How to Save Money While You Care for Your Pet

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Would you give up a long-planned vacation so your pet could have surgery? Nine out 10 pet-owners say yes. But sometimes, we're not fiscally smart about how we care for the animals we love.

I love my dog Lola. But I was torn when I read a new survey that shows more than half of American pet owners would, if push came to shove, spend money on their animals’ health before their own.

The survey by the Grey Healthcare Group asked pet owners in America and Europe some interesting questions, and I found myself agreeing with some (I think of Lola as my child, jut like 30 percent of other pet owners) and disagreeing with others (unlike 54 percent, I think I’d take care of my own health before Lola’s – if for no other reason than if I’m not healthy, I won’t be able to take care of her).

And would I “give up my vacation for my pet’s surgery, if it meant helping my pet”? Of course. Me and 89 percent of the pet owners surveyed would do that.

But I thought the most important findings had to do with finances. Pet owners in the United States spend $864 a year on their animals, which is higher than those in France ($799) but much lower than those in England ($1,200).

I was also encouraged that 59 percent of pet owners now use websites for information about pet care – second only to their veterinarians.

As with any survey, however, before you swallow the results, see who’s feeding you the data. In this case, the survey was conducted for businesses that try to sell us pet-related products and services.

Grey Healthcare Group CEO Lynn O’Connor Vos declared…

“It is not surprising that the study results show pet owners turn to websites as the second-most popular source for information, but this represents a tremendous opportunity for pet care companies, along with the veterinary health care community, to help shape an expert-guided dialogue. Engaging owners online represents a significant opportunity to connect on their terms and become a more trusted source that understands their needs and wants.”

So you have to be careful when it comes to advice about your pets. I’ve written a lot about the best ways to be frugally in love with your pets, so I refer you to these videos I’ve produced over the years here at Money Talks News…

How to Sniff Out the Right Pet Sitter
Canine Cash: 5 Ways to Make Money With 4-Legged Friends
How to Find a Vet
Penny Pinching Your Pet Expenses
Insurance for Pets?

And because the holidays are fast approaching, it’s a good time to revisit this important topic: Three Reasons Pets Make Bad Gifts.

Stacy Johnson

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