One of the regular expenses in my household that I've had a hard time finding much savings on is pet stuff. With big dogs, we have to use special big dog food. And we can't really change brands because that can be dangerous (ie messy and gross.) Luckily my cats aren't as high maintenance. Here are a few things that I'm working on in order to save money in this category:
1. Food. With the Purina ONE big dog food, I never pay more than $1/pound. I try to have a coupon or find a deal to get it cheaper. And note to self, getting the wet food, even as a treat, is a bad idea that results in big dog gas. Cat food I can usually get about 3 pounds for a dollar. I don't have to stick to one brand, and it comes in smaller bags. Small bag plus a high value coupon equals cheap food.
2. Flea treatments. I haven't done this yet, but I will be just as soon as it comes in the mail. (I use 1800petmeds.com and go through Mr. Rebates to get 10% back.) Instead of buying doses for each animal, I'm getting it in the largest dose available. I will be pouring the medication into a bottle and measuring it out for each animal. Normally this would cost $175 to cover all four animals for 3 months. By buying larger doses and measuring myself, it ends up being about $100 for all for animals. Then after my 10% rebate, only about $90. (I am using the dog medication on the cats too. The dog version seems to be slightly weaker, but my cats stay indoors so I'm not worried about it. If you decide to try this, do so at your own risk.)
3. Dog licenses. Be sure to purchase your license as soon as possible each year. The price doubles after January if you forget!
4. Shots. I'm still researching this aspect. I'm shopping around at local vets and clinics to find a reasonable price. I've also read that it's possible to purchase the medicine and give the shot myself for a cost savings. I used to have a cat with diabetes who I had to give insulin shots twice a day, so I would be comfortable enough doing it myself so long as it all works the same way.