly, like food, flea prevention meds, and litter.

    Delivery person carrying a package
    Georgijevic / Getty Images

    "Look into autoship options (Chewy, Amazon, Petco) for food/treats/litter/etc. A lot of retailers offer discounts, and you can usually add additional products (toys, beds, accessories) to orders as needed. Definitely check non-pet stores too! Tractor Supply consistently has affordable pet items. I got a Furminator brush there for $9, and it's $30 on Amazon.

    Supplement food/treats with food you already have (this requires some research to make sure you are providing the right nutrients!). If I need egg whites for a recipe, I save the yolks for my dogs' dinner. Ugly carrot? Cut it up for the dogs.

    Medical expenses are tough, since even routine meds can require a prescription. But you can ask them to write you a physical prescription and price shop! Costco has a lot of pet meds, and of course there are online retailers like 1-800-PetMeds or Chewy. Sometimes the base price is the same as the vet's office, but the outside retailers may offer deals and/or coupons!"

    bylik

    9. Look for toys, shampoo, and other products at discount stores — they often have much better prices than pet stores.

    10. Tractor and farm stores can also be a great place to find more affordable pet supplies, especially if you can buy in bulk.

    Three bowls full of different kinds of dog food
    Bunlue Nantaprom / Getty Images/EyeEm

    "If there's a tractor/farm store near you, check out their pet food selection. One of our dogs is allergic to wheat and chicken, so it's a challenge to find foods that work for him. The tractor/farm store 15 minutes away not only has THREE options (a rarity), but they even carry them in 35–40 pound bags, which saves both trips to the store and $$."

    claireelycew

    11. It can be a lot of work, but some people get free or discounted products for their pets through social media.

    Woman using a laptop with her small dog sitting in her lap
    Filadendron / Getty Images

    "I started an Instagram for my cat. After a while, a pet food company reached out to us with a contract, and now we get free food and treats for advertising for them. That’s saved me a lot of money!"

    naomis16

    12. Consider taking out a pet insurance policy or signing up for your vet's wellness plan to help you cover your pet's medical costs.

    13. And see if you can find a cheaper vet through animal groups in your area.

    14. And finally, if you can't make a payment plan with your vet, look into services that can help you spread your pet's medical bills out over time.

    Woman holding a credit card while using the computer and cuddling her dog
    Oscar Wong / Getty Images

    "I recommend the CareCredit credit card. It’s accepted by a lot of vets and people doctors as well. I don’t have to worry about if pet insurance will cover something, and I can still get the care my pets need without worrying too much about the money.

    I’ve also used a company called Scratchpay. They pay your vet bill, and then you can make monthly payments. I had a cat that needed to go to the emergency vet. I was able to pay his bill over time, and it gave me such peace of mind knowing it could be affordable. Emergency vets are so pricey!"

    stacyb4feee17e9

    Note: Submissions were edited for length and clarity.

    What helps you save money while still giving your pet a great life? Share your best tips in the comments.

    And for more money tips and tricks, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.