Economic Challenges Affecting Pet Ownership

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Should we be dabbing the sweat off our brows with the latest numbers showing that overall pet ownership has dropped 2.4% since 2006? After all, we are a company that has been thriving on the fact that our customers love to pamper their pets!

The American Veterinary Medical Association surveyed 50,000 households from 2006 to 2011 and found that dog ownership declined 1.9% and households with cats decreased by 6.2%, though cats still outnumber dogs.

Many believe this trend is due to the economic situation over the last five years. With increased foreclosures, many people have had to relocate into places where they may not be able to bring pets. Some people have had to surrender pets to shelters when having to decide where to cut costs.

Counting the Costs

Additionally, people are having to think more carefully about the costs of owning a pet as quality vet care has also become more expensive. Veterinarians are having to be creative to offer payment plans and remind pet lovers that preventative care is less expensive than putting off treatment for things that could develop into more serious and costly illnesses.

Bucking the Trend

We've actually been surprised how BaxterBoo.com has grown since we started in a garage six years ago. We just want to take the time to thank you for being so good to us and to your pets in spite of changes in economic stability.  We know you could shop elsewhere, and we appreciate your business and allowing us to be your best friend's other best friend!

With these trends in mind, I will be covering some money-saving tips for pet lovers who want to pamper their pets without draining their wallet in future posts.

What are some ways you've been able to take care of your pets without breaking the bank?

Photo courtesy of Ben Pollard.

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Linda Wenger on August 23 at 12:17 PM said:

We have been fortunate in that our vet gives discounts to families with multiple pets in their care. They also allow us to look online for deals on medicines such as heart worm treatments, flea and tick applications, Drontal, etc, and then they will do a price match for us when we purchase the meds from them. I try to be sure that each dog's vet visits occurr in different months so as to spread the costs throughout the year. No doubt about it, having 4 dogs is an expensive proposition, especially as they reach their senior years, but the love they give back more than compensates us.
Phyllis on August 23 at 6:33 PM said:

Although I love my vet, I think some how the prices are totally out of hand. I do receive discounts for multiple pets also, yet, if I bring in two cats together...I get charged $55.00 EACH just for the office visit for both...that doesn't include anything....then he looks in their ears, gives each a shot....I get charged for each vac which I should...but they need to let up on these office visit charges. I think this is the main reason people no longer can keep their pets...I don't believe it's because they can't afford to feed them...they can't afford the upkeep at the VET's office. There are clinics out there, but most are for spay/neutering....and even then...the clinics charge the office visit. It's a shame......These doctors dedicate themselves to care for animals but they are more devoted to their bank accounts. Sorry guys, but it's the truth. And, please don't say try another vet....they all work the same. I was a volunteer for a clinic...and I know what goes on. Only thing is...the pets are the ones that suffer.
Linda Wenger on August 23 at 7:33 PM said:

I was just at our vet today for shots for one and heart worm tests for two of my dogs. I was not charged for an office visit, just the vaccines and the tests. I also got a $5 discount for each of the two dogs because I brought in the reminder email that the office sent me. I only get charged office visits for physical exams when they are ill or for wellness exams. My bill was $90, which may seem high to some and low to others. I think they are trying to do their part to keep costs down and I am happy with the level of care they give my babies. I think it's wrong for vets to try to price gouge their clients.
Joan on August 24 at 2:05 PM said:

One of the best decisions I ever made was to keep my cats as indoor only pets. I don't need to protect them from fleas and ticks, and they need only the mandatory rabies vaccines. Besides which, the risk of injury is greatly reduced. At the advice of a family member, I purposely decided on a small breed dog, in part because their upkeep is less expensive (medicines, food, grooming -- all based on the size of the dog). A vet friend explained that, besides the ever-increasing costs of overhead, much of the increases are due to advances in veterinary care. He said that they can now do pretty much everything for pets that doctors can for people...and that costs money. For instance, it's great if the vet clinic has MRI and sonogram equipment, but that cost gets passed to the patients. Another factor, he said, is the availability of diagnostic testing. Vets don't have to rely on observation and owners' stories. But, Ka Ching!
Leila Jones on September 5 at 7:19 PM said:

I too have my cats as indoor only and unless your state demands the rabies vaccines, how will they be exposed to rabies if they are indoor only? The rabies vaccine is for cats that are traveling to another state or country. The only vaccine they need is the FVRCP booster, so check your state requirements. If you have a dog then you would need to have the cats on some kind of flee medication because the dog can bring in fleas. I use a natural flea medication that you can buy over the counter (it smells like peppermint) and of course I always make sure that my lab is always current on his fleas medication. I use Comfortis which is a pill. I have had great success with this product and I have heard great reviews about the effectiveness of this pill.
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