Feed a high quality pet food. Meeting your pet's nutritional needs is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pet healthy. Different pets have different needs and there is no one-size-fits-all food that is suitable for all pets. If you are unsure about which food is best for your dog or cat, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Feeding a high quality pet food may cost a little more up front but it will save you money in the long run through lower health care expenses. Keep in mind though that a higher price tag does not necessarily equate to a higher quality pet food.
Buy food in bulk. As with most products, buying pet food in bulk is less expensive than buying smaller quantities more frequently. Dry food can be stored in airtight containers. Just remember to watch the expiration dates on pet food products when purchasing and when feeding.
Keep your pet lean by not overfeeding. Overweight dogs and cats are at risk for many different health issues. Ultimately, overfeeding will not only increase your pet food costs but will also increase your pet's health care costs and decrease your pet's quality of life.
Exercise your pet regularly. Regular exercise can also help keep your pet lean and in good body condition as well as keeping muscles and joints healthy, again decreasing health care costs and increasing your pet's quality of life.
Provide regular veterinary care for your dog or cat. Regular veterinary examinations can help detect health issues early in their course, when treatment is less complicated and less expensive and success is more likely. Similarly, protecting your pet from parasites like fleas, ticks, heartworms and intestinal parasites can help prevent health complications that can be much more costly and more dangerous for your pet than using safe preventive measures. Many diseases are preventable through vaccination also. However, vaccination schedules should be tailored to meet the needs of your individual dog or cat based on lifestyle and risk factors.
Learn to do a head to toe examination on your pet at home. In between veterinary visits, learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of illness or disease can help you detect problems that require intervention. Intervening early can save you money and can also save your pet from needless suffering and pain.
Make your own pet toys, clothing, bedding and even furniture. These items, when purchased through a pet store or retailer can be quite expensive. However, pet toys need not be fancy or expensive. My cats are just as happy chasing a discarded milk tab. Use your creativity to create DIY toys for your pets. Many pets are just as happy with an old blanket or comforter to rest on as they are with a fancy expensive bed. Or you can make your own pet bed. A google search for DIY pet projects will provide lots of patterns for everything from pet clothing to pet beds to scratching posts and more. Use your imagination. The sky is the limit here and many of these projects are very affordable.