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How to Be a Money-Savvy Pet Parent

Posted by Allison Ruuska on 3/18/2009 at 1:00 PM

With unemployment on the rise and the economy becoming more unstable every day, people are more stressed than ever.

 

In these tough economic times, turning to a furry friend for unconditional love and support can be the best kind of therapy. In fact, a study from the University of New York, Buffalo found that pets can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

But when you're trying to trim everyday costs, how does an existing or new pet fit into the household budget? Pet expenses like food and veterinary costs — not to mention luxuries like doggie sweaters, booties and gourmet treats — can really add up. How can you balance the benefits of pet ownership with being financially responsible?

Nationally-renowned pet expert and animal behaviorist Harrison Forbes offers the following tips on how to be a financially smart pet parent:

  • Preventive care is a must. Although it may seem like you're shelling out a lot of money in the short term, it's worth it to pay for the general check-ups to avoid larger, more complicated veterinarian bills down the road.
  • Find low-cost veterinary and vaccination clinics near you. Animal shelters, humane societies and other organizations often offer discounted medical services.
  • Buy food in bulk whenever possible, and don't forget to keep an eye out for sales. And to save even more, try baking your own dog biscuits. It's fun, easy, and the kids can help!
  • Take advantage of seasonal sales—many retailers discount pet products at the end of summer and/or winter.
  • Don't pay for an expensive kennel or pet sitter. Instead, organize a pet-sitting co-op with friends and neighbors.
  • Learn how to groom your own dog or cat. Doing basic grooming like bathing and nail trims at home can save you money and help you stretch out the time between visits to the groomer.
  • An afternoon outing with the family can get expensive pretty quickly; even if it's just going to the movies (in some cities it can cost a family of four upwards of $40 to go to the movies … even before popcorn!). Instead, take your family and pets to a pet-friendly park. Not only is it free, it's a great way to spend quality time together and get some exercise.
  • Make sure your pet is protected in the event of an accident. To help with this, Progressive offers free Pet Injury coverage, which can give you peace of mind that your pet — and your finances — will be taken care of in case of an accident.

Pet Injury Coverage From Progressive

We see pets as part of the family, and we created Pet Injury coverage just for them. Not only is it free with Collision coverage, it now provides even more protection for your pet.*

Starting today, you can get up to $1,000 of protection for your dogs and cats if they're injured or worse while they're riding in the car with you, or during events such as a fire or theft.

Pet Injury coverage can help you be a money-savvy pet parent, and it can also help you travel a little easier knowing you have up to $1,000 of coverage for veterinary bills and medicine if your furry friends are injured in a car accident. Pet Injury coverage. Now that's Progressive.

*Pet Injury coverage is not yet available in New Hampshire or North Carolina.

The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.

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