I have 3 cats and had to put two down this year (we didn't have 5 at one time, only 3). I used both my regular and emergency vet this year out of necessity, but I will be avoiding my vet as much as possible now, and doing the following things instead:

1. Using a vet tech who comes to our local Petsmart. Literally I spent $10 per kitten for their first two vaccines. It would have cost hundreds of dollars at my vet's office. Check with your local pet store to see if they have mobile clinics, which can also save you on vaccines.

2. Use a discount spay/neuter clinic, when they need to be fixed next month. Again, I know this will literally save us hundreds of dollars.

3. Utilize the Subscribe & Save Feature on Amazon.com if you're a Prime Member. After my Subscribe & Save discount and an additional $10 off coupon I ended up with 4 big bags of Iams cat food for a little over $40.

If anyone else has any other tips I'd love to hear them! My pets are my furry kids, and although I want to provide the best for them I can't always afford to take them to my regular vet; it's just too expensive.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

Original Post

These are great tips @lismox! My family also takes advantage of subscribe and save through Chewy for my pups food. 

Something that has really saved us is pet insurance. It does require a monthly payment, but has saved us so much in the long run with our accident prone Lab. We do a $200 annual deductible with 90% reimbursement. The only thing it hasn't covered for us are annual vaccines and the cost of the visit itself. 

I would also look into wellness plans through your vet. These typically cover the vaccines and visits, plus they offer discounts on medications/services. Again it was an upfront, annual cost but in the long run we got our money back on the cost of visits alone. 

lismox posted:

I have 3 cats and had to put two down this year (we didn't have 5 at one time, only 3). I used both my regular and emergency vet this year out of necessity, but I will be avoiding my vet as much as possible now, and doing the following things instead:

1. Using a vet tech who comes to our local Petsmart. Literally I spent $10 per kitten for their first two vaccines. It would have cost hundreds of dollars at my vet's office. Check with your local pet store to see if they have mobile clinics, which can also save you on vaccines.

2. Use a discount spay/neuter clinic, when they need to be fixed next month. Again, I know this will literally save us hundreds of dollars.

3. Utilize the Subscribe & Save Feature on Amazon.com if you're a Prime Member. After my Subscribe & Save discount and an additional $10 off coupon I ended up with 4 big bags of Iams cat food for a little over $40.

If anyone else has any other tips I'd love to hear them! My pets are my furry kids, and although I want to provide the best for them I can't always afford to take them to my regular vet; it's just too expensive.

@lismox  That is fantastic advice.  I don't have a pet.  However, I am thinking of getting a service dog.  I am wondering how much it costs to have one per year.

We have had our fair share of pets, both dogs and cats. The last one was a wonderful dog whom we miss dearly. He was our "fur baby", and we wish we could find another that we felt would be so easy to train. We had our fair share of veterinarian bills as well. With the cats, two were brothers, born a few years apart. The younger one ended up attacking the older one while we were at work one day and nearly tore his older brothers front leg off. We let the vet take them both, since one was severely injured and the younger one had some minor injuries, but we found that some of the injuries on both left the needing to be put down. It was a sad day, and since they lived outside the vet wouldn't take payment on the bill of over $200. (This was in the 1980's). He just took it as a loss and cried with us, because he loved both of them, too. We'd already spent over $500 on them over the previous two years and he knew that we were on strike at the time. I still ended up paying him after we returned to work. "The Workman is worth his hire" according to the Bible. So, with our dear dog that we'd had for five years, we had to have him fixed, had to get him rabies shot since he'd been bitten by a wild animal in our area, and that was one expensive bill. We worked ours out on time with the vet by helping move dogs to the outside, cleaning cages and watering and feeding them. We paid the last bit in cash. There are always ways to find a good tech or vet who will work with you. Just ask. Some will say "No", but many will work with you. Blessings.

@MsKimberly we have had many breeds, most of them "mutts". But we had a Doberman/Shepherd mix that was a great dog, but just too hyper for us. Another that was just too hyper was a terrier famous here in Tennessee. We had a Chow that was pureblood but wasn't registered AKC. And the last two, one we had right after we got married was a peekapoo, and then a cocker-poo. The cockerpoo was our favorite and the one we had for five years. He was rust and white color and we named him Rusty. He was the runt of the litter and they only gave him a  10% chance of living a full six months, but under us, he thrived and learned many things. We used him in helping to calm people in nursing homes down, and almost everyone loved him. It's been almost 20 years and I still nearly break into tears thinking of him being gone. 

Ashlee posted:

These are great tips @lismox! My family also takes advantage of subscribe and save through Chewy for my pups food. 

Something that has really saved us is pet insurance. It does require a monthly payment, but has saved us so much in the long run with our accident prone Lab. We do a $200 annual deductible with 90% reimbursement. The only thing it hasn't covered for us are annual vaccines and the cost of the visit itself. 

I would also look into wellness plans through your vet. These typically cover the vaccines and visits, plus they offer discounts on medications/services. Again it was an upfront, annual cost but in the long run we got our money back on the cost of visits alone. 

Thanks for the reminder about pet insurance @Ashlee. I don't have it currently, but it might be something to look into, especially since we have 3 cats!

@lismox There is also a medical card that we used to use when we were really "hard up" for money and needed to spread our vets bill out over a period of time. Have you heard of CareCredit? It's able to be used for visits to your regular personal physician and also for vets bills and if it's over a certain amount they spread the payments out over a period of time without interest...usually anything over $300 or so and for a period of three to six months. If you pay it off in that time, you've not got any interest added. If you don't, then it adds interest back to the time of service, and the interest is usually around 28%. We always paid ours off early. I had forgotten all about it until my wife reminded me this afternoon when she got home from work. I just thought I would make mention of it since it benefits both humans and their "fur babyies".   Hope this helps as well.

AverageJoe posted:

@lismox There is also a medical card that we used to use when we were really "hard up" for money and needed to spread our vets bill out over a period of time. Have you heard of CareCredit? It's able to be used for visits to your regular personal physician and also for vets bills and if it's over a certain amount they spread the payments out over a period of time without interest...usually anything over $300 or so and for a period of three to six months. If you pay it off in that time, you've not got any interest added. If you don't, then it adds interest back to the time of service, and the interest is usually around 28%. We always paid ours off early. I had forgotten all about it until my wife reminded me this afternoon when she got home from work. I just thought I would make mention of it since it benefits both humans and their "fur babyies".   Hope this helps as well.

I actually opened up a Care Credit account with the cat I had to put down this year; that was a few months ago. Right now I have an $800 balance that I'm going to work to get paid off as quickly as possible, as I think my 6 month grace period will be ending soon. Thanks for the input!

AverageJoe posted:

@MsKimberly we have had many breeds, most of them "mutts". But we had a Doberman/Shepherd mix that was a great dog, but just too hyper for us. Another that was just too hyper was a terrier famous here in Tennessee. We had a Chow that was pureblood but wasn't registered AKC. And the last two, one we had right after we got married was a peekapoo, and then a cocker-poo. The cockerpoo was our favorite and the one we had for five years. He was rust and white color and we named him Rusty. He was the runt of the litter and they only gave him a  10% chance of living a full six months, but under us, he thrived and learned many things. We used him in helping to calm people in nursing homes down, and almost everyone loved him. It's been almost 20 years and I still nearly break into tears thinking of him being gone. 

@AverageJoe Dogs give so much joy. Many  times they touch our lives more than people do.  It is very hard when they pass away.  If I decide to get a dog, I think I would be better off with one that is not hyper.  

I have four rats: Raleigh, Caroline, Blitz, and Krieg.  Nationwide insures exotic animals, but I didn't get it for them yet.  My vet takes CareCredit and is very reasonably priced, especially considering she's a specialist.  The rats are my emotional support animals and I spoil them rotten.  I've also found ordering food in bulk on Chewy helps me save money.

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