Keeping Pet Costs Down

If you are a struggling pet owner, the experts offer these tips:
- Search for low-cost vaccination clinics and low-cost spay and neuter programs.
- Buy food in bulk.
- When buying pet products, such as dog houses, beds and toys, consider looking for them online, through sites like Craig’s List.
- Try to invest in preventive heartworm and flea medication. It is pennies compared with the average cost of heartworm treatment, which can be $750 to $1,100.
- Price pet insurance. It will probably cost $300 to $400 annually, but it can save you much more if your pet needs surgery or has a life-threatening illness.

Fostering or Adopting

Before you adopt or foster a pet, consider these things:


- The health and happiness of your own pets at home. Some pets will tolerate friends coming and going, and some pets won’t. Also, make sure they’re vaccinated. In many fostering cases, pets will have illnesses such as upper-respiratory infections or kennel cough. You won’t want to expose them to other pets.
- Your other family members.
- Your lifestyle. If your typical days are busy and fast-paced, it might not be for you. It can be done, but it’s best to think it through.
- Giving up a foster pet. Once they’re in your heart, it’s tough to give them up.
- Your city’s pet limits. If you’re getting into heavy-duty fostering, make sure to check with your city code to make sure your animal menagerie isn’t a problem.
- When applying to foster an animal, you can be picky. You can tell the agency you can’t handle a pet with a medical issue, or whether you prefer dogs to cats.

Resources

The Humane Society of the United States’ page on foreclosure pets: www.humanesociety.org/foreclosurepets. This link points you to a host of helpful information, such as what to do if you’re having trouble affording veterinary care and how to find animal-friendly apartments in the event of a move. And if you’re in the position to help out, there’s also a spot that tells you how to donate to the Foreclosure Pets Grant Fund.