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Archive for the ‘Frugal Pet’ Category

Mommy, Can I have a Pet? Please!

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On January 24, 2011 No Comments

If you haven’t heard this plea, be prepared.  It’s the day your little one looks up at you with moist, bright eyes and in the sweetest voice you’ve ever heard breathlessly asks, “Can I please have a (insert animal here)?”

Use whatever stall tactic works best, and take the time to ask:  Can I/We afford a Pet? Pets are a part of many families these days. They are playmates, confidants and close friends. But, pets also come with a price.

If your family is thinking about getting a pet, first consider if you can afford the extra cost. Also be sure you and your family can devote the time, care, and attention a new pet requires.

A Face to Love

A Face to Love

They are cute and cuddly, tall and curious and like little people. We are not talking about children but the personalities of pets. Pets are man’s best friend, lifesavers in dangerous situations and stick close right up to the end. They forgive all and take on your traits over time. With all these good things about pets, why don’t more people have them?

Well, pets are not cheap. The cuteness can’t hide the fact that you will have to shell out money to get your pet in the home and to keep them throughout their lives. It is worth the time to make a well-informed decision. Many pets end up in shelters or homeless in the streets because their owners could no longer care for them.

Here are some things to consider before adding a family pet to your household.

* Research your pet – Do you want a dog or a cat or an iguana? Different animals have different care needs. Even within a species, there are different considerations. Short dogs are good for small apartments. Large dogs need to run free and get a lot of exercise. Apartments don’t always allow for that. Different pets also encounter illnesses that may affect your pocketbook.

* Short-term needs – Most pet owners know that they will have to spend money at the outset for a pet, but just not exactly how much. Let’s take a cat for instance. They need a litter box, a scratching post (so they don’t use your furniture), toys, bedding and an initial vet visit. If you don’t want more of them, then your pet needs to be spayed or neutered. Even if you bargain shop you can spend a few hundred dollars this first go round.

*Long-term needs – These will be your recurring costs. This includes food, vaccinations, pet insurance (if you opt for it), grooming, litter and treats. Consider the fact that you acquired your pet as a baby and they will grow. Their food will get more expensive and so will the needs of their regular check-ups. And, you want to keep your pet healthy so they have a long life with the family.

You can even compare pets if your family is interested in more than one. Depending on your financial situation, the pet may have to wait until another time. In the meantime, your research has given you a goal to shoot for in future hopes of getting that new puppy or kitten.

Hawaii 368Bark Bark, (Frugally yours), Mary

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Frugal Flea and Tick Protection for Your Pets

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On March 9, 2010 1 Comment

With flea and tick season approaching, you want to know which product is safe for your pets while providing the best protection. In a press release from April, the EPA announced that it has recently been receiving a growing number of reports of pets with adverse reactions to spot-on flea and tick control products. The reactions range from skin irritations to seizures to death. As a result, the EPA will increase its scrutiny of these products. Health Canada has received similar reports and both the EPA and Health Canada will meet with the manufacturers of flea and tick control products to discuss the issue and determine if more restrictions are needed on the products to protect the health of pets.
Flea and tick dusts, sprays, collars, and shampoos have produced similar reactions in some pets, but the reactions are more often associated with the spot-on products. Many pet owners have used the spot-on products on their pets with no reaction. So, for now, the EPA recommends that pet owners continue to use flea and tick control products because fleas and ticks do transmit diseases to both pets and humans. However, the EPA advises owners to consult with their veterinary and to be certain that they follow the directions on the products and monitor their pets for signs of a reaction. In addition to skin irritations and seizures, symptoms include distress, nervousness, and tremors.

Investigations of the reports of adverse reaction are incomplete and do not yet rule out the possibility that the products were not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, products designed for dogs could have been used on cats or warnings against using the products on animals that were ill or too young could have been ignored.

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Save Money on Pet Care

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On January 26, 2010 1 Comment

Pet care items are one of the fastest growing markets in the United States. Every year we spend billions of dollar on items for our pets, and why? Well, to show them that we love them of course.

The fact of the matter is, a dog doesn’t know the difference between your slipper and a $25 specially-designed chew toy. Nor do cats or dogs care that they are wearing a Prada collar, or that they get to travel around in a Louis Vuitton handbag. They are dogs. Give them food, water and a scratch behind the ear and they are in heaven. That is one of the great things about dogs and cats, they are easy to please.

So stop blowing perfectly good money away on your pet. In fact, see if there are ways that you can start saving money. Here are a few places to start:

Pet Food

Now, this is probably one of the only places where you shouldn’t scrimp. In fact, depending on the dog food you are feeding your pet you may actually be spending more money by buying cheap dog food. Here’s an example – when our friend got their puppy last year they were feeding her a national brand of puppy food (the kind that has commercials all the time). At only 20 pounds she was eating 6 cups per day and pooping most of this out. They switched here to a high grade pet store food and now she eats only 2 cups per day, and poops a whole lot less.

Grooming

Whether cat or dog most of our pets require regular grooming. Unless you have a show poodle you should be able to manage most of this yourself. Learn how to wash your animal and clip their nails. Brush them regularly so they get used to having it done. Eventually you will both enjoy the time together, and you can save on trips to the groomers.

Accessories

One thing that a family seems to spend a lot on is dog beds. You may buy them for your old, arthritic dog and your puppy eats them. Finding cheap pet beds can be a challenge, so you have to put your thinking cap on.  You can manage to save some coin by buying pet beds on eBay, or rather the shell of a pet bed.   A shell of a pet bed comes with a zipper on it and you can stuff in old blankets and pillows. The dog gets a soft, squishy bed and you only have to spend $10.

Many dogs with short coats find themselves at a disadvantage over the winter, so we run out and spend a fortune on coats and sweaters for our pet. If you know how to knit, sew or crochet you can easily manage this yourself.

Other than the items above and a collar and leash your dog should be perfectly happy. Resist the urge to splurge on unnecessary items. Look for chew toys at the dollar store, or pick up some stuffed animals at the Salvation Army for fifty cents each. Your dog will love you even more.