Some Practical Tips You Should Know to Save on Cat and Other Pet Care Expenses

Your pets do not only require your love and attention, but also need a financial commitment from you the owner in order to ensure that they are kept in excellent condition. Veterinary medical care, vaccinations, food, and other essential pet care items all add up. In a tough economy, pet owners are rethinking their personal needs and expenses and are doing their best to reduce costs whenever possible. With personal needs affected, it is not surprising that many pet owners are seeking some reprieve on their cat and other pet care expenses; hence, these tips may come in handy to keep your adorable pet healthy and happy while saving you some money.

Check out special deals offered at various Pet Clinics

Veterinary care can quickly add up, especially in cases of pets that are sickly or are in constant need of medication. Some animal feed supply stores and retailers offer low-cost vaccination clinics which can boost your savings on pet care expenses. There may also be special deals on other services such as neutering or spaying of cats and other pets, dental cleanings, and general checkups. At certain times it may be possible to get many of these services at huge discounts. It is good practice to keep track of these and take advantage of any special offers on hand. Keep in mind though, that the thoroughness of these exams and services may vary from a regular veterinary office.

Buy cat litter, food and treats in large quantities for more savings

Generally, pet treats, litter and similar items are much cheaper when bought in large quantities. While buying in bulk may be an excellent way to save money, it may not always be practical or even economical, as in many cases a large quantity is too much for your pet and your wallet. Moreover, purchasing smaller quantities of cat food or litter minimizes concerns for storing these items or keeping them fresh for a longer period. If this is the case, then one possible approach to this would be to split the cost of buying a large quantity of pet food or cat litter with a friend or two; in so doing you can save money without having any problem in terms of storage and meal variety. The common interest shared by Pet owners could be leveraged to help cut on not only your expenses but that of your friends.

Consider buying medicines or vitamins for pets online

As compared to items sold in brick and mortar stores, products sold online are much cheaper (most of the time). The same holds true with medications for cats since most medications that are available at your vet’s clinic come with a hefty price. Unless it is an emergency, you may simply request for the prescription details and check out reputable sites that sell pet meds. Some pet owners save as much as 35 percent by ordering online or using the generic alternative of various medications.

Opt for cheaper pet care services offered by non-profit organizations

Spaying or neutering pets is crucial to preventing the exponential cost of caring for a new litter. Unfortunately, most pet owners are concerned about the typical cost of neutering or spaying from their local vet (which may range from $200 to $300); a pretty big expense no matter the state of the economy. If you want to save money, you may look for reliable organizations that offer this pet service to curb the increasing rate of homeless animals. For instance, you may consult the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) for low-cost neuter/spay programs offered at several institutions near you. In some cases it may even be possible to get these services done at no cost whatsoever; so be vigilant.

Receive cat food and cat litter coupons by signing up at major pet supply retailers’ websites

Some pet supply retailers offer coupons to those who opt to sign up at their websites. These coupons may be used for buying cat litter, dog food and other pet related goodies at retail shops or online pet supply stores. Special deals range from 10 to 15 percent off of the total price to free shipping for your online purchases. In addition, these coupons work for both small and major shopping trips.

Top Places to Look for the Best Deals on Cat Food and Cat Litter

Various online pet food retailers offer massive discounts and special promos to customers. In most cases, these websites feature the email sign up link, which outlines coupons and deals available for subscribers. You may also look for coupon warehouses online, or websites that are dedicated to featuring coupons for printing or online use. Make sure you check the reliability and authenticity of those coupons by checking the terms and conditions, as well as the expiration date.

Cat owners should be particularly fussy about these due to the ever-increasing cost of cat litter. Unlike dogs or other pets, the litter component of cat care is essential and is perhaps just as necessary as cat food. It is not uncommon to save up to 10% and even more with every cat litter coupon that is redeemed. Make maximum use of your online resources (forums and other coupon/freebie related sites), pet store retail outlets and the manufacturers’ websites to benefit from huge amounts of savings. By visiting the official website of your favorite pet care brand you are likely to find coupon choices. All you need to do is search for the brand of pet food or cat litter online, then look for the manufacturer deals. You will be amazed at the great savings and value you will receive by using the coupons and other promos offered by these manufacturers when making your purchases. Fresh Step and Tidy Cats are among the top brands which offer cat litter coupons on a regular basis.

Bottom Line

Most people treat their cats and other pets as a part of their family. Although these charming creatures bring joy to humans, they can be costly to maintain and care for. In fact, annual pet care expenses may range between $900 and $1,500, depending on the breed and type of pet. By applying these simple tips, you can keep your cat and other pet care expenses to a minimum without sacrificing the health of these adorable animals.

Online Services Get More Pets Home Safely

If you want to avoid the wrenching experiencing of not knowing where your pet is or what has happened to it, you need to take advantage of the identification tools that are available. While the three major forms of identification each have their own strengths and weaknesses, though, they’re not enough to make sure that other people get the information that they need to bring your animal home. Bringing it all together using online services can make the difference between bringing a dog or cat home and never really knowing what has happened to it.

Tags

Tags are imprinted with an animal’s name and home phone number. These are convenient to use, since virtually all pet dogs and cats are supposed to wear a rabies tag as proof that they’ve been properly vaccinated anyway. Unfortunately, these can get lost if the collar snacks on something.

Microchips

Microchips are more permanent, because they’re actually implanted into an animal at the shoulder. The chip has an identification number on it, and this is kept in a database with the microchip company so that it’s possible to look up the contact information for the owners. It’s only possible to read these chips with the right equipment, though, and their presence isn’t visible. People who find lost pets often don’t realize that they should take them to a shelter or vet to have them scanned.

Tattoos

This is an identification marker that is both permanent and visible to anyone, though it can only be put on while an animal is already anesthetized, such as for a spay or neuter surgery. The number tattooed uniquely identifies a specific animal, but someone who sees it may not know what it means or who to call to get further information.

Identification is Not Enough

All of the forms of identification for pets have serious drawbacks that keep them from being the perfect solution. Because of this, it’s still important to do things like advertise that an animal has been either lost or found. Online postings are particularly valuable, because the people in the relevant region can share them with their friends very easily. Where a poster can only be seen by people who actually pass by it, which could be far from where the pet has roamed, an online posting can spread to thousands in a very short period of time, and is constantly available to anyone looking for or finding a pet.

Bringing it All Together

The best lost pet service online is one that brings together many different factors to allow people to find their pets, or people who’ve come across pets to find the families. It includes information about where they were lost or found, what they look like and answer to, and whether they have microchips and other identifying features. Putting all of this information in one place makes it a lot easier for someone who may only have some fraction of it to match it up to a listing and identify the animal.

Pet Grooming Is Fastest Growing Pet Service Business

I arrived at Logan airport about an hour before my girlfriend’s plane from Atlanta was due in. As I wandered through the airport, I went to look at some books and magazines to kill some time. My eyes started to glaze over, as every magazine cover seemed to only be concerned with Paris Hilton’s latest escapades, or Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitts break up. Then, a head line on one magazine caught my eye. It said:

Hot Business! Pets are a $36 Billion Market

Since I’ve been in the pet business for the past 17 years, I quickly picked up the magazine and purchased it. The article, which appeared in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, stated that “Pet spending has more than doubled in the past 11 years – from 17 billion in 1994 to a projected $35.9 billion by the end of this year.” This is very exciting if you’re in the pet business. It’s even more exciting is if you’re a pet groomer. The article also added that the #1 fastest growing pet service business is GROOMING!

The article went on to explain that a whopping 63% of all US households, or 69 million homes, have a pet. There’s no doubt about it, it is a great time to be in the pet industry. If you’re a pet groomer, it is especially good. Lets face it, the pet industry is hot and getting hotter by the day. If you’re a groomer or are thinking about grooming, now is the time to get in…but there is one downside to all of this.

When an industry becomes hot it will always draw the attention of the big guys. They are going to see numbers like the ones listed above and they are going to look at the trends. If the numbers are big and the trend is going up, they are going to want in.

You see it already. Petsmart, PETCO, and Best Friends are all opening up more locations and bigger stores. The stadium in San Diego is now named PETCO stadium. When they decide to advertise their services, they are going to go all out – Full page newspaper ads, TV, radio, direct mail, sponsorships, you name it. They also have an ad budget that would probably rival the income of some small countries.

On top of having the big guys gunning for your business, grooming schools across the country are churning out thousands of new groomers every week. All of this is going to lead to some pretty stiff competition for anyone looking to get into the business or who already is.

So, what does someone do if they are suddenly faced with a huge mega-pet store opening across the street, or they want to open their own pet grooming business but the competition is pretty tough? The first rule of thumb is simple but often over looked. No business will succeed without customers. Business owners must have a plan for bringing in and keeping customers. Business owners must focus on their marketing. You see, most business owners focus on their craft. Pet groomers focus on scissors, clippers, puppy cuts, bathing systems, and so on. All this is very important, but just as important is how to bring in and keep customers.

There is a way that you can thrive and prosper even if a big pet super store opens up in your town, or if three other groomers open up just miles from your shop. All you need to understand are two words: Direct Marketing!

How many times have you run an ad in a newspaper and had no idea if it was successful or not? Most businesses run an ad that has their name, hours, location and logo with no way to track it, no idea how many customers it brought in, etc. When I run an ad for my pet grooming business I know exactly how many calls I received from the ad and how many of those calls I converted into customers. Let me share with you one of my favorite techniques.

I run my ads a little differently from everyone else. I don’t use my business name as the headline because no one cares about my business name. I start my ads with a big, bold headline that states: “FREE Report Reveals How To Reduce Your Dog’s Shedding By 90%, Call 24 hour recorded message and leave your name and address your report will be sent out immediately.” Anyone reading the paper with a dog that sheds is going to be interested. They call for the free report and we send it to them.

Now I have a very valuable lead. This person has shown me that they have an interest in my pet grooming services. I can now send this lead my report with some excellent advice on how to help their dog with its shedding problem. I also include a section in the report on our very popular Reduced Shedding Program, where we can take care of the problem.

So you can see how I can track every ad to the dollar. I can see how many leads each ad brings in and how many are converted to customers. It only takes a few minutes each day, and it pays off much better than your standard name, logo, and location newspaper ad.

This type of advertising can be done with newspaper, direct mail, phone book ads, websites, and just about any other type of media. With the amount of people and businesses that want a piece of the grooming profits you need to make the most out of every advertising dollar. Start to apply direct marketing and advertising and you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition and have a profitable pet grooming business.

Dignified Pet Services, Dove Lewis Loss Support

If there is one experience which could be tied to a great deal of emotional devastation, it would be the loss of a pet. Our pets have grown close to us, and it would seem that life without them could not feel anymore incomplete. They are not just furry animals who we watch out for and take care of; they are also our best friends. Whenever we need emotional support, they are the ones that come crawling into our laps and look at us with such eyes of sympathy and longing.

So, it is only expected that such lovely creatures seem too beautiful and wonderful to ever pass away. These pets have been with us for a great portion of our lives. We have shared many moments of fun, enjoyment and laughter with them. It is because of those very moments we find it hard to accept their loss and grieve for it. In such times, special places such as Dove Lewis can provide much uplifting to our spirits.

In times of denial and shock, and when we just cannot face the truth, we need to find support. Many veterinarians understand the need for some grief support – which is precisely why there are groups out there to allow you to talk with other pet owners who have shared similar pain in their life.

Reminiscing about the past and sharing fun-filled stories of precious moments with your special friends can make for good emotional catharsis. It can provide a way to deal with our loss. We can also honor our pet’s memory with art, and nothing can pay homage better to those times of joy and sadness with them than through memorial art. These workshops allow us to ease the pain and reduce the stress & depression looming over our shoulders. Letting creativity out will make us feel alive once more and find a reason to enjoy life. We can carry the thoughts of our pet with us all the time without having to remain in a cloud of misery.

Dove Lewis is one special place we can turn to in moments of sadness, and they will be more than willing to give us the enlightenment we need. Our pets are our emotional treasures, and Dove Lewis will allow us to carry that thought with us with a new perspective on life. The help us to see that the loss of our favorite pets can still be honored in a positive manner.