Having a pet is more than, well, HAVING a pet. Tink is the first dog that has been part of our family since the girls have been old and responsible enough to be primary pet caregivers. It takes a lot of trial and error to learn the ins and outs of pet ownership including things like the basics of training, tips for boarding your pet, proper feeding and veterinary care.
We learned a lot of it from our first dogs and when we were helping with pet rescues. We discovered that while feeding your dog an inexpensive food is better for your wallet, it isn’t necessarily good for your pet. At least it wasn’t for ours.
But the biggest things we learned is that dogs can get sick… or may be diagnosed with some serious ailment like cancer. A couple of weeks before I was due with Kennedy, we started noticing that Glacier (our female American Eskimo) was acting strange. We took her in and she was diagnosed with cancer in her eye. Our choice was to let her go or pay for the expensive surgery. Losing a pet is difficult when you have a healthy mind, but it was even worse for me. Getting ready to give birth put me emotionally in no condition to let her go so a family member offered to help with the vet bills for the surgery and medicines. The surgery center we visited told us they could prescribe the medicines needed pre- and post-surgery but recommended we check with Sam’s or Costco if we had a membership. Sure enough, the price was immensely cheaper. Ever since then, we’ve looked to those pharmacies as options. That was well before the internet became the powerhouse it is today. Now there are even more options. As an example, we recently paid $55.28 for a one year supply of heartworm medicine. Through the vet it would have been around $90. That’s for ONE prescription for ONE year.
So if you are in the market for pet medications, give this a shot:
- Get pricing from your local vet. Ask about promotions, rebates and price matches. Sometimes they can make it work. Plus, there’s the convenience factor and the knowledge that you are supporting local businesses.
- Check with warehouse pharmacies such as Costco and Sam’s Club. They don’t have as extensive a supply on-hand, but if it’s something you can wait for then they might be able to order it. You aren’t likely to find discounts because their stuff is already discounted, but they may have rebates so be sure to ask.
- Use an online service such as Amazon Pet Profile or 1-800-PetMeds. This is where we’ve had the most recent success. We weren’t able to take advantage of rebates, but these types of companies often have discount codes and promotions. I know 1-800-PetMeds offers an affiliate program (which SahmReviews does NOT belong to) that shows promotions such as free shipping, 20% off, etc. Be sure to do your homework and look for additional discounts before making your purchase.
Responsible pet owners do the things that pet owners need to do – like surgery, checkups, preventive medications and vaccinations. That doesn’t mean you have to pay whatever is asked of you. Like any other purchase, do your homework. Use the internet to research. Ask about discounts for purchasing a year’s supply instead of buying one month at a time.
And in the end, you’ll have a pet that is taking the medications and whatnot that they need while you get to keep some extra money in your wallet.
What pet expenses have caught you off-guard?