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As Consumers Put a Leash on Spending, Experts Caution Against Being 'Penny Wise and Pound Foolish' with Their Pets
Date:11/25/2008

you about. Doing the grooming yourself can save as much as $400 to $1,000 per year, but to avoid a costly mistake be sure to use products, such as shampoos, that are designed for pets and not people.

2. Bulk Up: Resist the urge to buy pet food, heartworm and other preventatives in smaller quantities to cut immediate costs at the cash register. The reality is, as long as you're mindful of expiration dates, buying in bulk is generally cheaper.

3. Don't Wait to Vaccinate or Medicate: Making sure your pet is current on all recommended vaccinations will save you a bundle in the long run because you'll help ward off preventable diseases. Vaccinations such as one that prevents rabies, for example, are particularly critical and may save your animal's life. Similarly, routine medications such as heartworm preventives should be given every month. Skipping doses can be expensive, as treating heartworm costs as much as $800 - $1,000. In addition, treating the disease is risky and can be painful for your pet.

4. Spay and Save: For the average pet owner, spaying or neutering is a must. If you have a limited income, you may be able to save by taking advantage of low-cost clinics for these services. Keep in mind that spaying or neutering your pet can prevent the immediate expense of new pets in your family and the societal expense of unwanted pets being turned in to shelters. It also reduces the occurrence of some common diseases, such as breast cancer in pets.

5. An Ounce of Prevention: Prevent an unplanned, emergency vet visit this holiday by doing your part around the house. Many items that are a routine part of holiday celebrations could be toxic or harmful to your pet. Examples include:

-- Mistletoe and even poinsettia, while beautiful, are highly toxic to dogs and cats

-- Chocolate and macadamia nuts are toxic as well, and yeast-based bread dough can actually
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SOURCE Merial
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