Six Tips: How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Pet Care

the daily dish More on PawNation: Lifestyle
You may not want to cut corners when it comes to your pet's care, but that doesn't mean you can't still find ways to save money. ABC News' "Real Money" report went looking for ways to spend less on pet products and services and, with their money-saving tips, helped keep one family from wasting over $1,600 per year. Their investigation found smartphone apps like Pet Care Services and GoodRx to save pet owners money on prescriptions and all sorts of pet services, and the best websites to visit - like and - for saving on food and boarding fees. Watch the report if you're interested in squirreling away some extra ducats.

In sum, their top six tips include:

1. Use apps like Pet Care Services.

2. Don't buy medicine from the vet. There is usually a markup.

3. Try GoodRX for better pet medicine prices.

4. Try Amazon's Subscribe and Save to spend less on pet food.

5. Don't put you dog in a kennel while you're on a trip. Try instead.

6. Only buy pet insurance if you think it's necessary for your breed.


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We have gotten Prt medical insurance for our two shelter cats. Well worth the low price, has saved us money on visits to the Vet.

July 26 2013 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Our vet will match Rx prices if you take in an online match or catalog match that are less expensive. They want to be sure you are getting the real product so they offer that incentive. We've saved a lot by doing this. Ask your vet if they have price match.

July 26 2013 at 8:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't buy med from the vet? Well it sounds good, but for years... ALL vets anywhere near my area charge you MORE if you do not let them fill the prescription... YES, IF they write a prescription out for you to take elsewhere... or mail in somewhere... It's going to cost you an extra $25. for them to release it. Screwed from the get go... IF a people dr did that, he'd likely get in trouble for "holding the prescription hostage".

July 26 2013 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Roberts

For a $35 visit our dog had kennel cough. That included the medication and I walked out with it.
I thought it was a bargain.

July 26 2013 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Boarding in a private residence is ILLEGAL. It is also DANGEROUS & UNSANITARY. Someone can leave a door open & goodbye dog. Your dog can bite someone or another dog. It can eat a poisonous plant. A private owner is not experienced enough to detect little problems that can balloon into serious ones. I had a BK for 49 years. One dog came in passing dark BROWN urine. That & many other problems escaped the owners. MOST are shy, insecure & defensive when away from the owner. They will CHEW thru anything to get away, if they can. ETC ETC. Dogs have worms. When they defecate you can never get it all up out of the dirt or grass. The next dog picks up the infection. Proper kennels have sealed cement runs that are picked up regularly, spot hosed & fully hosed & disinfected daily in & out. Inside walls of cement or cinder blocks are painted with EPOXY. Tops of indoor & outdoor spaces are COVERED. Drop latches on all runs. Safety isles./ Six ft perimeter fencing; etc etc MAKE NO MISTAKE; your dogs health , well being & LIFE can depend on it.

July 25 2013 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to FEsrigoHL's comment

I have had to board my dogs a few times over the yrs... Most every time it was a BAD experience... and Everytime it was a place my vet recommended. Last time, my dog picked up kennel cough. I realize that even though my dog was and had always been kept up to date with vacinationis, that he can still get kennel cough... and that it's just that IF he does, hopefully it will be easier to treat... and I realize that the vacination is not a definate qurantee against it.

BUT, IF my dog starts getting sick, and is starting to cough I expect, NO..I DEMAND immediate care for him. Last time I came back to a sick dog. I thought I heard him make a little cough in the office as I was walking out... No sooner than I get Mr. Jimmy in the car and am backing up... he starts coughing... so I stop... he coughs more... I pull right back in, go to the door, which is now locked. (IT was after hours, they were right at closing when I got there....) Yet they knew it was me.... I was mad because my dog was sick and they obviously didn't pay enough attention to know he was sick.

July 26 2013 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many medicines for your pets require a vet's prescription so your stuck there. But if you live near a "farmer's co-op, you can get some things there without the vet like Parvo dispenser shots, vet quality dog dip and worming meds. That is what I do where I live. Saves a bundle of money.

July 25 2013 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a lame article. My vet price matches for meds, plus if you need to start a medication right away you can't wait for it to be shipped to your house.

July 25 2013 at 6:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Christine Shand

While you pinch pennies purchasing such products elsewhere, you really should consider pet insurance for your actual medical care. Today's pet owners expect state of the art care to be available, and your vet must balance income and expenses to stay in business. You can expect your vet bills to reflect modern technology. Also, keep in mind that you will pay even more for occasional medication purchases as it will cost your vet more to maintain a smaller pharmacy for your convenience.

July 25 2013 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christine Shand

Today's pet owners expect state of the art care to be available and affordable. Your vet relies on ancillary services and sales to help defray overhead costs so that he can be there when you need him. Most pet owners do not carry pet insurance and may face difficult decisions when faced with costly care. Some are shocked when the ultimate decision to proceed with life-saving procedures falls to them--the reality of the choice between life & death rests solely with them. Your vet is a small business owner and as much as he would like to perform every test or procedure, he cannot afford to stay in business if he can't pay his bills.

July 25 2013 at 5:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sharon Vuong


July 25 2013 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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